memorandum by Mrs Maria Manuela de Melo, Rapporteur
1 A new
vision for the oceans
1 An integrated and interdisciplinary vision for the
oceans, which is becoming increasingly widely accepted, is consistent
with the aims of the Council of Europe in terms of the discussion
through its organs of “questions of common concern” (Article 1b
of the Statute of the Council of Europe). The vision is based both on
recognition of the limited resources of the oceans and on the increasing
use made of them.
2 The scientific community, experts and policy makers all agree
that the environmental and social issues affecting our planet are
all the more significant when it comes to the oceans: the concentration
of people in coastal regions, rising sea levels, water pollution
and acidification, declining biodiversity and the scarceness of fish
stocks are worrying trends confronting the international community.
3 The oceans are once again the focus of attention. Since the
entry into force of the United Nations Convention on the Law of
the Sea, the issue has acquired greater significance. At play here
have been political and economic factors such as globalisation and
the oceans’ role in it and environmental factors relating to the objectives
of sustainable development.
4 To address the new situation, the United Nations Convention
on the Law of the Sea has been supplemented by other instruments,
including the New York Agreement on the Conservation and Management of
Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, the Convention
on Biological Diversity, the Rio Declaration on Environment and
Development, Agenda 21, in particular Chapter 17, the Johannesburg Summit,theKyoto
Protocol, numerous documents adopted by the United Nations Food
and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), in particular the Code of Conduct
for Responsible Fisheries, and the many instruments of the International
Maritime Organisation on pollution, shipping safety and seafarers.
This body of standards may be regarded as the “new ocean regime”.
2 European Union
5 The European Union’s future maritime policy will
involve an integrated approach based on political and institutional
co-ordination with sound scientific and technological backing.
6 The European Union initiated debate in 2005 with a proposal
on the establishment of a European maritime policy consistent with
the priorities of the Lisbon Strategy and the Göteborg Sustainable
Development Strategy: “Towards a future Maritime Policy for the
Union: A European vision for the oceans and seas”. In June 2006,
a Green Paper setting out the main thrusts of a future integrated
maritime policy for the Union was submitted for public consultation,
with various stakeholders involved in the process. The Commission subsequently
adopted a communication on “An integrated maritime policy for the
European Union”, known as the Blue Book. It was approved in October
2007, marking a decisive step towards the establishment of an integrated
maritime policy for the European Union.
7 The management of oceans and coastal regions is no longer
considered from a purely sectoral angle but as a whole. The policy
agreed is based on two pillars: the Lisbon Strategy – which seeks
to stimulate growth and create more and better jobs in the European
Union on the basis of excellence in research, high quality scientific
and technological know-how and proper access to information – and
defending and improving the biophysical state of the oceans and
8 In the EU context, the establishment of major marine ecosystems
and environmental regions has also been approved. The Natura Network
and marine protected areas are further useful instruments for safeguarding
9 A passage in the closing pages of the Green Paper states the
following: “As the awareness in Europe of the links and interactions
between the oceans and seas and many different maritime activities
grows, this will not only lead to better policy making and to the
identification and exploitation of new, sustainable opportunities, but
also to the development of a common vision of the role of the oceans
in our lives, the broad heritage on which we can build, and the
rich promise of our maritime future.”
10 The Blue Book highlights this new vision of the oceans, underlining
that we are at a crossroads in our relationship with them. Although
our increased scientific and technological know-how enables us to
extract ever more value from the oceans, it is also leading to conflicts
of use and to the deterioration of the marine environment. The solution
to the problem lies in sustainable development of the oceans, based
on a “European strategy for marine and maritime research”, which
the European Commission had undertaken to present in 2008. In the
area of social rights, in particular the rights of seafarers, the
Blue Book supports the integration of the ILO Convention on maritime
labour standards into Community law.
11 The geography of European Union countries, some of which have
overseas territories, and Europe’s international influence mean
that a future European integrated maritime policy will have global
significance and be well suited to addressing the problems and potential
of the oceans.
3 The Council of
Europe and implementation of the European maritime policy
12 Given the fact that it includes non-European Union
European countries and has some major coastal countries from other
continents as observers, and in view of its influence in environmental
and social policymaking, the Council of Europe has a key part to
play in implementing an integrated maritime policy extending beyond
the EU. In this connection, the Blue Book supports discussions with
countries such as Norway, the United States, Canada, Australia and
Japan which have already adopted an integrated maritime approach.
