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Sectors: Environment, Research

Beneficiaries: Administrations States, Agencies Chambers, International Organisation, Non-profit organisations, Research centres, Universities

Regions: European Union

Category: Call for proposals


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Responsible: European Commission


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The general objective of this call for proposals is to support the next phase of MSFD implementation, in particular to achieve regionally coherent, coordinated and consistent updates of the determinations of GES, initial assessments and sets of environmental targets by July 2018, in accordance with Article 17(2a and 2b), Article 5(2) and Article 3(5) of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC).

Priorities and funded actions:

– review, and where necessary, update the determinations of GES (MSFD Art. 9), following the recommendations of the Commission’s assessment and using the outcomes of the scientific and technical review of the GES Decision including a revised GES Decision if adopted, leading to determinations of GES which are consistent at the level of marine region or subregion as required under MSFD Art. 3(5). This could include the establishment of regional or subregional threshold values for GES criteria, adapted as necessary to the different characteristics within each region or subregion; 
– Update the 2012 assessment (MSFD Art. 8), in accordance with Annex III of MSFD and with the criteria and methodological standards in the GES Decision (using any revisions to these and the latest available EU guidance on assessments and reporting). This could focus on delivery of one or more parts of the assessment (i.e. Art. 8 (1a), (1b) and/or (1c)). For Art. 8(1a) and (1b), the assessments should deliver clear outcomes on the current status (state, pressures and impacts), on trends in status (improving, stable, deteriorating) and, where possible, provide an estimate of the distance from GES for the relevant descriptors and criteria. Where relevant, this could include development of methodological aspects of assessments including gathering and processing of available data. In addition, develop ways of communicating assessment results in accessible manner to general public and policymakers;
– update the environmental targets and associated indicators (MSFD Art. 10), addressing these where appropriate at regional or subregional level, or developing common approaches to the establishment of national targets; 
– develop tools and mechanisms to describe and assess progress in the implementation of the programme of measures, in order to deliver the report requested under MSFD Art. 18; 
– improve the management of and access to data used in the assessments and from monitoring programmes, in accordance with MSFD Art. 19(3) and the INSPIRE Directive (Directive 2007/2/EC establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community) and, where possible, make it available via the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet);
– establish nested sets of geographical assessment areas for a region or subregion, to provide a basis for the Art. 8 assessments, taking account of the latest EU guidance on their establishment and use, including considerations of ecological relevance for the assessments and policy and management needs for MSFD implementation;
– further improve monitoring programmes (MSFD Art. 11), particularly regarding as appropriate the coordination of monitoring in a region or subregion, the development of joint monitoring programmes, and/or improvements in their design, which lead to more efficient and effective monitoring particularly for assessment of the distribution and extent of pressures and their impacts. This could focus on particular descriptors and could include linking to monitoring programmes for other EU policies (e.g. Water Framework Directive, Birds and Habitats Directive, CFP). It could also include making more effective use of monitoring undertaken by the private sector (e.g. operational monitoring required in industry licences).

– The priorities correspond to the objectives mentionned above, they are shared between bassin/region and subbassin/subregion 

Among financed actions
– set up working arrangements which will ensure that the respective national and regional cooperation processes will be able to contribute to and benefit from the envisaged work; successful implementation of projects funded under this call shall include establishing effective links to the relevant RSCs (to ensure coordination across the regions or subregions) and to Member State-relevant national administrations (to ensure the outcomes are MSFD oriented);
– ensure, where possible, that any actions proposed make best use of existing approaches and solutions already found and agreed in other (sub)regions;
– develop and demonstrate best practices of regional or subregional cooperation;