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 strongly depends on the degree of cooperation between the Member States and whether transboundary pollution effects and other pressures are addressed. Including human activities or the exchange of best practices in applying protection and prevention measures as well as in monitoring progress, further influences success.

The overall objective of the framework contract was to support the coherence of implementing the MSFD within and among marine regions and to ensure consistency with the legal obligations under other EU legislation and international agreements. To this end, the project work centered around four sub-objectives:

  • Objective 1: Coherence of assessment, whereby approaches and results of Member States in the different stages of implementation of the MSFD with a particular focus on coherence were assessed. Based on the assessment, recommendations were developed on specific activities, tools, and/or mechanisms to put in place to improve coordination within or among marine regions.
  • Objective 2: Exchange of best practices. The contract supported the Regional Sea Conventions (RSCs) in further developing and improving coherence and comparable approaches as well as in promoting best practices within and across marine regions.
  • Objective 3: Supporting collaboration through intensifying information exchange between EU and RSCs. This resulted in regular information exchange and in compiling 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 the 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 raise awarness among a wide audience about the work of the regional sea conventions and their contribution to implementing the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
  • The development of an umbrella 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
Skip to content