Framework contract for services related to coordination between the different marine regions in implementing the ecosystem approach

Framework contract for services related to coordination between the different marine regions in implementing the ecosystem approach

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (Marine Directive or MSFD, 2008/56/EC) aims to achieve ‘good environmental status’ of European marine waters by the year 2020 through the implementation of two overarching principles: the ecosystem-based approach to the management of human activities and an integrated, coordinated, approach at a regional and sub-regional level. As is often the case with European environmental legislation, success in reaching the goal set by the MSFD will strongly depend on the degree of cooperation between the Member States, whether to address transboundary pollution effects and other pressures, including from human activities or to exchange good practices in setting protection and prevention measures and in monitoring progress.
The overall objective of the framework contract was to support the coherence of the implementation of the MSFD within and among marine regions and ensure consistency with the legal obligations under other EU legislation and international agreements. To this end, project work centered around four sub-objectives:

  • Objective 1: coherence of assessment, whereby the contract will assess approaches and results of Member States in the different stages of implementation of the MSFD with a particular focus on coherence. Based on the assessment, recommendations will be developed on specific activities, tools, and/or mechanisms to be put in place to improve coordination within or among marine regions.
  • Objective 2: exchange of best practices. The contract will support the Regional Sea Conventions (RSCs) in further developing and improving coherence and comparable approaches and promoting best practices within and across marine regions.
  • Objective 3: supporting collaboration through intensifying information exchange between EU and RSCs. This will result in regular exchanges of information and the compilation of joint or coordinated planning with and between the RSCs to facilitate the coherence of processes.
  • Objective 4: organisation of events. Events were organised such as workshops, conferences and other meetings to provide a mechanism for collaboration between the EU institutions, the Member States, the other Contracting Parties, the Convention secretariats and other stakeholders, as appropriate, to foster a coherent and comparable implementation of the MSFD.

Together with its partners, Fresh Thoughts was part of one of the three consortia that can compete within the framework contract to support the implementation of these water-related directives. The main work covered

  • The organisation of a marine conference, to facilitate the understanding of a wide audience of the work of the regional sea conventions and their contribution to the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive
  • the development of a roof report for the Black Sea region in the context of Art 8, 9 and 10 (i.e. updated status, pressures, impacts, GES and targets).

Related Events

Healthy Oceans – Productive Ecosystems (HOPE) Conference


Marine Management






European Commission, DG Environment

geographic scope:

Black Sea, Rumania, Bulgaria, Mediterrenean Sea, Greece, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Spain, Atlantic Ocean, Portugal, Ireland, North Sea, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Baltic Sea, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithunia, Poland, all EU marine waters, EU-27


Thomas Dworak