DG Environment’s ‘Future of our Seas’ Conference

Online | 17 December 2021

The virtual Marine Stakeholder Conference “Future of our Seas” will take place on 17 December 2021. Interpretation will be available in plenary and break-out sessions in English, French and German.

Thirteen years ago, the EU decided to take action to ensure the preservation and restoration of EU’s seas and ocean, under increasing threats. The adoption of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, unique in the world at the time, led to great efforts by all EU countries to put in place a framework of action to tackle the cumulative impacts on marine ecosystems, from harmful fishing practices to the impact of nutrient, chemical, plastic and noise pollution on marine life and habitats. The pressure exerted by climate change adds to the challenge.

As foreseen by the legislator, the Directive has to be reviewed by 2023. The review will build on the implementation report mentioned above. It will consist in an evaluation and an impact assessment, that will be carried out back-to-back.

In the context of this review process, the conference will provide the opportunity to showcase how the Directive serves the ambitions of the European Green Deal initiatives and to interrogate whether the Directive should be adapted to improve its performance and better address the challenges identified.

Join the discussion on Twitter using the: #FutureOfOurSeas.

The conference will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders, who will be able to confront their views on the future of the Directive and the protection and management of the marine environment

After a set of plenary sessions, where keynote speakers will address the state of the marine environment in Europe and the political context in which the review of the Directive is taking place, break-out sessions will be organised around two main themes: “Achieving Good Environmental Status” and “Making the Directive work”.

A plenary closing session will recap the core of the discussions in the break-out sessions and outline next steps for the legal protection of EU seas and ocean.

Find out more about Marine Strategy Framework Directive policy.