This document represents the response at the Community level to serious problems that European coastal zones are currently facing, such as habitat destruction, water pollution, coastal erosion and resource depletion. The document presents a series of conclusions and recommendations which constitute an European Union Strategy for Integrated Coastal Zone Management. The Communication is composed of three Parts plus one Annex. Part I outlines the challenge of managing the coastal zone by defining firstly the problems connected with the coastal zone and, secondly, identifying the strategic importance of the coastal zone to all Europeans. Part II contains the conclusions from the European Commission’s Demonstration Programme on Integrated Coastal Zone Management: an integrated territorial approach is required to solve the underlying problems. Part III describes with detail the Strategy, which shall encompass: (a) promoting integrated coastal zone management activities within the Member States and at the “Regional Seas” level; (b) making European Union Policies compatible with integrated coastal zone management; (c) encouraging dialogue between European coastal stakeholders; (d) developing best integrated coastal zone management practice; (e) disseminating information and generating knowledge on the coastal state; (f) diffusing information and raising public awareness. Annex I to the Communication lays down the principles of integrated coastal zone management.
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The European Union is a unique economic and political union between 28 European countries that together cover much of the continent.
The EU was created in the aftermath of the Second World War. The first steps were to foster economic cooperation: the idea being that countries that trade with one another become economically interdependent and so more likely to avoid conflict.