The nature and membership of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council
of Europe mean that it has a key role here.
13 The Council of Europe is also favourably positioned with regard
to other areas deemed vital in the Blue Book such as shared responsibility
over the seas which the EU shares with its closest neighbours and
support for maritime policy and law of the sea capacity building
in developing countries.
14 In the context of closer ties between the Council of Europe
and the EU, there is an urgent need for the Assembly to consider
issues related to the EU’s integrated policy which seeks to maximise
the sustainable use of the oceans and seas, build a knowledge and
innovation base for the maritime policy, deliver the highest quality
of life in coastal regions, promote Europe’s leadership in international
maritime affairs and raise the visibility of maritime Europe. The
Blue Book also covers other aspects related to the principles defended
by the Council of Europe, in particular the rights of seafarers,
which should be considered in the context of the social rights enshrined
in the European Social Charter, and the right to maritime security,
where illegal immigration, human trafficking and piracy are serious
causes for concern. “New” rights must also be taken into account,
in particular the right to fairer distribution of resources (highlighted
at the Johannesburg Summit in 2002) and, even more so, the right
to a high-quality environment. These rights, which come under the
principles of human solidarity and sustainable development, are
among the Council of Europe’s core concerns.
15 The situation of the oceans against the background of climate
change (their ability to store CO2 is threatened by acidification)
and the great potential they offer (in particular, renewable energies,
oil, water resources, food, biotechnology and fishing) are issues
of particular interest to the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture
and Local and Regional Affairs. At the recent spring session, the
President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the
Council of Europe said: “I would like to stress in this respect that
the environmental crisis in which our planet finds itself today
can only be resolved if local and regional authorities take the
lead, alongside national governments and international organisations,
in pursuing innovative approaches and favouring (…) change in citizens’
In 1998, the Assembly drew up two reports which were already
in keeping with the thrust of the Blue Book. One of the reports,
“Future challenges in European maritime science and technology”,
by Pedro Roseta, already proposed the establishment of a European
body for co-ordination in maritime affairs, or a kind of European
maritime agency. The second report, on sustainable exploitation
of living marine resources, by Lino de Carvalho, showed the urgent
need for concerted action. In the same year, the Assembly adopted Resolution 1169 (1998)
and Recommendation 1388
on “The oceans: state of the marine environment and
new trends in international law of the sea”.
17 According to the oceanographic expert, Professor Ruivo, it
will be necessary “to find other advanced methods of managing the
oceans and their resources, while taking account of the interests
of future generations.” This will have to be done by an integrated
institution, as, in his view, “there is a major difference between
the management of the oceans and other areas of international co-operation.
The oceans are not only dynamic and interactive; they also provide
resources and a variety of environmental services.” Any such integrated
institution should be established within the Council of Europe.
18 The need to bring together all the stakeholders and institutions
with a view to agreeing and implementing a European maritime policy
was also reasserted at the seminar on “Environmental and scientific
issues of the North Atlantic: A European perspective”, organised
by the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional
Affairs in the Azores on 18 October 2007.
4 The case of the
19 In view of the diversity of its major marine ecosystems,
the North Atlantic offers a case study of the challenges facing
the oceans and a testing ground for new types of governance. It
is a maritime environment directly linked to Europe, which stands
out among the oceans for its size and the use made of its resources, as
well as its role in history.
4.1 In the North Atlantic,
we find all the dangers which threaten the oceans:
20 In recent decades, there have been rapid changes
in the nature of the pollution of the North Atlantic. The ocean’s
“state of health” has been affected, above all, by pollution from
land-based sources carried out to sea by rivers and the atmosphere.
Overall, it accounts for 77% of marine pollution. The other sources
are shipping (12%), over-exploitation of resources (10%) and oil
21 Pollution from land-based sources is linked to increased human
settlement in coastal areas, which very often leads to excessive
urbanisation, the concentration of business activities with a high
environmental impact and the pollution of rivers. In addition to
the release or deliberate dumping of extremely dangerous waste (pesticides,
heavy metals, radioactive waste), the North Atlantic is also affected
by pollution caused by shipping.
22 The European Union alone uses shipping to transport 90% of
its goods for foreign trade and 40% of those for domestic trade.
