Marine Strategy Framework Directive: Innovative and participatory decision-making method for the identification of common measures in the Mediterranean [in Marine Policy]

Marine Policy, Volume 84, July 2017, Pages 82–89,714MVC~Z


The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) is the European Commission’s flagship initiative for the
protection of the European Seas, and the first holistic approach to ensuring that European Seas reach and are
maintained at what is called a ‘Good Environmental Status’ by the year 2020. Regional cooperation, especially
between neighbouring countries, and involvement of all interested parties, are horizontal principles of the
MSFD, and particularly apply to the definition of programmes of measures, the principal instrument through
which each Member State will implement its marine strategy. This paper presents the results from a dedicated,
participatory, structured decision-making process that was implemented within the framework of the ActionMed
project, which aimed to bring experts and policy/decision-makers from Mediterranean neighbouring countries
together, to discuss and agree upon common measures for implementation in their sub-regions. It shows that a
participatory approach, supported by customised, case specific intelligent tools, that follows expertly facilitated,
structured workshops can be a successful way to enhance sub-regional collaboration. The paper also presents the
top ranking measures, selected by experts and decision-makers for common implementation in two
Mediterranean sub-regions.