Marine Strategy Framework Directive
Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy


This Directive establishes a framework within which Member States shall take the necessary measures to achieve or maintain good environmental status in the marine environment by the year 2020 at the latest. For this purpose, marine strategies shall be developed and implemented in order to:

  1. protect and preserve the marine environment, prevent its deterioration or, where practicable, restore marine ecosystems in areas where they have been adversely affected; and
  2. prevent and reduce inputs in the marine environment, with a view to phasing out pollution as defined in Article 3(8), so as to ensure that there are no significant impacts on or risks to marine biodiversity, marine ecosystems, human health or legitimate uses of the sea.

Each EU Member State shall, in respect of each marine region or subregion concerned, develop a marine strategy for its marine waters consisting of preparation (initial assessment, determination of good environmental status, establishment of environmental targets and monitoring programmes) and programmes of measures.



European Parliament and European Council
Date / journal vol no.
Signed: 17 June 2008 Entered into force: 15 July 2008