The Blue Book

Uit Kust Wiki
Ga naar: navigatie, zoeken

An Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union -The Blue Book

The European Commission launched a comprehensive consultation and analysis of how Europe relates to the sea. See Report on the Consultation process -COM(2007)547

Building in this valuable input the Commission presented, on 10 October 2007, its vision for an Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union, also called the Blue Book. This vision is based on the clear recognition that all matters relating to Europe's oceans and seas are interlinked, and that sea-related policies must develop in a joined-up way if are to reap the desired results [1]

The Blue Book lays the foundation for the governance framework and cross-sectoral tools necessary for an EU Integrated Maritime Policy and sets out the main actions that the Commission will pursue during the course of this mandate. These actions will be guided by the principles of subsidiarity and competitiveness, the ecosystem approach, and stakeholder participation.

An EU Integrated Maritime Policy will:

  • Change the way we make policy and take decisions -an integrated, inter-sectoral approach is strongly advocated for
  • Develop and deliver a programme of work -action under the different sectoral policies must develop in a coherent policy framework

A Governance Framework

An Integrated Maritime Policy requires a governance framework that applies the integrated approach at every level

The Commission related actions:

    • invite Member States to draw up national integrated maritime policies, working closely with stakeholders, in particular the coastal regions;
    • propose in 2008 a set of guidelines for these national integrated maritime policies and report annually on EU and Member States' actions in this regard from 2009;
    • organise a stakeholder consultation structure, feeding into further development of the maritime policy and allowing exchange of best practices

Tools for Integrated policy-making

An integrated governance framework for maritime affairs requires horizontal planning tools that cut across sea-related sectoral policies and support joined up policy making. The most relevant tools are the following:

  • A European network for maritime surveillance; for the safe and secure use of marine space

The Commission related actions:

    • promote improved cooperation between Member States' Coastguards and appropriate agencies
    • take steps towards a more interoperable surveillance system to bring together existing monitoring and tracking sstems used for maritime safety and security, protection of the marine environment, fisheries control, control of external borders and other law enforcement activities
  • Maritime Spatial Planning and ICZM; for sustainable decision-making

The Commission related actions:

    • develop a roadmap in 2008 to facilitate the development of maritime spatial planning by Member States
  • A comprehensive and accessble source of Data and Information; for informed decision-making

The Commission related actions:

    • take steps in 2008 towards a European Marine Observation and Data Network (building inter alia on the GMES initiative)
    • promote the multi-dimensional mapping of Member States' waters, in order to improve access to high quality data


  1. COM(2007)575 final, Brussels, 10.10.2007