The EU, as a party, backed and participated in the development of the Action Plan, as it will support EU Member States in the region to achieve their environmental obligations.
Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, representing the European Union, said: “The Baltic Sea and its coasts face many challenges, such as eutrophication, marine pollution, depletion of fish stocks and climate change effects. HELCOM is an excellent example of ocean governance at regional level. It has historically played a pioneering role by putting efforts to achieve a clean and healthy Baltic Sea. The adoption of this updated action plan is a key step towards delivering on our common vision for a clean and healthy Baltic Sea and boosts existing efforts to bring the Baltic to good environmental status.”
The Baltic Sea faces numerous challenges, as it is closed Sea surrounded by a large population and several human activities leading to pressure on the marine environment. The updated Baltic Sea Action Plan adopted on 20 October contains more than 200 measures and aims to achieve good environmental status of the Baltic Sea by 2030.
Some of the suggested measures address biodiversity, eutrophication, hazardous substances, and sea-based activities such as shipping and fisheries. All those represent the most pressing challenges the Baltic is facing today.
The Plan also tackles climate change, marine litter, pharmaceuticals, underwater noise, and seabed disturbance. Furthermore, it will assist the EU Baltic Member States to protect their marine waters and achieve environmental commitments under the European Green Deal.
Marine protection: EU signs up to updated regional action plan for a clean and healthy Baltic Sea (news release by the European Commission, 20/10/2021)