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Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on integrated coastal zone management: a strategy for Europe

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Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on integrated coastal zone management: a strategy for Europe /* COM/2000/0547 final */



Our coastal zones are of strategic importance to all Europeans. They are home to a large percentage of our citizens, a major source of food and raw materials, a vital link for transport and trade, the location of some of our most valuable habitats, and the favoured destination for our leisure time. Yet our coastal zones are facing serious problems of habitat destruction, water contamination, coastal erosion and resource depletion. This depletion of the limited resources of the coastal zone (including the limited physical space) is leading to increasingly frequent conflict between uses, such as between aquaculture and tourism. Coastal zones also suffer from serious socio-economic and cultural problems, such as weakening of the social fabric, marginalization, unemployment and destruction of property by erosion. Given the coast's critical value and its potential, these problems must be solved. And, as many of the problems of the coastal zone have a European dimension, the response must include action at the European level.

The Commission's Demonstration Programme on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) has looked at the many inter-related biological, physical and human problems presently facing these zones. Their cause can be traced to underlying problems related to a lack of knowledge, inappropriate and uncoordinated laws, a failure to involve stakeholders, and a lack of coordination between the relevant administrative bodies.

There is no simple, legislative solution to these complex problems. Given the diversity of physical, economic, cultural and institutional conditions, the response must be a flexible strategy focused on addressing the real problems on the ground. An integrated, participative territorial approach is therefore required to ensure that the management of Europe's coastal zones is environmentally and economically sustainable, as well as socially equitable and cohesive.

For these reasons, and to meet prior commitments, including the EU's obligations under international agreements such as Chapter 17 of Agenda 21, this document announces a European Strategy for ICZM.

The Strategy aims to promote a collaborative approach to planning and management of the coastal zone, within a philosophy of governance by partnership with civil society. The Strategy defines the EU's role as one of providing leadership and guidance to support the implementation of ICZM by the Member States, at local, regional and national levels. The Strategy also underlines the need for continued collaboration between the services of the Commission.

Where possible, the Strategy builds on existing instruments and programmes, many of which were not conceived exclusively for the coastal zones. These will be complemented by certain new activities, particularly with regard to the development of best practice and information diffusion. In order to encourage ICZM action at other administrative levels, the Strategy includes a proposal for a European Parliament and Council Recommendation to the Member States.

The Strategy is expected to lead to improved management of coastal zones. It is furthermore expected to improve the implementation of a wide range of EU legislation and policies in coastal zones.

It is intended that the approach outlined in this Strategy could also serve as a model for introducing sustainable development in other parts of the European territory.


PREFACE - The Purpose of the Communication

I The Challenge of Managing the Coastal Zone

A) The Problems of the Coastal Zone

B) The Strategic Importance of the Coastal Zone - to all Europeans

II Conclusions From the European Commission's Demonstration Programme on Integrated Coastal Zone Management

A) The Underlying Problems

B) Solving These Problems Through an Integrated Territorial Approach: the Need for EU Intervention

III A European Strategy for Integrated Coastal Zone Management

A) Promoting ICZM Activity within the Member States and at the "Regional Seas" Level

B) Making EU Policies Compatible with ICZM

C) Promoting Dialogue Between European Coastal Stakeholders

D) Developing Best ICZM Practice

E) Generating Information and Knowledge about the Coastal Zone

F) Diffusing Information and Raising Public Awareness

G) Implementation of the Strategy

IV Closing Remarks

Annex I - Principles of ICZM


This document presents a series of conclusions and recommendations that constitute an EU Strategy for ICZM. It is based on the results of the EU Demonstration Programme on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (a collaboration between the Commission's Directorates General for Environment, Fisheries and Regional Policy, with the participation of the Directorate General for Research and the Commission's Joint Research Center). The Strategy is intended to advance the European Treaty objectives concerning sustainable development and the integration of environment into all other EU policies, for the significant and strategically important coastal zone.

As well as responding to two Council requests for a European ICZM Strategy [1], the actions outlined in this document serve as an EU contribution towards the implementation of international agreements, including Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 [2], the Jakarta Mandate on marine and coastal biodiversity under the Convention on Biological Diversity and the FAO's Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, article 10 of which is entirely devoted to ICZM.

[1] OJ C 135, 18.5.1994, p.2.

[2] Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 commits coastal signatories, including the EU, to "integrated management and sustainable development of coastal areas". Programme Area A ("Integrated Management and sustainable development of coastal and marine areas, including exclusive economic zones") indicates that "Each coastal State should consider establishing, or where necessary strengthening appropriate co-ordinating mechanisms for integrated management and sustainable development of coastal and marine areas & their resources, at both the local and national level."

The Strategy aims to do so through making the most efficient, coordinated use of existing Community instruments, and through promoting a more democratic form of shared governance in line with the Commission's strategic objectives for the years 2000 to 2005.

I. The Challenge of Managing the Coastal Zone:

A) The Problems of the Coastal Zone

The coastal zones of Europe face a range of interrelated bio-physical and human problems. As a complex, dynamic natural system, the coastal zone is subject to the forces of water currents, sediment flows and frequent storms. It is also particularly vulnerable to inappropriate or excessive human uses. Through its Demonstration Programme on ICZM [3], the Commission observed the specific problems in 35 representative areas across Europe. These sites may not have covered all of the situations facing coastal zones, and undoubtedly study of other areas would reveal additional unique problems. Nevertheless, these projects provided an overview from which examples can be drawn.

[3] See section II of this Communication

The basic bio-physical problem in the coastal zones is that development is not kept within the limits of the local environmental carrying capacity. Some of the most common manifestations of this problem are:

* widespread coastal erosion, often exacerbated by inappropriate human infrastructure (including that intended for "coastal defense") and development too close to the shoreline; Engineering works in some port areas have contributed to accelerated erosion of the adjacent shoreline because the works did not adequately account for coastal dynamics and processes. Extraction of gas is another factor that can lead to coastal erosion. [4]

[4] The examples given in this section in italics are drawn from the many experiences of the Commission's ICZM Demonstration Programme; further details on individual projects can be found on our Web page (

* habitat destruction, as a result of poorly planned building and land development, or sea exploitation; This problem is particularly significant in areas that are undergoing rapid economic expansion, such as in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

* loss of biodiversity, including decline of coastal and offshore fish stocks as a result of damage to coastal spawning grounds; Regional Biodiversity Action Plans have identified up to 30 actions necessary to prevent further habitat loss and arrest species decline in certain coastal areas in the North-West European Metropolitan area.

* contamination of soil and water resources, as pollution from marine or on-land sources, including landfills, migrates to the coastline; In some Member States, river borne pollution derived from agricultural runoff upstream in neighbouring countries is affecting the quality of coastal waters.

* problems of water quality and quantity as demand exceeds supply or wastewater treatment capacity. Saltwater intrusion from overexploitation of coastal aquifers is a major problem in many parts of the Mediterranean basin. The damage to the aquifer normally results in a permanent reduction in available water resources.

