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'Whose science?' Precaution and power-play in European marine environmental decision-making


  • De Santo, Elizabeth M.


This paper explores the science-policy interface in environmental decision-making in the European Community as it moves towards its stated aims of implementing a precautionary and ecosystem-based approach to marine environmental management. Whilst recent EC case law has clarified some questions of Member State responsibilities under international environmental obligations, recent case studies at the crossing point between marine nature conservation and fisheries management in EC waters raise questions about the role of science in policy-making in Brussels. This has important implications for the developing EC Integrated Maritime Policy and Marine Strategy Framework Directive, and the concept of Maritime Spatial Planning as a whole. A new paradigm for bridging the science-policy gap is required in light of the developing legislative framework and given the complex nature of the marine environment.

Suggested Citation

  • De Santo, Elizabeth M., 2010. "'Whose science?' Precaution and power-play in European marine environmental decision-making," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 414-420, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:34:y:2010:i:3:p:414-420

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    Cited by:

    1. Freire-Gibb, Lucio Carlos & Koss, Rebecca & Margonski, Piotr & Papadopoulou, Nadia, 2014. "Governance strengths and weaknesses to implement the marine strategy framework directive in European waters," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 172-178.
    2. Brennan, Jonathon & Fitzsimmons, Clare & Gray, Tim & Raggatt, Laura, 2014. "EU marine strategy framework directive (MSFD) and marine spatial planning (MSP): Which is the more dominant and practicable contributor to maritime policy in the UK?," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 359-366.
    3. van Leeuwen, Judith & Raakjaer, Jesper & van Hoof, Luc & van Tatenhove, Jan & Long, RonĂ¡n & Ounanian, Kristen, 2014. "Implementing the Marine Strategy Framework Directive: A policy perspective on regulatory, institutional and stakeholder impediments to effective implementation," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(PB), pages 325-330.
    4. Toonen, Hilde M. & Lindeboom, Han J., 2015. "Dark green electricity comes from the sea: Capitalizing on ecological merits of offshore wind power?," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1023-1033.


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