This Directive focuses on ensuring environmental protection and sustainable use of the EU’s marine waters and achieving Good Environmental Status (GES) of them by 2020. The Directive also relates to the protection of marine biodiversity.
The implementation of the directive is based on the establishing European marine regions and sub-regions on the basis of the existing regions. The Directive lists four European marine regions – the Baltic Sea, the North-east Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. In order to achieve GES by 2020, each Member State is required to develop a strategy for its marine waters. The Commission also produced a set of detailed criteria and methodological standards to help Member States implement the Marine Directive.