MEPs push for stronger marine environment law

European parliament demands faster action and more explicit targets; also votes on Arhus, air-traffic control and services law

The European parliament has voted to substantially strengthen proposals for an EU marine environment framework directive issued by the European commission last year. Voting at first reading in Strasbourg on Tuesday, MEPs also adopted a separate non-legislative resolution criticising the commission for lack of ambition in a parallel thematic marine environment strategy (EED 24/10/05).

In a key amendment to the directive the parliament says all European seas should reach "good environmental status" by 2017, rather than the commission’s proposal of 2021. MEPs argue this will bring the law into line with the existing EU water framework directive, but it could create conflict with governments: last month several ministers said even the 2021 deadline would be difficult to accept (EED 24/10/06).

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