Action plan for an integrated maritime policy

In order to protect maritime resources, the European Commission plans to put in place an integrated, horizontal and cross-sector maritime policy, encompassing all aspects of our relationship with the seas and oceans. The management framework, the objectives and the instruments proposed by the Commission are developed in this Communication which is founded on the Lisbon and Gothenburg strategies.


Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 10 October 2007 on an Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union [COM(2007) 575 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The creation of an integrated maritime policy requires a precise management framework. The Commission has created a Maritime Policy task force to analyse the interactions between the sectoral policies and coordinate them. It has also requested help from the Agencies of the European Union (EU) with maritime-related functions to draw up new policies. In addition, the development of new maritime policies involves consultation of civil society and all stakeholders as well as comprehensive impact assessments.


The prime objective of an integrated maritime policy for the EU is to maximise sustainable use of the oceans and seas while enabling growth of the maritime economy and coastal regions. In order to ensure the competitiveness, safety and security of the sector, the European Commission commits to:

A second key objective is building a knowledge and innovation base for the maritime policy. Marine science, technology and research enable analysis of the effects of human activity on marine systems and put forward solutions to alleviate environmental degradation and the effects of climate change. The European Commission plans to:

An integrated policy also has the objective of delivering a higher quality of life in coastal and outermost regions, reconciled with economic development and environmental sustainability. The Commission therefore aims in particular to:

The EU intends, moreover, to promote its leading position in international maritime affairs. An integrated policy enables improved management of maritime affairs and the creation of EU priorities in this field. This is of particular importance given the global character of the problems encountered by the maritime sector. Therefore, the Commission will encourage:

The final objective of this integrated policy is raising the visibility of Maritime Europe and improving the image of this sector's activities and professions. To this end, the Commission proposes positive actions and tools such as:


Three instruments are of particular importance for creating common maritime policies:


The Communication follows on from the consultation launched in the Green paper on a Maritime Policy for the EU, by which the European Council of June asks the Commission to develop an action plan.


Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 October 2010 establishing a Programme to support the further development of an Integrated Maritime Policy [COM(2010) 494 final – Not published in the Official Journal]. This Proposal establishes a programme aimed at supporting the measures planned to further the development and implementation of the Integrated Maritime Policy. It is part of the continuation of preparatory actions and pilots projects to be launched between January 2011 and December 2013. The programme will provide financial resources for achieving the objectives and priorities set out in the action plan which was adopted in 2007.

Codecision procedure (COD/2010/0257)

Commission Communication of 8 October 2010 – Marine Knowledge 2020: marine data and observation for smart and sustainable growth [COM(2010) 461 – Not published in the Official Journal]. This Communication details an action plan which makes up one of the three cross-cutting tools provided for by the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy. This action plan is divided into three strands aimed at improving the reliability of marine data, making it more user-friendly and less expensive and stimulating competitiveness amongst the users of this data.

Commission Communication of 15 October 2009 - Towards the integration of maritime surveillance: A common information sharing environment for the EU maritime domain [COM(2009) 538 – Not published in the Official Journal]. This Communication relates to the second cross-cutting tool provided for by the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy. It sets out guiding principles for the development of a common information sharing environment for the EU maritime domain and launches the process towards its establishment. To achieve this, coordination and coherence between the European Commission, the Member States and interlocutors should be enhanced.

Communication from the Commission of 25 November 2008 – Roadmap for Maritime Spatial Planning: Achieving common principles in the EU [COM(2008) 791 final – Not published in the Official Journal]. Maritime Spatial Planning is an instrument of the Integrated Maritime Policy which helps to improve coordination between the parties involved and optimises the use of the seas and oceans. This Communication defines a set of fundamental principles inspired by current practice and existing legislation. These principles will serve as the basis for the discussions leading to the drafting of a common approach concerning Maritime Spatial Planning.

Report from the Commission of 15 October 2009 - Progress report on the EU's integrated maritime policy [COM(2009) 540 final – Not published in the Official Journal]. The Commission reviewed progress carried out under the framework of the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) since the adoption of the 2007 Communication and defined the six strategic directions for the future:

The Commission shall publish a document on the implementation of these six strategic directions in 2010.

Last updated: 03.12.2010