In many cases, these physical and biological problems have led to, or compounded, the human problems facing the coastal zones as the number and intensity of human uses increase, namely:

* unemployment and social instability resulting from the decline of traditional or environmentally-compatible sectors, such as small scale coastal fisheries; In many areas, professional coastal fishing is experiencing difficulties in remaining competitive;

* competition between users for resources; The low availability of sites for aquaculture as a result of allocation of space for other uses constitutes a significant limiting factor on the expansion of this activity;

* destruction of cultural heritage and dilution of the social fabric following uncontrolled development (especially of tourism); Many of Europe's islands - from the Canary Islands to the archipelagos of Sweden and Finland - are experiencing this problem;

* loss of property and development options, as the coast erodes; Coastal erosion is locally perceived as the most significant threat to maintaining income in many areas that live from tourism;

* lost opportunities for durable employment, as resources are degraded; Boats for pleasure fishing are frequently treated with tributyltin (TBT), which can have a negative impact on the aquaculture industry;

* marginalization and emigration, compounded by a lack of appropriate infrastructure, including year-round communications and transport networks. The inadequate road network and lack of overall development of the local economy in many peripheral or isolated coastal areas has led to out-migration, which in turn results in low levels of facilities that help to attract and maintain a vibrant local community.

These examples illustrate that, at present, the natural resource base and the social structure in many of Europe's coastal zones are being irreversibly degraded.

B) The Strategic Importance of the Coastal Zone - to all Europeans

The coastal zones are of critical importance to Europe as home to a majority of our citizens and an increasing percentage of our economic activities [5]. The coast zones provides important economic, transport, residential and recreational functions, all of which depend on its physical characteristics, appealing landscape, cultural heritage, natural resources, and rich marine and terrestrial biodiversity (and living resources). This resource base is thus the foundation for the well-being -- and economic viability -- of present and future generations of coastal zone residents.

[5] In 1995, Commission Communication COM(95)511 reported that 47 percent of the EU population resided permanently within 50 km of the coast. Since 1995, the net trend of migration has been towards coastal areas, so it is reasonable to assume that the figure is now over 50 percent.

However this is not just an issue for people who work or live in the coastal zones. In today's complex economy, most Europeans - including those who live far from the coastal zone or even in a landlocked country - have a link to the coastal zone. Almost every European uses the resources of the coast either as a source of food and raw materials, as an important market for goods, or as a vital link for transport and trade. And, the coastal zone is a favoured destination for our leisure time, and the location of some of our most valuable habitats and landscapes. Resolution of the problems of the coastal zone is therefore of strategic importance to all Europeans. [6]

[6] In a 1997 article in Nature magazine ("The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital", Costanza et al., Nature 387, 253-260, 1997), a team of ecologists and economists assessed the per-hectare value of each of the Earth's principal habitat types. Of the 11 habitats assessed, the 3 most valuable were: Estuaries, Swamps/Floodplains, Seagrass/Algae Beds, and Tidal Marsh/Mangroves.

II. Conclusions from The European Commission's Demonstration Programme on Integrated Coastal Zone Management:

Since the late 1980's, there has been a growing awareness internationally of the problems faced by the coastal zones. Various bodies, including the OECD and UN agencies, have debated the issue and commissioned studies to evaluate how the coastal zone might be better managed. As a specific European contribution and response, Commission Communication COM(95)511 announced a Demonstration Programme on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) to "show the practical conditions that must be met if sustainable development is to be achieved in the European coastal zones in all their diversity". The experiences of the Demonstration Programme were intended to lead towards proposals for possible additional measures, to be carried out in concert at the European and other levels, to promote the sustainable development of European coastal zones.

As described in its interim report [7], the ICZM Demonstration Programme included a series of demonstration projects, inputs from relevant research and information activities of the Commission and the European Environment Agency, and regular workshops with the project leaders and members of the national experts group. The lessons and experiences emerging from these activities served as the raw material for a series of six horizontal thematic studies, and the preparation of two documents, "Towards a European Strategy for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM): General Principles and Policy Options" and "Lessons from the European Commission's Demonstration Programme on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM)".

[7] COM(97)744.

On the basis of these documents, a broad a priori public consultation was launched; all interested or affected actors were invited to submit comments and ideas concerning the appropriate measures to be taken at the EU level to promote ICZM. Meetings were organised with interested actors in each county [8], a major stakeholders' seminar was organised in Brussels, and Commission representatives also participated in a dozen relevant sectoral meetings at the European level. Both the public and private sectors took an active interest in this consultation. A summary, incorporating the results of all of these meetings and the 171 written contributions, is available on the Commission's Web page [9].

[8] By organising separate meetings within each country (or jointly in the case of Spain and Portugal), it was possible to address issues with reference to the national legal/institutional/cultural structure. In addition to soliciting comments, these meetings also served to diffuse the technical results of the Demonstration Programme and to stimulate ICZM at the national level through building dialogue between stakeholders, as announced in COM(95)511.

[9] Web page includes all of the technical outputs of the Demonstration Programme, as well as the summary of the consultation.

The experiences of the Demonstration Programme and the ideas expressed during the consultation form the basis of the Strategy that is announced in this present document.

A) The Underlying Problems

Although each coastal zone faces different specific problems, these specific problems can generally be traced to the same root causes. The Demonstration Programme has confirmed that these underlying causes are that [10]:

[10] It should be noted that these conclusions closely reflect and confirm the hypotheses proposed when the Demonstration Programme was launched. (COM(95)511 identified three hypotheses related to management of the coastal zones: 1) improved concertation is the basis for sustainable development, 2) concertation must be based on appropriate information, and 3) mechanisms are needed to organise and maintain this concertation).

- Management of the coast has lacked vision and is based on a very limited understanding of coastal processes and dynamics; scientific research and data collection have been isolated from end-users

- There has been inadequate involvement of the stakeholders in formulating and implementing solutions to coastal problems

- Inappropriate and uncoordinated sectoral legislation and policy have often worked against the long-term interests of sustainable management of coastal zones.

- Rigid bureaucratic systems and the lack of coordination between relevant administrative bodies have limited local creativity and adaptability

- Local initiatives in sustainable coastal management have lacked adequate resources and political support from higher administrative levels.

B) Solving These Problems Through an Integrated Territorial Approach: the Need for EU Intervention

The Demonstration Programme illustrates that in complex areas with multiple users, such as coastal zones, uncoordinated sectoral policies tend to conflict and may even work at cross-purposes, resulting in policy gridlock. The best means to avoid such gridlock and to ensure the effective implementation of many individual EU sectoral goals [11] is through an integrated territorial approach.

[11] Including those related to fisheries, regional development and cohesion, energy, transport and environment.

Such an approach seeks to maximise the overall, long-term economic, environmental, social and cultural well-being of the coastal zone and its users, by concurrently addressing the many different problems facing the coastal zone. This approach thus promotes the three dimensions of sustainable development.

ICZM is a process that implies a new style of governance, a style that involves and is in partnership with all of the segments of civil society. ICZM solicits the collaboration of all coastal zone stakeholders in the conception and implementation of a development model that is in their mutual interest.

However, this collaboration must go beyond the involvement of the stakeholders who are physically present in the narrow coastal strip. As many of the problems facing the coastal zone can only be solved through a much broader integrated approach, many actors from elsewhere in the same river basin, or other parts of the hinterland must also be involved. For instance, eutrophication problems in the coastal zone must be solved in collaboration with those who are using or producing the nitrate that eventually arrives at the coast as pollution. Similarly, resolution of the problems of tourist concentration on the coast includes encouragement of more diffuse forms of tourism, associating the hinterland.

