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CALL FOR CO-ORDINATED EUROPEAN ACTION FOR COASTAL ZONES

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A draft opinion on integrated management of coastal zones is to be submitted to the plenary session of Europe's Com...
A draft opinion on integrated management of coastal zones is to be submitted to the plenary session of Europe's Committee of the Regions in March.

The opinion, from Pauliina Haijanen of Finland, was presented on Thursday to CoR's Commission 5, which is responsible for land use planning, environment and energy.

It argues that the condition of the environment and the natural resources in many of Europe's coastal regions is deteriorating, and blames lack of effective co-ordination on the European level.

The European Commission's Communication on the subject, upon which the CoR draft opinion is based, provides for the implementation of a demonstration programme to test co-operation models for the integrated management of coastal zones. As this programme progresses, it is to provide a basis for debate on the overall development of the coastal zones at Union and other levels.

The opinion contends that the implementation of the demonstration programme is essential because, although the conditions in Europe's coastal regions vary, many of the problems these regions face, such as an increase in shipping, tourism and urbanisation, are similar. As a result, the livelihood of coastal inhabitants and their right to a clean environment are being threatened.

However, Ms Haijanen, who comes from a coastal region in Finland, stresses the responsibility of regional and local authorities for the practical management of these regions. Community action should recognise the diversity of coastal regions and according to the subsidiarity principle, be bases on a bottom-up approach.

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