Recommendation 1888 (2009)1

Towards a new ocean governance

1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 1694 (2009) “Towards a new ocean governance”.

2. The Assembly draws attention to the proposals in the Blue Book issued in 2007 under the title “An integrated maritime policy for the European Union”, which call for Europe to take steps as quickly as possible to define policies and actions geared towards a common vision of the role of the oceans for the future of humankind.

3. The Assembly also refers to the principles set out in the EurOcean intergovernmental project for co-ordinating maritime scientific and technological information.

4. It also believes that the Council of Europe is the most appropriate institution for promoting a new vision of the oceans through a new legal and institutional framework aimed at establishing a new type of governance of the oceans.

5. In view of the increase in maritime insecurity and in illegal immigration, human trafficking and piracy, the Assembly underlines the need to take measures to guarantee the social rights of people who work on the sea as set out in the European Social Charter (ETS No. 35) and to establish standards for maritime security and pollution.

6. In the more specific case of the North Atlantic, the Assembly notes that there have been rapid changes in the nature of the pollution it suffers. Indeed, its waters have also been affected by land-based pollution, shipping, over-exploitation of resources and oil production.

7. The Assembly observes that new regions, such as the Arctic and Greenland, are being intensively exploited, and that this can have harmful consequences for the environment and climate change in general.

8. The Assembly therefore calls on the Committee of Ministers to:

8.1. instruct a committee of experts to define a legal and institutional framework for new ocean governance;

8.2. invite the Parliamentary Assembly to take part in the work of the committee of experts.

9. The Assembly also recommends that the Committee of Ministers call on governments of member states to:

9.1. take part in the EurOcean intergovernmental project;

9.2. promote the establishment and proper management of marine protected areas.

10. The Assembly also calls on the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe to:

10.1. analyse and encourage cases of good practice in sharing information and governance of the seas and oceans at regional level;

10.2. develop awareness-raising programmes that deal with defending and conserving the oceans and their potential;

10.3. adopt policies for coastline management, sewage treatment, supervision of economic activity and water basin preservation.

1. Assembly debate on 2 October 2009 (35th Sitting) (see Doc.12005, report of the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs, rapporteur: Mrs de Melo). Text adopted by the Assembly on 2 October 2009 (35th Sitting).