Significantly, the Demonstration Programme indicates that integrated solutions to concrete problems can only be found and implemented at the local and regional level; however, integration of policies at the local and regional level is only possible if the higher levels of administration provide an integrated legal and institutional context, as well as taking measures to enable local and regional action.

On the basis of the experiences of Demonstration Programme, the Commission has derived a list of basic principles for ICZM [12], and has produced a wealth of technical information about techniques for their implementation.

[12] See Annex I.

The Demonstration Programme indicates the importance of ensuring compatible and complementary action at the various administrative levels. While the precise role of the administration and other actors at each level will vary between countries, in general, the roles at the different levels of administration can be outlined as follows:

Local Level -

It is at the local level that concrete integration actions occur, in the context of detailed planning, problem solving, and territorial management. Local administrations are in the best position: to collect information about local conditions, to involve local stakeholders, to develop consensus or make arbitration, and to ensure the optimal routine application of integration. Bottom-up initiatives involving the citizens and users of the coastal zones occur at this level; they are a corner-stone for integrated management.

Regional / River Basin Level -

Where it exists, the regional level of government has a key role to play in integrated planning and management of the coastal zone. This level of government is still closely aware of the specific context on the ground, but has a broad enough remit to take a strategic outlook. This level serves to promote co-ordination between local municipalities and can ensure that local initiatives have a larger holistic, regional context for their activities. Guidance from this level of administration can be a counter-balance to the powerful short-term political and economic interests that may operate at a local level to promote unsustainable decisions. Together with the national administration, this level must ensure the co-ordinated application of EU legislation and of national law, as well as ensuring collaboration with actors in neighbouring countries to resolve cross-border issues.

National Level -

The national administration must provide a legal and statutory framework adequate to enable implementation of ICZM at lower levels of administration. In order to do so, it needs to ensure coherence of national legislation and programmes which affect the coastal zone -- a process which entails the co-operation and involvement of a wide range of sectoral branches of the administration. The national government also needs to promote a national vision to give guidance and support to promote coherent activities at regional and local level.

EU Level -

Despite increasing effort at the local, regional and national levels, their action alone is not sufficient in order to resolve the growing problems in the coastal zone [13].

[13] The EEA's 1999 environmental assessment report "Environment in the European Union at the turn of the century" ranked the present state of the coastal zone as evolving unfavourably, and pressures on the coastal zone were expected to continue to grow in the future.

As noted by the European Council in two Resolutions, the coastal zone is "a fragile and vital common heritage" and it is "essential that its biological diversity, landscape value, ecological quality and its capacity to sustain life, health, economic activities and social well-being are safeguarded" [14]. For these reasons, and taking into account the subsidiarity principle, the Council identified a "clear need for a Community strategy for integrated planning and management of the coastal zones", a call which was echoed in the recent opinion of the Committee of the Regions on Towards a European Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Strategy - General Principles and Policy Options [15].

[14] Council Resolution of 25 February 1992 on the future Community policy concerning the European coastal zones (92/C 59/01) and recalled in Council Resolution of 6 May, 1994 on a Community strategy for integrated coastal zone management (94/C 135/02).

[15] COM4-029 of the Committee of the Regions, of 12 April 2000.

In particular, as many of the problems of the coastal zone extend across (and/or are triggered by factors that emanate from the other side of) national boundaries [16], these problems can only be resolved through coordinated action at the Community level.

[16] Impacts may even extend across regional seas to countries that do not share a land boundary, due to the action of currents.

The EU intends to take care of its coastal zones in view of the significant impact of existing EU policies and programmes on these areas. The various EU sectoral and regional policies always aim to improve conditions, and generally do so in most respects. However, due to an incomplete understanding of coastal dynamics and thus of the full potential impact of interventions, EU policies have sometime had unintended negative impacts on the coast. The Commission needs to continue work to minimize such impacts.

Thus, to improve the conditions in the coastal zones, we must ensure both that Community policies affecting the coastal zone are coherently conceived at the EU level and also that these policies are applied coherently through integrated planning and management at the local level. This can only be accomplished through a dedicated, coordinated effort involving all levels of public administration in the EU.

The overall role of the EU is to provide leadership and guidance by establishing a framework to enable action at other levels. The Demonstration Programme indicated that the best way for the EU to do so was through measures designed to:

* Promote ICZM Activity within the Member States and at the "Regional Seas" Level

* Make EU Sectoral Legislation and Policies Compatible with ICZM

* Promote Dialogue Between European Coastal Stakeholders

* Develop Best Practice in ICZM

* Support the Generation of Factual Information and Knowledge about the Coastal Zone

* Diffuse Information and Raise Public Awareness

III. A European Strategy for Integrated Coastal Zone Management:

The EU Strategy for ICZM consists of a series of concrete actions for each of the above general areas of action, based on the conclusions of the Demonstration Programme. To ensure effectiveness and efficiency, this Strategy builds as much as possible on existing instruments, programmes and resources, rather than creating new ones. It aims to improve their use through better coordination, and through ensuring that they are appropriate for coastal zones. In conformity with the proportionality principle, the EU measures will not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the various objectives set by the Treaty.

In many cases, the actions announced may in fact not be specifically addressed to the coastal zone, but be tools to promote good integrated management in any territorial unit, including coastal zones -- this is wholly appropriate in view of the fact that the guiding principles for good management of the coastal zones may also be usefully applied to other areas.

This Strategy is comprehensive and as such includes many distinct actions of differing significance. It is not, however, a shopping list of alternatives, but is conceived as a coherent package. Its implementation will require the involvement and collaboration of various different services within the European Commission and our partners in the other institutions.

A) Promoting ICZM within the Member States and at the "Regional Seas" Level

The great differences between Member States in terms of administrative, legal and cultural contexts, as well as level of maturity of the ICZM process, require a flexible approach. The EU will promote ICZM at lower administrative levels by providing guidance, a clear endorsement for the general principles of good coastal zone management and financial incentives for their implementation. The Member States will retain complete flexibility in selecting the specific means to implement ICZM within their country [17].

[17] It should be noted that this approach mirrors the highly successful U.S. Coastal Zone Management Act, which although not stipulating requirements for action at state level, has led to ICZM programmes covering 99% of the US coastline.

As many of the problems of individual coastal zones are in fact related to driving forces elsewhere in the same regional sea (Mediterranean, Baltic, etc.), the EU will also promote activity at the "regional seas" level, including collaboration with neighbouring non-EU countries, with whom the EU shares a common border.

1) The Commission has prepared a proposal for a European Parliament and Council Recommendation to the Member States inviting them to implement the principles of good coastal zone management and recommending general steps for doing so, including through development of national ICZM Strategies.

