European Coastal Member States (20 4 Accession and Candidate Countries) were encouraged through a Communication from the Commission and the Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the implementation of ICZM in Europe in May 2002 to elaborate and implement, by February 2006, a national integrated coastal zone management strategy on the basis of a national stocktaking (see also project overview).
The Recommendation also established eight principles to be followed in the national strategies that had been established on the basis of experiences developed by the Demonstration Programme:

  • A broad overall perspective (thematic andgeographic) which will take into account the interdependence and disparity of natural systems and human activities with an impact on coastal areas;
  • A long-term perspective which will take into account the precautionary principle and the needs of present and future generations;
  • Adaptive management during a gradual process which will facilitate adjustment as problems and knowledge develop. This implies the need for a sound scientific basis concerning the evolution of the coastal zone;
  • Local specificity and the great diversity of European coastal zones, which will make it possible to respond to their practical needs with specific solutions and flexible measures;
  • Working with natural processes and respecting the carrying capacity of ecosystems, which will make human activities more environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically sound in the long run;
  • Involving all the parties concerned (economic and social partners, the organizations representing coastal zone residents, non-governmental organizations and the business sector) in the management process, for example by means of agreements and based on shared responsibility;
  • Support and involvement of relevant administrative bodies at national, regional and local level between which appropriate links should be established or maintained with the aim of improved coordination of the various existing policies. Partnership with and between regional and local authorities should apply when appropriate;
  • Use of a combination of instruments designed to facilitate coherence between sectoral policy objectives and coherence between planning and management

Evaluation Results:

Overall, 18 of the 24 coastal Member States and Accession Countries have officially reported on the implementation of the ICZM Recommendation by mid-June 2006. For the six missing countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Ireland, Italy and Turkey) alternative information sources were used to establish the status of implementation of the ICZM Recommendation.

In the 20 EU coastal Member States and 4 Accession Countries, the status of policy implementation is as follows:

No country has implemented an ICZM National Strategy as prompted by the EU ICZM Recommendation, while one country - Spain - has prepared an ICZM National Strategy, which has been approved by the relevant Ministry.


In six countries (Finland, Germany, Malta, Portugal, Romania and the United Kingdom), an ICZM National Strategy is ready for approval by national authorities or under development; its implementation is pending.

In six further countries (Belgium, Cyprus, France, Greece, Netherlands and Slovenia), documents considered as equivalent to an ICZM National Strategy have been developed, or coastal zone management strategies have become (or planned to become) an integral part of its spatial planning processes.

In eleven countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and Turkey), no ICZM equivalent policies are in advanced stages of preparation, only fragmented tools are in place to address coastal issues