The vessels at sea include increasing numbers of oil tankers which
are highly polluting, not only in the event of accidents but also
on a less visible but continuous basis through the release of hydrocarbons –
which contain mutagenic and carcinogenic components – and tributyltin
(TBT). TBT compounds, which are highly toxic even in small concentrations,
are used as antifouling agents in the paint for ships’ hulls. They
pass through the food chain and can cause serious damage to the
human immune system.
4.1.2 Impact of climate
23 Climate change and the greenhouse effect are closely
interrelated with the oceans. The most obvious sign of this interrelationship
is the rise in sea levels, which is a cause of concern for countries
with high levels of population in low-lying coastal areas.
24 This situation has already created a new humanitarian problem:
environmental refugees. The concept is still being defined, but
according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
Societies, nowadays there are more refugees due to environmental
reasons than due to armed conflicts. The number of environmental
refugees varies greatly between authors, depending on the definition
adopted. According to the estimates of various authors, such as
Richard Black, the number could currently be approximately 10 million, while
other authors point to 50 million people by 2010 having being forced
to flee the countries or regions where they lived because of the
rise in sea levels, desertification, drying of aquifers, amongst
other severe environmental changes, with serious implications for
25 In 2007, in Papua New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean, a number
of inhabitants were already forced to leave the islands they inhabited
due to the rise in sea levels. They can be considered the first
environmental refugees for this motive.
26 This new category of “refugees” is not yet protected by international
agreements, which is a cause of concern for the UN High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR).
27 The phenomenon of the rise in sea levels is related to the
reduction of the polar ice caps and glaciers, the largest fresh
water reserves of the planet. The effects of the thawing of the
ice are reflected not only in the rise in sea levels, but also in
the alteration of currents, disequilibrium of ecosystems and increase
in the greenhouse effect.
28 It is more difficult to determine and measure what is happening
under the ocean surface as a result of the increase in temperatures
and in CO2 levels in the atmosphere. It is well-known that the deep
seas hold the largest stock of carbon on the planet. In the deep
seas, the high pressures and low temperatures mean that the carbon
gas is in the form of methane, which freezes as methyl hydrates.
29 Every year, the stocks increase with the fixing of some of
the CO2 from the atmosphere captured by marine plants for photosynthesis,
under the process known as the “biological pump”. Yet the increase
in CO2 in the atmosphere is leading to rapid acidification of seawater,
causing serious harm to plankton, which can reduce oceans’ ability
to absorb carbon dioxide.
30 Another consequence of global warming is the rapid change
in the temperature of seawater, currents and plankton ecosystems.
Data from the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) show acceleration
in primary production and an increase in the quantity of benthic
animals throughout the North Atlantic.
31 At the same time, great reductions can be seen in certain
fish species, for instance North Sea cod. Rising temperatures towards
the Arctic are causing major migration of plankton and, for the
first time in 800 000 years, the movement of phytoplankton from
the Pacific to the northwest Atlantic – made possible by rapid melting
of the Arctic ice in northern Canada – has been observed.
32 Plankton is sounding the alarm regarding the consequences
of the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere, which are unpredictable
but will have an extremely negative socio-economic impact.
33 The ecosystems of the oceans and coastlines provide
a wide range of goods and services that are fundamental to continued
34 According to the world conference on Marine Biodiversity,
held in Valencia, Spain, in November 2008, all ecosystem services
ultimately derive from ecosystem functions, arising from the interactions
of organisms with their environment activities in the ecosystem.
These services are provided both on a global scale – including the
production of oxygen, nutrient cycles, carbon capture through photosynthesis
and carbon sequestration – and on a regional scale, including the
stabilisation of coastlines, bioremediation of waste, and a variety
of aesthetic and cultural uses. A power bound estimate of the total
economic value of this ecosystem services indicates that it exceeds,
by at least two orders of magnitude, the value of the more usual
forms of direct extraction of resources. Without biodiversity there
would be no ecosystem services. Maintaining biological diversity
is crucial to maintaining ecosystem resilience and hence the continued
provision of ecosystem services. However, only one percent of the
oceans are protected by marine protection areas, whereas by 2012
there should be networks representing the different ecosystems of
35 Fishing is regarded as the activity which poses the greatest
threat to marine ecosystems and biodiversity, and fish stocks are
believed to be among the most exploited resources. Legislation and international
agreements are moving in the direction of protecting fish stocks
and preserving fish biodiversity. Given that economic activity
related to fishing and aquaculture is very important in the European
context, the management of fisheries is currently based on an ecosystem
36 Nevertheless, between 22 and 53% of species fished in the
northeast Atlantic have fallen below safe biological levels, some
irreversibly. In spite of the development of new fishery technologies,
catches have fallen substantially, both because of the measures
taken to ensure the sustainability of the stocks and also because of
the reduction in the latter. According to Eurostat, 8 000 000 tonnes
of fish were caught in the EU 27 in 1995. The figure fell to approximately
7 500 000 tonnes in 2000 and almost 5 500 000 tonnes in 2005.