2) With the objective of encouraging balanced and integrated territorial management, the Commission will continue to encourage the application of the political conclusions contained in the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) in the implementation of actions financed through the Structural Funds and particularly through the Community Initiative INTERREG programme. The Commission will work with the Member States to support the application of the ESDP, including integrated spatial planning and management across administrative, natural and socio-economic units [18]. In order to adequately address the specific needs of the coastal zone, in applying the ESDP, Member States should include coastal waters. As well, adequate attention should be given to the issue of demographic shifts and their role in generating social and environmental pressures in both source and destination areas.

[18] Natural units include river basins, flood plains, coastal cells, etc. Socio-economic units include linked economic sectoral groupings, cultural units, etc.

3) The Commission will continue to support key ICZM initiatives in Member States through participation in meetings and steering groups. The impact of EU involvement in national and local initiatives during the Demonstration Programme was often attributed as much to the legitimacy given by the EU presence as to the funding itself.

4) The Agenda 2000 package led the way to revisions to the Structural Funds (including FEDER and FIFG) and to the rural development policy funded under the FEOGA Guarantee. These revisions provide a new commitment to principles of partnership, sustainability and concerted programming, contributing towards implementation of the principles of good territorial management. The new regulation for the Structural Funds also increases the respect for the environment in Structural Fund programming, for example, through the requirement for ex-ante environmental assessment in the appraisal of programmes and projects. This continuing evolution towards "mainstreaming" approach also in evidence in the increasing focus on rural development under the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) as part of the shift in emphasis from traditional market price support.

The guidelines for the programmes for the period 2000-2006 [19] specifically refer to "sustainable development" as a horizontal principle for the implementation of the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund. In the negotiations on the programmes financed by the Funds for the period 2000-06, the Commission has sought to promote integrated urban and rural development as part of a general effort to achieve more balanced territorial development in Europe. In line with the guidelines, the actions to be encouraged also include those in favour of coatal zones including those for the "reduction of pollution and rehabilitation of degraded areas, control of beach fronts, excavations and other activities altering water basins and the sea floor, and the conservation of natural habitats".

[19] Adopted on 1 July 1999.

In preparing further strategic policy priorities for the future, the Commission will consider what further steps could be taken to promote an integrated approach to the sustainable development of the European territory and to provide opportunities for the development of viable rural areas. During the consultation phase on integrated coastal zone management suggestions arose concerning the next revision of programmes under the European Structural Funds, including :

a) linking the level of funding to (or making it conditional on) the application of a set of general principles for integrated planning and management, such as those presented in Annex I, or alternatively the options outlined in the ESDP;

b) strengthening the requirements for projects financed under the Structural Funds be inserted into an overall integrated regional development plan.

On the other hand, the Commission has no plans to propose a new Structural Fund dedicated exclusively to coastal areas. In accordance with Article 158 of the Treaty, the Structural Funds must be used to address regional disparities within the Union. Coastal areas with the greatest need in socio-economic terms could therefore expect to obtain support from the Structural Funds.

5) The Commission will give greater emphasis to meeting its obligations and commitments under regional and international conventions related to marine and coastal areas, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the regional seas conventions (i.e. HELCOM, the Barcelona Convention, etc.). The Commission will make greater efforts to ensure co-ordination between the activities of these regional conventions and Community initiatives. The Commission has a role to play in the technical aspects of this work, through the Joint Research Centre and through the implementation of the relevant RTD Programmes of the 5th Framework Programme for Research and Development, mainly "Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development".

6) In addition to the opportunities presented by the INTERREG III and URBAN (for certain coastal urban areas with populations of over 10,000) programmes under the Structural Funds, the EU will provide opportunities to implement ICZM through other financial instruments including the proposed LIFE III programme and the implementation of the European Research Area. The Commission services will co-ordinate the application of these instruments, to ensure their complementarity by sharing information between services about projects that have been accepted for funding. In view of their limited duration (maximum 8 years), the Commission will also work to encourage each project to develop a strategy to ensure a long-term financing of integrated planning and management for the target area.

The new guidelines for INTERREG III [20], which will be providing funding through its programme for eligible maritime regions and thereby for coastal zone management activities, indicate that its fund will be co-ordinated with those of instruments for third countries (ISPA, SMAP, PHARE, TACIS) in order to allow inclusion of neighbouring countries into these activities, and thus a comprehensive territorial approach.

[20] Communication of the Commission to the Member States laying down guidelines for a Community Initiative concerning trans-European co-operation intended to encourage harmonious and balanced development of the European territory, C(2000) 1101.

Volet A of INTERREG (Cross-border cooperation) includes coastal development - including the preparation of common orientations for territorial management in the coastal zones - among the priority areas and eligible measures. Volet B (Transnational cooperation) also mentions, amongst its priorities, the concerted management of coastal waters as well as the integrated cooperation of maritime regions and island regions.

7) The new Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) regulation also provides opportunities to support the collection of basic data and preparation of environmental management models for fisheries and aquaculture and for sustainable use of marine resources, with a view to drawing up integrated management plans for coastal areas; it also provides the possibility of funding a few pilot projects aimed at improving the links between fisheries/aquaculture and the ICZM process.

8) The European Commission is working jointly with the Member States to support the promotion of environmental protection and sustainable development in tourism. Following the mandate of the Tourism Advisory Committee (composed of representatives from the Member States), a Working Group was established on this subject. The specific task of this Group is to identify relevant strategies and measures taken at Community, national, regional and local level designed to promote sustainable development in tourism. The group will also assess the existing and potential contribution of Community policies and programmes on sustainable tourism. On the basis of this analysis, the Group will draft conclusions and recommendations, including regarding the scope for greater co-operation between the authorities concerned and regarding the better use of Community instruments and programmes. ICZM is one of the topics that will probably be covered in the final report of this Working Group (expected for end of 2001).

B) Making EU Policies Compatible with ICZM

An overwhelming majority of contributors to the ICZM consultation in 1999 emphasised the need for the EU institutions to lead by example by ensuring: that EU sectoral policies that affect the coastal zone respect all of the principles for good territorial management; that collaboration between Commission services and EU institutions is a reality; and that there is adequate dialogue and discussion with stakeholders. Considering most, if not all, EU policies and instruments have some impact on the coastal zones, the Commission will take steps to respond to these demands.

9) There will be an on-going process within the services of the Commission to ensure that EU sectoral policies are compatible with and enable the integrated management of the EU coastal zone. A set of guidelines will be developed to assist the various services in this stock-taking, which should include monitoring, in collaboration with national and local authorities, the local impacts of EU legislation and programmes. The technical documents produced in the course of the Demonstration Programme (particularly the final report of the thematic study on the "Influence of EU Policies on the Evolution of Coastal Zones" and the document "Lessons from the European Commission's Demonstration Programme on Integrated Coastal Zone Management") identify some policy areas that will receive special attention, including those mentioned below.

10) Nature: The EU Nature policy, including the Birds and Habitats directives and the actions to create the Natura 2000 network, are designed to protect habitats and species deemed to be of Community importance. It is acknowledged that this may not provide protection to as many ecosystems or natural areas as might be desirable from a local or national perspective; this, however, indicates the need for other levels of administration to take complementary measures, in accordance with the subsidiarity principle. The Commission will monitor the implementation of article 6 the Habitats directive [21], with a view to ensuring that designation of a site as part of the Natura 2000 network does not discourage economic (or non-economic) activities that do not have a negative impact on the status of the target species or habitats.

