APPENDIX 3: CALL FOR EVIDENCE |
The EU Sub-Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment
and Energy of the House of Lords, chaired by Baroness Scott of
Needham Market, is conducting an inquiry into EU Marine Regional
Co-operation. The Sub-Committee seeks evidence from anyone
with an interest.
Written evidence is sought by 26 September 2014.
Public hearings will be held over the period October-December
2014. The Committee aims to report to the House, with recommendations,
by March 2015. The report will receive responses from the Government
and the European Commission, and may be debated in the House.
The "Healthy Oceans-Productive Ecosystems"
(HOPE) European conference for the marine environment in March
2014 recognised that Europe's seas and oceans are under significant
pressure and must be safeguarded for their intrinsic value and
to ensure the health of their ecosystems including for human benefit.
Moving forward, the need to collaborate and to achieve greater
coordination within and between marine regions was particularly
This is an important juncture in the development
of governance structures to support the marine environment. Member
States are implementing the Marine Strategy Framework Directive
and, following its recent adoption, will need to implement the
Maritime Spatial Planning Directive. Implementation of the reformed
Common Fisheries Policy is underway, involving a regional approach.
Energy security is a prominent issue and has placed interconnection,
including across sea basins, firmly under debate. Finally, the
European Commission has a Blue Growth Agenda to harness the potential
of the seas.
In several of these areas, a regional approach is
required and, elsewhere, it is encouraged. We will seek to identify
the advantages and disadvantages of a regional marine co-operation
approach and we will consider what inspiration can be drawn from
existing mechanisms. We take co-operation to refer both to Member
State co-operation and to co-operation across sectors and interests.
While we are particularly interested in making recommendations
specific to the North Sea, we anticipate that our findings will
have wider applicability.
We will make policy recommendations to the UK Government,
the European Commission and Member States accordingly.
Our focus is on four case studies as set out in the
Call for Evidence, but we would welcome comments on regional marine
co-operation in other areas, with the exception of maritime security
and migration. For the purposes of this inquiry, we will consider
the marine environment extending to the coastline.
The Sub-Committee seeks evidence on any aspect of
this topic, and particularly on the following questions:
The rationale for action: Risks to EU seas
1. What are the principal risks to the EU's marine
environment? How significant are factors such as conflicts between
users of the marine environment, unclear governance arrangements
and potential inconsistencies between pieces of legislation affecting
the marine environment?
2. To what extent do you agree with the recent
conclusion by the European HOPE conference
that co-operation, co-ordination and improved governance lie at
the heart of the solution to tackling the risks to the EU's marine
A regional approach to marine health and productivity:
3. In relation to the case studies set out below
in particular, what are your views on existing examples of effective
regional collaboration between Member States and between sectors?
What further progress towards regional co-operation in these areas,
particularly in the North Sea, would you like to see?
· Identification of spatial protection measures,
such as Marine Protected Areas, under the Marine Strategy Framework
· Action, through regional co-operation,
to implement the fisheries and aquaculture sustainability objectives
of both the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the revised
Common Fisheries Policy;
· The development of energy co-operation
in regional seas including interconnection and the development
of marine renewable technologies;
· Innovation and knowledge, particularly
towards delivery of the Commission's Blue Growth Agenda.
4. With particular reference to the case studies
above, what are the advantages and disadvantages, including resource
implications, of a regional co-operation approach? To what extent
can local and national approaches conflict with a regional approach?
Potential processes to develop a coherent regional
5. A range of processes and institutions have
evolved to support regional marine co-operation, including Regional
Sea Conventions, EU macro-regional strategies, EU sea basin strategies
and the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive. Others have developed
more informally, such as the North Seas Countries Offshore Grid
Initiative. What, with reference to emerging structures and experience
around the world, are the basic requirements to develop a coherent
and flexible regional approach to marine regional co-operation?
Is an ideal model yet identifiable, particularly for the North
Sea, from those that are emerging?
You need not address all these questions in your
311 European Commission, 'Healthy Oceans, Productive
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