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Under the MSFD (Art 1.1), 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 that purpose (Art 1.2), marine strategies shall be developed and implemented, which must be kept up-to-date and reviewed every 6 years. As MSFD is now in the second 6-year cycle of implementation, with the updates of the initial assessment, determination of GES and environmental targets reported by the end of 2018, followed by updating of monitoring programmes due to be reported by the end of 2020, and updating the programmes of measures due to be reported in March 2022, a call for proposals was launched by DG ENV, in order to support the next 6-year cycle of MSFD implementation and the regional or subregional needs of the Member States.

The purpose of this call for proposals is to support the preparation of the next 6-year cycle of MSFD implementation through the marine strategies. This concerns, in particular:

  1. the update of GES, as well as the associated assessment of environmental status;
  2. to analyse and tackle predominant pressures and impacts on marine waters;
  3. to carry out economic and social analysis of the use of marine waters and costs of degradation of marine environment;
  4. to contribute to the setting up of environmental targets to be reported to the Commission by 2024.


It must be noticed that according to the call:

The aim is that the funded proposals could assist the Member State concerned in their efforts to implement (sub)regional cooperation needed to successfully implement the MSFD.

Furthermore, the (funded) proposals should contribute directly to the efforts of the regional organisations, such as the Regional Sea Conventions (RSCs), as long as these are directly linked to MSFD implementation requirements. The proposals should support those (sub)regions, where Member States have jointly identified certain shortcomings and are committed to address them together in a coherent manner.