37 The countries with significant fishery sectors include the
United Kingdom (with approximately 650 000 tonnes caught in 2005),
Spain (with approximately 750 000 tonnes in 2005) and France (almost
600 000 tonnes in 2005). These countries all have North Atlantic
38 Of the total EU 27 catch in 2005, 74% came from the northeast
Atlantic (and the remainder mainly from the Mediterranean, the central,
south and northwest Atlantic and the Indian Ocean).
39 However, it is not just fish stocks that are under threat.
Marine diversity as a whole is suffering the consequences of climate
change and human activity. Some measures taken to manage marine
biodiversity sustainably are nevertheless beginning to produce effects,
for instance the establishment of the Natura Network within the
EU, the establishment of marine protected areas and the extension
of these areas to zones outside national waters.
4.1.4 Uncoordinated coastal
40 While the impacts on coastal areas have never been
so intense, there is growing awareness that what happens on land
is vital to the preservation of the oceans. That is why integrated
coastal management is becoming increasingly important.
41 The reduction in sedimentation caused by the building of dams,
the extraction of sand and the building of flood barriers has combined
with the pressure of urbanisation to speed up coastal erosion.
Moreover, anthropogenic forcing and climate change are causing a
rise in sea levels, which, according to some data, could reach 1.5 mm/year
in the coming years.
42 Lastly, the use of coastal areas for activities as varied
as tourism, fishing, port services, industry and urban development
has also heightened the pressure on coastlines. In the North Atlantic,
where there are particularly high levels of urban development and
population along the coast, an approach geared towards integrated
coastal management is all the more appropriate.
4.2 In spite of these
problems, the North Atlantic has great resources and great potential
4.2.1 Fishery resources
43 The level of fish stocks in the North Atlantic is
still significant, in spite of intensive fishing. The fishery sector
must take account of the need to develop the fishing effort with
increasing care (in particular in terms of the quotas applied to
catches and the vessels), to strengthen the link between science
and the use of stocks and to defend the existence of marine protected
areas. These three factors are vital to the sustainable development
of the fishery industry and to the preservation of fish species.
44 Alongside capture fisheries, there has been growth in aquaculture.
According to Eurostat, it accounted for 13% of the fish produced
in the EU 27 in 1995, 17% in 2000 and 18% in 2005. The increase
in supplies from fish farming could help relieve the pressure of
demand on the capture fisheries sector. However, fish farming is
an activity where attention also has to be paid to environmental
protection and to possible conflict between the various uses made
of the oceans.
45 According to Eurostat figures for 2007, the United Kingdom,
France and Spain, the coastal states of the northeast Atlantic,
are among the leaders in the development of aquaculture.
4.2.2 Biological resources
46 The deep seas make up 85% of the European Atlantic
Ocean (OSPAR zone) and 76% of its exclusive economic zones. In the
middle of the North Atlantic, along the underwater mountain range
of which the Azores form the visible part, fields of hydrothermal
vents identical to those discovered in the Pacific in 1978 have
now been found. They are home to forms of life which would not be
expected in the relevant conditions, constituting a hitherto unknown
animal kingdom – the archaea –
which employs chemosynthesis to survive. This discovery has opened
up new prospects for studying the appearance of life on earth.
