The Baltic Sea is one of the world’s most polluted seas. Combating eutrophication, which is caused by nutrient loads mainly 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 of those measures. The Court examined whether the EU actions have been effective in helping Member States to reduce nutrient loads into the Baltic Sea. We concluded that these actions have led to limited progress towards nutrient reduction in the Baltic Sea. We make a number of recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the actions combating eutrophication in the Baltic Sea.
Special report no 03/2016: Combating eutrophication in the Baltic Sea: further and more effective action needed