[21] Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May, 1992. OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p. 7.

11) Transport: The Commission will continue to promote short sea shipping as an economically, socially and environmentally appropriate activity in most coastal zones, and will implement the planned Strategic Environmental Assessment of the EU transport policy. The problem of accidental pollution will be given more attention [22].

[22] In the wake of the Erika incident, the Commission has proposed a comprehensive Communication on the safety of seaborne oil trade (COM(2000)142 final) and intends to present additional measures in this regard in a second Communication later this year.

12) External policy: The Commission will ensure that policy formulation includes consideration of the impact of certain non-EU commercial activities [23] on the EU coastal zone.

[23] Certain Asian shipyards, for instance, are deemed by European industry to be unfairly subsidized and thus to present unfair competition.

13) Environmental Impact Assessment: The Commission will work with the Member States to ensure that implementation of the existing EIA directive takes a holistic view of proposed projects, including assessment of cross border impacts [24]. The Commission believes that the proposed Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive will be a very useful tool in promoting holistic and long-term perspectives in territorial planning and management. This directive will be implemented in a manner that facilitates an analysis of the compatibility between the proposed plan or programme and existing plans and programmes.

[24] Major coastal infrastructure in the Netherlands, for instance, could impact the rates of coastal erosion in the UK.

14) Fisheries: Article 2 of the Council Regulation no. 3760/92, basic Regulation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), already refers to the need to consider ecosystem integrity in Fisheries Policy, and the recent Commission Communication on Fisheries and Nature [25] highlights some of the principles that are intended to guide EU policy in this area. The upcoming review of this policy (in 2002) will provide a new opportunity to further promote the sustainable and integrated management of coastal zones, and address both ecological and socio-economic priorities. The review of the CFP will also be an opportunity to explore how the 12 mile derogation in the CFP can be maintained so that coastal fishing can be planned and managed in the context of a long-term ICZM process.

[25] COM(1999)363.

The decline of fishing activity and related employment, which was a fundamental element of the socio-economic fabric of many fisheries dependent areas, creates a dramatic vulnerability of fisheries dependent areas (FDA). Support to the diversification of activities outside the sector (introduced by the new FIFG regulation) is a partial solution since, in numerous areas, opportunities of alternative employment out of the sector remain rare and professional mobility of fishermen remains low.

15) Water: The Commission will continue to give priority to adoption and implementation of the proposed Water Framework Directive. With the objective of ensuring good water status, this directive requires all waters within each river basin to be managed as a whole, taking into account upstream-downstream interactions. In view of the fact that many of the driving forces that create pressures on the coastal zones are actually located upstream in the river basin, the proposed Water Framework Directive should particularly yield results in the coastal water and beach area. It will be important to ensure that implementation of the proposed Water Framework Directive includes consideration of the impact of water management activities on sediment regimes. Although not in itself a spatial planning instrument, the obvious spatial dimension of the River Basin Management approach calls for close cooperation with planning authorities and integration with land use measures. In implementation of the proposed Water Framework Directive, the Commission will need to work with the Member States to articulate links between river basin plans and other spatial planning for the target area, including any coastal zone plans or structural fund plans.

The Commission will also ensure that ICZM principles are taken into account in the ongoing revision of the Bathing Water Quality (BWQ) Directive. In particular, because the emphasis of the new/revised BWQ directive will shift from purely quality monitoring to water quality management, a lot of attention will be given to the holistic integrated approach, long-term planning and above all to public information and participation.

16) Rural Development Policy: Rural depopulation is a significant problem for many coastal areas, both in cases where the resident populations of remote coastal areas emigrate, leading to social and environmental degradation, and in cases where depopulation of interior areas leads to increasing concentration of population in nearby coastal areas [26]. The Commission now has instruments to address rural development, including the LEADER programme and aspects of the IFP. Rural development programmes have to include agri-environmental measures which, together with other measures such as compensatory allowances in less favoured areas, aim at ensuring that farmers and other rural actors meet society's demand for environmental and rural services and thus contribute to safeguarding and enhancing agriculture's multifunctional role. These measures need to be continued and strengthened by incorporating an awareness of the impact of rural depopulation on the eventual destination areas. In spite of intentions to improve conditions in rural areas, the focus of the CAP in the past on intensive production has sometimes been a factor in contributing to abandonment of rural areas. Following the reforms applied under Agenda 2000, the move away from price supports is a positive step, but further consideration will be given in subsequent revisions to measures to ensure that small (and therefore frequently more sustainable) producers are equally supported. The EU seeks to maintain land use across its entire territory, including less favoured areas, with a view to preserving the economic, social and environmental function of sustainable agriculture.

[26] This latter situation is particularly problematic in the Iberian peninsula where there is a continuing exodus from the inland rural areas towards already heavily populated coastal areas, causing environmental and socio-economic problems for both the source and destination areas.

17) Marine Pollution: This is a significant problem for the coastal zones of Europe, and one that can usefully be addressed at the EU level. The EU and its Member States are parties to a large number of international and regional agreements on this topic; much of the EU legislation in the area of marine operation and safety builds on and enhances international requirements. Close co-ordination of work of Member States within the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has led to improved safety around the EU coast, through routing, reporting, equipment requirements and training. Continued implementation of these agreements is therefore an important priority. The Commission is also addressing marine pollution through the HAZMAT directive [27] (covering reporting obligations for ships carrying dangerous or polluting goods), the directive of port State control, the proposed directive on port reception facilities [28], the proposed Council decision setting up a Community framework for co-operation in the field of accidental marine pollution [29], and the Communications on Oil Tanker Safety referred to under the footnote in point 11 above.

[27] 93/75/EEC.

[28] COM(1998)452 final.

[29] COM(1998)769 - 1998/0350/COD.

The Community continues to support research into technical solutions to improving marine safety as well as to understand pollution pathways, loads and impacts on the marine ecosystem and to prevent or reduce pollution in the coastal zone; it also works closely with Member States within the framework of IMO to develop global solutions to problems such as TBT antifouling paints, while alternative more environmentally friendly antifouling solutions are being researched within the context of the ESD Programme of the Community's 5th Framework Programme for Research. TBT is among the substances proposed for inclusion in the list of priority substances under the proposed Water Framework Directive; after its adoption by the Council and the European Parliament, the Commission will propose quality standards, including standards for coastal waters, and emission controls for all of the substances in this list.

The entry into force of the directive on port reception facilities, which will ensure the availability of adequate facilities for the reception of ship-generated waste and which imposes inter alia an obligation on all ships visiting EU ports to make use of these facilities, is expected to bring about a significant reduction in pollution originating from ships.

18) Pollution from Land Based Sources and Waste: Council Directive 76/464/EEC on pollution caused by certain dangerous substances discharged to the aquatic environment, including coastal waters, is the main legislative instrument to control pollution from point sources. The increasing importance of diffuse pollution can also be addressed in particular through emission reduction programmes that must be established for relevant substances by Member States. However, the ambitious objectives of the directive have only partially been implemented. The Commission will further insist on full implementation and enforcement of pollution control measures under the directive with respect to coastal waters.