47 Three of the hydrothermal fields in the Azores zone are currently
being studied: Rainbow, at a depth of 2 300 m, Lucky Strike, at
1 700 m, and Menez Gwen, at 840 m. The studies conducted show that
the walls of the volcanic vents are rich in gold, silver, copper,
zinc and cobalt, with the surrounding area being a habitat for endemic,
diverse and advanced fauna which is of great interest in biological
and biotechnological terms. Under extreme conditions – without light,
with little oxygen, low pH levels, high pressure and temperatures
(over 350°), seismic and volcanic activity and fluids rich in heavy
metals – organisms present in large quantities (over 20 kg biomass/m2)
have developed genetic structures for adapting to the environmental
conditions and using the very toxic hydrogen sulphide to produce
the energy they need via chemosynthesis.
48 LabHORTA, a laboratory attached to the Department of Oceanography
of the University of the Azores, pools the results of an ambitious
scientific research programme involving scientists of different
disciplines and origins. It is hoped that application of the knowledge
acquired will be of direct benefit to human health and well-being,
in particular in cases of exposure to mercury, DNA lesions and immunological
4.2.3 Renewable energy
49 The North Atlantic has all the potentialities for
the exploitation of energy offered by the oceans.
50 In addition to “off-shore aeolian energy”, which opens up
the oceans to a form of energy production with limitations on land,
the sea also offers the immense energy potential of its waves and
51 Wave energy, already being developed along various points
of the European coastline, has just entered a new phase in Portugal:
production of electricity on a pre-commercial scale, using industrially
produced equipment. Wave energy, the potential expansion of which
is vast, could and should be a central area of R&D in Europe.
52 We should also consider energy which can be obtained from
carbon deposits in deep sea beds, estimated to contain twice as
many carbon resources as all the petrol, gas and coal resources
found on the Earth, as well as the energy which can be obtained
from biomass, through the catalytic use of bacteria living in symbiosis
with the fauna of hydrothermal sources.
4.2.4 Other resources
are also found, such as:
18.104.22.168 Water and mineral
53 Water is a particularly important ocean resource.
Four-fifths of all the water resources existing on the Earth are
found in the oceans. Considering that, of the total water of the
Earth, only 3% is potable, the water of the oceans constitutes an
enormous reservoir, especially now that desalinisation is, due to
technological progress, increasingly more easily achieved.
54 In addition to making sea water potable, desalinisation also
allows for the use of the salt which results from the process. Sodium
chloride represents 3% of the composition of sea water, being its
most abundant mineral resource as well as its most extracted. This
is followed by magnesium, also extracted in large quantities. Growth
in extraction shows enormous potentialities. However, the equilibrium
of the mineral presence in sea water should not be altered, in the
light of the example given by the overexploitation of other resources
and its harmful consequences.
55 To start with, most of these resources tend to be extracted
from locations on land, due to their easier access. However, the
exhausting of land resources has led to an increase in the exploitation
of the sea.
56 In addition to these mineral resources, there are many others,
which have still to be discovered or developed – with some chemical
tests indicating approximately 60 chemical elements dissolved in
sea water – constituting true potentialities of the ocean.
22.214.171.124 Geological resources
at the bottom of the sea
57 Many and highly valuable geological resources are
already well known in spite of the fact that most sea beds are as
yet inaccessible, which therefore suggests there are many more.
Apart from oil and gas, geological resources include aggregates
and marine placers, phosphorites, polymetallic sulphites, manganese
nodules and crusts and methane hydrates. Currently we extract tin,
titanium and diamonds, resulting from mineral deposits present in
the oceans due to the erosion of the initial sites of their formation.
Manganese nodules – agglomerates of various minerals such as nickel,
cobalt or copper – are paid special attention in the United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea, and continue to be protected,
partly also due to the cost of their extraction.
58 Their extraction is an important vector in the “sea economy”,
but requires the prior definition of rules to prevent the destruction
of the ecosystems with which they coexist.
4.3 The North Atlantic
and marine information management
59 Marine information management is a fundamental aspect
of ocean governance. This was recognised by the Council of Europe
in a report (Oceans) published in April 1999, which stated that
“there is a growing need for dialogue
between scientists and political and administrative decision-makers.
It is most important for decision-makers to tell the scientific
community what kind of information is needed to make their decisions,
and for the scientific community to communicate and provide clear,
policy-oriented information to the decision-makers.”
60 European maritime policy also recognises the role of marine
information management as a key component of integrated ocean development.
The Blue Book calls for the establishment of a European Marine Data
and Observation Network. However, while such a network is vital,
efficient marine information management is equally important.
