European Marine Strategy Framework Directive

The aim of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) is to protect and restore the European seas and oceans and promote their sustainable use.

The MSFD obliges every European Member State to draw up a Marine Strategy. This strategy must focus on the protection, preservation and restoration of the marine environment (a good environmental status), where sustainable use of the North Sea is also guaranteed. The Member States must take the necessary measures in their marine waters to achieve this aim. To do this, they must work together as EU Member States as well as with other countries in their marine region. The Framework Directive recommends as much use of existing regional marine conventions as possible.

Children playing_photo Wim van Urk

After approval by the European Parliament, the European Commission enacted the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive in 2008. In 2010, the Netherlands integrated the impact of the Directive in the Decree on Water Management, which is part of the Dutch Water Act.