The proposed Water Framework Directive will ensure a better identification and control of upstream sources and activities causing both diffuse and direct water-borne pollution and degradation of water quality through the integrated management required by the river basin management approach, supported by Community research activities on this subject.

The Commission is also addressing problems of diffuse pollution through various other environment policy measures and through the reforms under Agenda 2000, notably the establishment of rural policies including the agri-environmental measures. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of agri-environmental schemes in combating eutrophication in marine and coastal waters, these schemes will be monitored for non-local impact. Eutrophication in marine and coastal waters and ways to combat it is also being addressed under the Key Action "Sustainable Marine Ecosystems" of the Community's 5th Framework Programme for RTD.

The Commission will also work to address this problem through its involvement in regional conventions, such as the Ospar, Helsinki and Barcelona conventions, which have specific instruments for pollution from land based sources.

Waste management is often a significant problem in coastal areas. The fact that coastal zones are in general very vulnerable areas should be given special consideration in the planning and siting of waste treatment facilities. The EU legislation on waste aims to ensure that waste is treated without endangering the environment or human health. For instance, directive 99/31/EC on the landfill of waste provides that the location of a landfill must take into consideration among other things the existence of coastal water in the area. The landfill can be authorised only if the characteristics of the site with respect to this requirement indicate that the landfill does not pose a serious environmental risk. Special attention will be given to a good implementation of this legislation.

19) Ballast Water: EU funded research can contribute to assessing the full impact of the serious problem posed by the introduction of exotic species in ballast water [30]. Action to tackle this problem must be taken at the international level, such as through the IMO environmental and safety conventions to which all EU Member States are party.

[30] Exotic species introduced in ballast water are one of the factors causing the disappearance of Posidonia sea-grass beds in the Mediterranean.

20) More attention will be given to better implementation and enforcement of existing EU legislation as a mean of promoting integrated territorial planning and management. In particular, the Commission will work with the Member States towards ensuring equal application of Community environmental legislation across the EU in order to provide an atmosphere in which the private sector operators in the coastal zone in certain countries with stricter norms are not commercially disadvantaged. Enforcement of catch limits under the CFP is another area that will be given particular attention.

21) The Commission already has general mechanisms for internal coordination and is presently working to improve its procedures to ensure coherence between its various policies. This horizontal process should improve, inter alia, collaboration on policies that influence the coastal zone.

During the Demonstration Programme, the collaboration promoted through the "Programme Management Unit" [31] was a useful additional channel for collaboration on issues specifically related to the coastal zones. This specific, but informal, collaboration will be continued between all the relevant parts of the Commission, as interested.

[31] See COM(97)744, p. 8 for details.

C) Promoting Dialogue Between European Coastal Stakeholders

Just as dialogue can help develop consensus at the local and regional level, there is need for a forum to bring together stakeholders at the European level to exchange viewpoints and work towards building a common future.

22) The Commission recognizes the value of a European Coastal Stakeholders Forum. Such a body would be designed to improve the co-ordination between these various actors in order to agree on a European vision for the planning and management of the coastal zones. The body should build commitment among the stakeholders to work towards implementation of the ICZM principles developed during the ICZM Demonstration Programme (annex I). It could also serve as an "observatory" for coherent reporting on the implementation of ICZM within the Member States. This would be a political body with participation from different economic sectors, recreational users, and residents of the coastal zone, as well as representatives from different sectors and levels of administration in the Member States. It should collaborate with existing structures wherever possible. The Commission will initiate a dialogue with the other EU institutions to determine how such a Forum could be constituted and coordinated.

D) Developing Best ICZM Practice

The EU can support the development and diffusion of best practice in the evolving field of ICZM, and capacity building at the local level, through encouragement, funding, and structures/logistics. The EU will also contribute towards developing a common understanding and common "language" of ICZM among practitioners in local administrations and organisations across the EU, and to facilitate the exchange of experiences (positive and negative) and expertise among these practitioners. Since the principles for good territorial management are not unique to the coastal zone, this exchange of information about best practice will include promoting interactions with other relevant territorial planners and managers.

23) The Commission will help support the creation of a coastal zone practitioners network as a forum to develop and exchange information on best practice. Such a network will be used to continue to nurture and encourage initiatives whose funding by Community instruments such as LIFE and TERRA has ended, but the network will also be open to the broader community of coastal zone managers. The network will serve as a channel for diffusion of research results and scientific information, as well as information on good territorial management. It could also create working groups to assess various management techniques, to identify specific research needs, and to develop technical guidelines for best practice for issues such as managing information flows, motivating involvement of the private sector, communication with politicians, etc.

24) The Commission will continue to work for the adoption of a European Parliament and Council Decision on a Community framework for cooperation to promote sustainable urban development [32]. This cooperation programme allows for the development of best practice in integrated territorial management in urban areas. In view of the degree of physical overlap between urban areas and coastal zones, and also in view of the commonality of principles, the coastal zone practitioners' network mentioned in the previous point should be associated with the existing networks of the Sustainable Cities and Towns Campaign.

[32] COM(1999)557.

25) A range of EU financial instruments provide opportunities for the development of best practice in integrated territorial management and provide lessons that are applicable to the coastal zones. These include INTERREG III, the URBAN programme and the proposed LIFE III instrument. In its research programme, the Commission is developing methods to assess the efficiency of application of selected water directives in terms of socio-economic cost-benefit and water quality in river basins and coastal zones, indicating best practice within this sector.

The Commission has also published three studies on "Integrated Quality Management in coastal, rural and urban tourist destinations" intended to foster the exchange of good practice in the area of tourism, with the help of all the public and industry partners concerned. The Integrated Quality Management approach focuses on improving visitor satisfaction, while seeking to improve the local economy, the environment and the quality of life of the local community. The publications define a set of recommendations or codes of practice for integrated quality management in coastal tourist destinations based on the experience and success factors emerging from case studies. The recommendations are written for organisations responsible for tourism in the destinations, with a list of priorities that are also identified for action by private sector enterprises.

E) Generating Information and Knowledge about the Coastal Zone

The EU will continue to promote the development of useful [33] knowledge and information about the coastal zone, from both natural and social sciences. The Commission will assist in developing datasets and producing knowledge for use at the European level. It will also ensure that EU funded research related to the coastal zone produces information and knowledge with a content, format and timeliness suitable to the needs of the end users at all levels.

[33] Useful knowledge and information is that which can support the process of management and planning of the coastal zone, including information destined to the general public (in support of informed participation).

26) The Community Research Policy will promote research that meets coastal zone management needs. Research to underpin coastal zone management has been a priority since the 3rd Framework Programme, and continues to be so. The 5th Framework programme for RTD and demonstration activities includes a series of specific topics related to marine and coastal areas. [34] The new modalities for implementation of the thematic programmes, such as the "key actions", encourages project co-ordinators to involve end-users in the definition and execution of each project. Priority will be given to projects that involve multi-disciplinary research (which is likely to be of greater use to coastal zone planners and managers). The actual dissemination and exploitation of the results of the 5th Framework Programme is being monitored by the Commission to ensure effective use of the EU funded RTD results and to prepare research priorities for future Framework programmes.

