The EU’s Court of Auditors (ECA) released a report called “Combating eutrophication in the Baltic Sea: further and more effective action needed”.
In this report, the European Union Court of Auditors (ECA) blames the Member States - who
are ultimately responsible for cleaning up their waste waters - for not
clearly defining programmes to do so. It also blames the European Commission, which is responsible for the correct implementation of what is agreed on a European level, for
having been slow to detect breaches and prosecute non-compliant Member States.
The Baltic Sea is one of the world’s
most polluted seas. Combating the eutrophication phenomenon, mainly caused by nutrient loads from agriculture and urban waste water, poses a significant challenge.
Under the Helsinki Convention, all bordering EU Member States and non-EU
countries as well as the EU are engaged in the environmental protection of
the Baltic Sea.
The EU legal framework requires Member States to implement measures to combat
excessive loads of nutrients and to achieve the good environmental status of
marine waters. The EU co-finances some projects to achieve these objectives.
The Court examined whether the EU actions have been effective to provide help to the Member
States so as to reduce nutrients in the Baltic Sea. It concludes that these actions have led
to limited progress towards nutrient reduction and makes a
number of recommendations in order to improve the effectiveness of the actions combating
eutrophication in the Baltic Sea.
● The ECA press release and report are available in 23
language here: www.eca.europa.eu/en/Pages/DocItem.aspx?did=35757
● You can also read a press article by EU Observer: “Audit: EU should have been tougher on Baltic