THE European Commission decided to initiate infringement proceedings by sending a warning letter to Bulgaria (INFR(2022)2172), the Croatian (INFR(2022)2177), the Cyprus (INFR(2022)2173), the Denmark (INFR(2022)2174), the Estonia (INFR(2022)2175), the Hellas (INFR(2022)2176), the Latvia (INFR(2022)2180), the Lithuania (INFR(2022)2179) and Malta (INFR(2022)2181) for non-compliance with the Maritime Strategy Framework Directive (Directive 2008/56/EC). The directive aims to protect the EU’s seas and oceans and ensure the sustainable management of their resources.

According to the directive, Member States had to review and update their “monitoring programmes” by 15 October 2020 and their “programmes of measures” by 31 March 2022.

These Member States did not submit reports to the Commission on the review of the programs of measures within the required deadlines. In addition, Bulgaria and Malta did not submit reports on the review of their monitoring programmes.

Therefore, the Commission decided today to send letters of formal notice to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta. The Member States in question now have two months to respond and correct the deficiencies highlighted. If there is no satisfactory answer, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion.

Lena Flitzani