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Consultation on Maritime Policy

On 7 June 2006, the European Commission adopted a Green Paper on a Future Maritime Policy for the European Union. The Green Paper is accompanied by a number of background documents which have been produced by European Commission Working Groups and by the Maritime Policy Task Force which oversaw the drafting of the Green Paper.

Green Paper as adopted by the Commission

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Green Paper in brochure format

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This Green Paper is the result of over a year of consulting with stakeholders, identifying gaps between sea-related sectoral policy areas and attempting to adopt best practice and learn from obstacles and challenges. The mandate has been to examine all economic activities of Europeans which are linked to or impact on the oceans and seas, as well as all the policies dealing with them, with a view to finding the best way to extract more benefit from the oceans in a sustainable manner.

This Green Paper will be a success if it forges a consensus among stakeholders – the Member States and citizens – that the EU needs to look at the oceans and seas in an integrated manner, if Europe is to maintain its resource base and to continue being competitive in maritime affairs.

The Commission is aware that this Green Paper addresses a very broad range of what have traditionally been regarded as separate activities and policy areas. The idea of conducting an integrated analysis of maritime activities leading to coordinated actions is new.

The Green Paper did not propose immediate action but rather highlighted a number of areas where integrated effort might either provide benefits for a number of individual sectoral policy areas or help to resolve conflicts between them. It posed a number of questions ranging from the fundamental "Should the EU have an integrated maritime policy?", to more detailed issues.

The Commission sought answers to these questions and solicited further new ideas in a public consultation which lasted  from 7 June 2006 until 30 June 2007.

The contributions to the consultation have been analysed by the Commission. The report of the consultation [PDF~160 Kb] was presented by the Commission on 10 October 2007, with the integrated EU maritime policy package.