[34] These include marine ecosystems, land-ocean interactions, development of effective monitoring of coastal processes to underpin management, coastal protection against flooding and erosion, integrated management and sustainable use of water resources at catchment scale, coastal cities, aquaculture research and the effects of the interactions between environment, fisheries and aquaculture, development of ecological quality indicators and methodologies to identify and analyse the social and economic factors affecting the different sectors of coastal communities (under the programme for Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development and that for Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources).

27) The mission of the European Environment Agency is to provide timely and relevant information to EU institutions and Member States in support of policy making and evaluation. "Coastal and Marine Environment" is part of the EEA multi-annual work programme (1999-2003). The EEA will continue to work in this area on improving data provisions and use of this data to produce thematic analyses and indicator-based assessment reports. In particular, over the next three years, the European Environment Agency and the Commission will prepare an update to the CORINE Land Cover 2000 project, to provide information on the evolution of land-based pressures in the coastal zones across Europe (updating the results of the LACOAST project). The Commission invites the EEA to update the Coastal Erosion Atlas in the coming years as well.

28) The European Environment Agency will put special emphasis on completing the on-going work on the definition of indicators for the coastal zone. This work needs to be co-ordinated with indicator development work being undertaken in Eurostat and elsewhere in the Commission.

29) The Commission is presently conducting a study on the socio-economic value of coastal zones, and of ICZM. The results will be published on the Web page by the end of the year 2000.

30) The Community Education policy will continue to promote multi-disciplinary learning, which will serve as a long-term support to integrated territorial management.

31) The Commission's training policy provides a variety of horizontal instruments, which could be used to build capacity in coastal zone management. These instruments include the LEONARDO programme and ESF structural funds. Coastal zone managers will be alerted (including through the proposed network) to training opportunities in EU policies and programmes.

F) Diffusing Information and Raising Public Awareness

The Commission will ensure that the relevant information and knowledge that it generates or holds is diffused to planners and managers. The Commission also has a role in developing tools, compatibility standards and guidelines to promote the targeted, structured, reliable and integrated diffusion of information and knowledge from other sources to coastal zone planners and managers. The EU will also work to diffuse information to stakeholders (private sector and general public) to enable their informed participation in coastal zone management.

32) The Commission will ensure wide diffusion of the results of projects that it has financed. The Fifth Framework programme for RTD and demonstration activities now requires projects to deliver a Technological Implementation Plan indicating the exploitation intentions of the research results and to post their results (including a summary designed for non-specialists) on a Web page. LIFE-Nature has introduced similar requirements for creation of a Web page, while the LIFE-Environment programme requires that beneficiaries deliver a layman's report. The Commission will investigate extending such requirements to other EU funded projects. The Commission's Web pages can provide links to project Web pages, or meta-databases of final results, as is already planned for the homepage of the 4th Research Framework Programme's ELOISE thematic network.

33) The Commission will also facilitate the targeted diffusion of relevant results to coastal zone planners and managers. The Commission organised one meeting in 1999 between the leaders of the ELOISE research projects and the leaders of the ICZM demonstration projects. Such meetings are one means of targeted diffusion of results; they also serve to increase the scientists' understanding of the needs of coastal managers, and as such to orientate scientists to undertake research that will be more directly applicable to coastal zone planning and management. The Commission will organise such meetings at regular intervals. In addition, the Commission will set up a European Coastal Zone Research (EuCoRe) office to achieve a better co-ordination of EU-funded coastal zone research with other national and international programmes, improve integration and synthesis of results, organise the dissemination and exploitation of results and facilitate the transfer of results to stakeholders and end users.

34) The European Environment Agency and the Commission each have various activities underway to develop tools for the effective access to and integration of data relevant to coastal zone management and planning, including the EIONET system, the DESIMA information system in the COAST project, a probable ESPON network, the COASTBASE project and activities of EUROSTAT and the European statistical information system. Steps will be taken to co-ordinate these activities and to define a clear strategic framework with standards and tools for exchange of information about territory and resources. This framework should ensure that coastal information systems are coherent with systems for other parts of the territory. Thus, while such a system might not necessarily be specific to the Coastal Zone, it would need to address the provision of information of an environmental, socio-economic, cultural, and institutional nature; in view of the "environmental" mandate of the European Environment Agency, it is not clear that it is necessarily well placed to take the lead. Further consideration will need to be given in order to identify an appropriate host.

35) The Commission will increase the public diffusion of information about ICZM, through the preparation of materials explaining the lessons derived from the Commission's Demonstration Programme on ICZM. The information materials, to be prepared over the course of the next year, will focus on the dynamics, functions and value of the coastal zone and how it can be sustainably managed. The Commission will also prepare and diffuse information concerning the consequences of the problems presently facing the coastal zones, and why its good management is in the personal interests of most citizens. This will be done with the active participation of competent authorities and organisations, including educational institutions and the media.

36) Rapid ratification and implementation of the Aarhus convention will be an important step in assuring that European stakeholders have access to the factual information necessary for informed participation.

37) The Commission does not intend to propose a new quality "label" for ICZM. There is already a plethora of existing labels for coastal areas and yet another label could only lead to more confusion. Moreover, the Commission does not judge itself to be in a position to validate and guarantee the full application of the criteria for a new label. The Commission will, however, investigate how existing schemes like the "Sustainable Cities Award" and other award schemes might be used to further promote integrated coastal zone management. The Commission has already proposed that ecolabels should now also be given to services; this proposal should encourage some of the major "users" of the coastal zone such as tourism operators to adopt more sustainable practices in order to acquire an ecolabel.

38) The consultation phase of the ICZM Demonstration Programme illustrated the dire need for better public understanding about the impact of EU sectoral directives on the coastal zone, about the competence of the EU and about existing funding opportunities [35]. The Commission is taking steps to improve communication in these areas, through the general ongoing effort to improve the transparency of the EU institutions, including through construction of public Web pages. It would also, however, seem appropriate to ensure that there is a publicly identified focal point within the Commission for coastal issues; the Environment DG will be this point of reference, with however, the understanding that in many cases, there will be a need to redirect queries to other services.

[35] A significant number of the responses contained clear evidence of the lack of information or mis-information circulating, even among those individuals who take an active interest in EU policy development activities.

G) Implementation of the Strategy

The individual actions proposed will be implemented as soon as reasonably possible, considering the cycle of programme development and policy revision for each relevant policy area. In fact, some of the actions have already been launched during the final stages of the Demonstration Programme.

This Strategy must be treated as a flexible, evolving instrument, designed to cope with the specific needs of different regions and conditions. It will certainly need amendment and modification as conditions change and as understanding of the relationship between EU policy and the status of the coastal zones evolves.

The Commission services will therefore conduct an initial review of the Strategy after three years and thereafter the Strategy will be reviewed in conjunction with the assessment of the State of the European Environment conducted at regular intervals by the EEA. These reviews should serve to propose modifications to the Strategy as appropriate, based on an assessment of the situation and in consultation with relevant stakeholders. This review will have three levels: a review of the steps taken to implement the measures and actions listed in this section, an evaluation of their impact in addressing the underlying problems described in section IIA and an analysis on the progress towards alleviating the physical and human problems itemized in section I.