61 Research and know-how are now recognised as being vital in
relation to ocean issues but they must both be accessible and be
shared among scientists and between them, policy-makers and economic
players at local, regional and European level.
62 EurOcean is a model example of a body fostering synergy in
the fields of maritime science and technology, which also seeks
to avoid the dispersion and duplication of know-how. It compiles
the findings of the research conducted by national bodies and the
information available on the many European websites concerning the
maritime sector on a special portal.
63 In order to be able to reach all stakeholders, marine information
management must encourage the development of quantitative indicators
and common standards for marine science and technologies, help ensure
co-operation and co-ordination between European bodies in information
sharing and undertake public education activities. It is necessary
to set up a European Maritime Information Network alongside the
European Marine Data and Observation Network in order to establish
a co-ordinated, cross-sectoral information and knowledge platform
on ocean issues.
64 The support of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of
Europe for the development of information management tools for ocean
governance is primordial.
4.4 The North Atlantic
65 The different and sometimes concurrent uses made
of the resources available mean that growing attention is being
paid to ocean governance. The key features of this new type of governance
are as follows: public management, transparency, existence of a
clear legal framework, information and accountability. The specific
principles of ocean governance are sustainable development, the
precautionary principle, the polluter-pays principle, self-regulation,
conservation of biodiversity and intergenerational equity (already
present in the Brundtland report), as well as the principles of
integration and consensus, the latter of which played a major role
in the negotiations on the United Nations Convention on the Law
of the Sea.
66 The new ocean regime is currently going through a phase of
unprecedented structuring in institutional terms. The experience
of implementation of an integrated maritime policy for the European
Union is a significant advance towards global governance, the next
stage being to extend it to other countries.
Several agreements on the governance of specific aspects concerning
the North Atlantic have already been concluded, although not all
have come into force, and clearly illustrate the need for co-ordination
between countries. In particular, these include:
- The Convention for the Protection
of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR Convention),
Oslo, 1972 – Paris, 1974 (entered into force in 1988);
- The Convention on Future Multilateral Co-operation in
the North-East Atlantic Fisheries (entered into force in 1982);
- The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
(ICES), an intergovernmental organisation which co-ordinates and
promotes marine research in the North Atlantic (the oldest organisation
of its kind in the world, 1964 Convention).
two other agreements, which have not entered into force:
- The co-operation agreement for
the protection of the coasts and waters of the north-east Atlantic
against pollution (Lisbon Agreement) 17 October 1990;
- Protocol to the Lisbon Agreement, the Co-operation agreement
for the protection of the coasts and waters of the north-east Atlantic
against pollution by hydrocarbons and other harmful substances of 20 May
68 It is necessary to extend this new, integrated, multidisciplinary
vision of the problems and potential of the oceans to the whole
planet. The oceans, which cover two-thirds of the Earth’s surface,
are where the most serious environmental issues are to be found.
Faced with this situation, a number of legal instruments have been
introduced to complement the United Nations’ Convention on the Law
of the Sea. These instruments make up a set of regulations usually
known as the “new ocean regime.”
69 In October 2007, the European Union published the Blue Book
“An Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union”. It is based
on the one hand on the Lisbon Strategy to stimulate quantitative
and qualitative growth in employment based on scientific and technological
knowledge. And, on the other hand, to defending and improving the
biophysical statute of the oceans and their resources. Humanity’s
relationship with the oceans is at a crossroads: our ever expanding
technological and scientific knowledge is leading us to increasingly
exploit ocean resources, but this exploitation has resulted in conflicts
that pit the use of these resources against the deterioration of
the marine environment. The EU also believes that it will only be
possible to define policies and possible new action, and develop
a joint vision concerning the role of the oceans in our lives and
for the future of humanity, if Europeans are made aware of the connections
and interactions between the seas and oceans, and the numerous marine
activities. In this context, it is essential for different scientific institutions
to share information using networks that can be accessed by a variety
70 Due to its supra-EU dimension and the nature of its mission,
the Council of Europe is the only institution for promoting this
new vision of the oceans and for defining the legal and institutional
framework necessary for substantiating new forms of governance,
based on public management, transparency, a clear legal framework, shared
information, assessment and accountability. Many principles in the
Blue Book on environmental protection measures can be found in the
resolutions and recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly of the
Council of Europe. These texts, which are included in its publication
entitled “Oceans”, were involved in the founding of EurOcean, and
are included in the priorities of the Committee on the Environment,
Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs as well as of other committees,
as can be seen from the most recently approved documents or reports
under preparation. The possibility of creating a spirit of co-operation
in the heart of Assembly, involving integrating data and solutions
from a sectorial approach, would set an excellent example for the
public and private institutions involved in defining and implementing
a new form of governance of the oceans, and would also scale up
the Council of Europe’s increasing collaboration with the European
Union and with the United Nations.
71 Having realised the irrationality, injustice and unsustainability
of exploiting the resources of the continents and seen their consequences,
the oceans should be considered as a place where it is still possible to
avoid repeating the same human rights violations.
Reporting committee: Committee
on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs
Reference to committee: Doc.
11463, Reference No. 3405 of 21 January 2008
Draft resolution and draft recommendation adopted
unanimously by the committee on 4 September 2009
Members of the Committee:
Mr Alan Meale (Chairman), Mrs Maria Manuela de Melo (1st Vice-Chairperson), Mr Juha Korkeaoja (2nd Vice-Chairman),
Mr Cezar Florin Preda (3rd Vice-Chairman), Mr Remigijus Ačas, Mr Ruhi Açikgöz, Mr Artsruni Aghajanyan, Mr Miloš Aligrudić,
Mr Alejandro Alonso Nùñez (alternate: Mr Gabino Puche Rodriguez Acosta), Mr Gerolf Annemans, Mr Miguel Arias Cañete,
Mr Alexander Babakov, Mr Ivan Brajović, Mrs Elvira Cortajarena Iturrioz, Mr Veleriu
Cosarciuc, Mr Vladimiro Crisafulli, Mr Taulant Dedja, Mr Hubert Deittert, Mr Karl Donabauer, Mr
Miljenko Dorić, Mr Gianpaolo
Dozzo, Mr Tomasz Dudziński,
Mr József Ékes, Mr Savo Erić, Mr Bill Etherington,
Mr Nigel Evans, Mr Joseph Falzon, Mr Relu Fenechiu, Mr Zahari
Georgiev, Mr Peter Götz, Mr Rafael Huseynov,
Mr Jean Huss, Mr Fazail Ibrahimli, Mr Ivan Ivanov, Mr Igor Ivanovski, Mr Bjørn Jacobsen, Mrs
Danuta Jazłowiecka, Mr Birkir Jon Jonsson, Mr Stanisław Kalemba,
Mr Guiorgui Kandelaki, Mr Haluk Koç,
Mr Bojan Kostres, Mr Pavol Kubovic, Mr Paul Lempens, Mr Anastosios
Liaskos, Mr François Loncle, Mr Aleksei Lotman, Mrs Kerstin Lundgren
(alternate: Mr Kent Olsson),
Mr Theo Maissen, Mrs Christine Marin,
Mr Yevhen Marmazov, Mr Bernard Marquet, Mr José Mendes Bota, Mr Peter Mitterrer,
Mr Pier Marino Mularoni, Mr Adrian Năstase, Mr Pasquale Nessa, Mr
Tomislav Nikolić, Mrs Carina Ohlsson, Mr Joe O’Reilly,
Mr Germinal Peiro (alternate: Mr Alain Cousin), Mr Ivan
Popescu, Mr René Rouquet,
Mrs Anta Rugāte, Mr Giacento Russo, Mr Fidias Sarikas, Mr Leander Schädler,
Mr Herman Scheer, Mr Mykola Shershun, Mr Hans Kristian Skibby, Mr
Ladislav Skopal, Mr Rainder Steenblock,
Mr Valerij Sudarenkov, Mr
Laszlo Szakacs, Mr Vyacheslav Timchenko, Mr Bruno Tobback (alternate:
Mr Daniel Ducarme), Mr Dragan
Todorovic, Mr Nikolay Tulaev, Mr Tomas Ulehla,
Mr Mustafa Ünal, Mr Peter Verlič, Mr Rudolf Vis,
Mr Harm Evert Waalkens, Mr Hansjörg Walter, Mrs Roudoula Zissi
N.B. The names of those members present at the meeting are
printed in bold.
Secretariat to the Committee: Mrs Agnès Nollinger, Mr Bogdan
Torcătoriu and Mrs Dana Karanjac