IV. Concluding Remarks:

The 8 principles described in Annex I are not specific to the coast, but rather are fundamental components of good governance. The fact that the Commission is proposing a European Strategy to promote Integrated Management specifically in the coastal zone therefore in no way suggests that the same principles should not be applied to the rest of the EU territory.

A broader adoption of such principles for good territorial management could improve conditions in individual parts of the territory, including the coast. It could also ensure that the many physical, institutional and socio-economic links between the coastal zones and the other parts of the EU territory are not ignored as a result of separate planning and management activities specific to individual sections of the territory. Indeed, the EU is already promoting integrated territorial management on a broader scale through many of the horizontal instruments discussed above. The principles behind this ICZM Strategy closely parallel those of the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP), and are also mirrored in the Commission's urban activities. The revision of the Structural Funds and the EU Agriculture Policy applied under Agenda 2000 are also moving towards a general implementation of the principles for good territorial management. However, the process of making these principles a foundation for governance will necessarily be slow because it involves a change of culture.

This Strategy therefore proposes some specific actions that can be applied directly to the coastal zones in the short run to address some of the urgent problems in these strategically important areas, while a more general culture of territorial management is developing. It is also hoped that implementation of better management practice in coastal areas will itself serve as an example that will motivate the more widespread adoption of these principles across Europe, particularly in other areas facing multiple pressures and conflicting interests. The Commission will be studying how the Integrated Territorial Management approach can be eventually extended across the entire territory of the EU.

Annex I

The Principles of Integrated Coastal Zone Management

Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) is a dynamic, multi-disciplinary and iterative process to promote sustainable management of coastal zones. It covers the full cycle of information collection, planning (in its broadest sense), decision making, management and monitoring of implementation. ICZM uses the informed participation and co-operation of all stakeholders to assess the societal goals in a given coastal area, and to take actions towards meeting these objectives. ICZM seeks, over the long-term, to balance environmental, economic, social, cultural and recreational objectives, all within the limits set by natural dynamics.

"Integrated" in ICZM refers to the integration of objectives and also to the integration of the many instruments needed to meet these objectives. It means integration of all relevant policy areas, sectors, and levels of administration. It means integration of the terrestrial and marine components of the target territory, in both time and space.

Successful coastal zone management is based on the following principles:

1. A Broad "Holistic" Perspective (Thematic and Geographic)--

Coastal zones are complex; they are influenced by a myriad of inter-related forces related to hydrological, geomorphological, socio-economic, institutional and cultural systems. Successful planning and management of the coastal zone must eschew piecemeal decision-making in favour of more strategic approaches that look at the bigger picture, including indirect and cumulative causes and effects; there is a need to accept the inalienable long-term interdependence between maintaining the integrity of natural and cultural systems, and the provision of economic and social options.

The close links (through both human and physical processes) between the marine and terrestrial components of the coastal zone imply that coastal zone management should always consider both the marine and terrestrial portions of the coastal zone, as well as the river basins draining into it. Since the extent of the zone over which the land and the sea interact is area specific, it is not appropriate to give a general a priori geographic definition of the "coastal zone". Indeed, frequently important driving forces or areas of impact are located in other administrative units and possibly far from the coastline as many of the systems influencing the coastal zone (transportation networks, demographic flows, changes in terrestrial land use, pollution transport systems, etc) are physically dispersed. In the case of small islands, coastal zone management will normally be synonymous with planning and management of the entire island and its surrounding marine area.

2. A Long Term Perspective --

The needs of both present and future generations must be considered concurrently and equally, ensuring that decisions respect the "precautionary principle", and do not foreclose options for the future. Successful planning and management for the coastal zone must acknowledge the inherent uncertainty of the future, and must be set in an institutional framework that looks beyond the present political cycle.

3. Adaptive Management during a Gradual Process --

Integrated planning and management is a process that develops and evolves over the course of years or decades. ICZM does not guarantee the immediate resolution of all coastal zone problems, but rather works towards the integration of policies, programmes and activities for management of the coastal zone, as a basis for resolving or avoiding specific problems. Good information provision is a basis to building understanding, which develops motivation and mutual trust, which in turn lead to co-operation and collaboration, and eventually shared responsibilities and true integration. The ICZM process requires monitoring so that it can be adjusted through adaptive management, as problems and knowledge evolve.

4. Reflect Local Specificity --

There is a wide diversity among the coastal zones of Europe, including variations in physical, ecological, social, cultural, institutional and economic characteristics. ICZM must be rooted in a thorough understanding of the specific characteristics of the area in question, including an appreciation of the specific pressures and driving forces that are influencing its dynamics. Specific solutions to coastal zone problems must address specific needs. Actions taken at the EU level must be sufficiently flexible to respect this diversity.

This principle also implies a need to ensure the collection and availability to decision-makers of appropriate data and relevant information, including informal traditional knowledge, concerning both the terrestrial and marine components of the coastal zone in question.

5. Work with Natural Processes --

The natural processes and dynamics of coastal systems are in continual, and sometimes sudden, flux. By working with these natural processes, rather than against them, and by respecting the limits (or 'carrying capacity') imposed by natural processes, we make our activities more environmentally sustainable and more economically profitable in the long run.

6. Participatory Planning --

Participatory planning works to incorporate the perspectives of all of the relevant stakeholders (including maritime interests, recreational users, and fishing communities) into the planning process. Collaborative involvement helps to ensure identification of real issues, harnesses local knowledge, and builds commitment and shared responsibility. It can reduce conflict among stakeholders and generate more implementable solutions. Extensive information campaigns may be necessary to convince certain stakeholders of their personal interest in participation. The time and effort involved in participatory planning should not be underestimated.

7. Support & Involvement of all Relevant Administrative Bodies -

Administrative policies, programmes and plans (land use, energy, tourism, regional development, etc.) set the context for the management of coastal areas and their natural resources. A strictly voluntary, non-governmental approach to ICZM will thus tend to run into serious limitations, particularly when the process moves into the phase of implementing consensual decisions.

While it is essential to engage local authorities from the start of the coastal zone management process, there is an equal need for commitment from all levels and sectors of administration. Addressing the full set of problems in a coastal zone will often require a nested set of planning and management actions at different scales. The Demonstration Programme project leaders have affirmed that coastal zone management is not effective if it is not supported by all levels of administration, as well as by all of the relevant sectoral branches of administration. This support should include a willingness to adapt legislative, regulatory and financial instruments when necessary and to provide the institutional capacity for data collection, maintenance, and documentation. The development of mutually supportive actions and linkages between levels and sectors of administration, and the co-ordination of their policy, is essential; there is a need to ensure that the various individual administrative and legal instruments which influence the coastal zone are mutually compatible and coherent. The collaboration and involvement of different administrative bodies does not necessarily imply the need for new institutional structures, but rather the adoption of procedures or methods to allow the existing structures and institutions to cooperate.

8. Use of a Combination of Instruments --

Coastal zone management requires the use of multiple instruments, including a mix of law, economic instruments, voluntary agreements, information provision, technological solutions, research and education. Regulations and economic interventions can be important tools for resolving conflicts between activities, however, the correct mix in a specific area will depend on the problems at hand and the institutional and cultural context. In all cases, however, coastal zone management should work to ensure coherence between legal instruments and administrative objectives, and between planning and management.