3 years | September 2022 - August 2025 

Horizon Europe, H-CL6-2021-GOV-01-06 
Innovative governance, environmental observations and digital solutions in support of the Green Deal

3 million €

Submariner Network
Full member


Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies

Norwegian Institute for Water Research

National Research Council (CNR)

University of Eastern Finland

University of Utrecht

Tackling climate and environmental-related challenges is this generation’s defining task according to the EU Green Deal. It calls for deeply transformative policies in all relevant sectors to create a fair and prosperous society where economic growth is decoupled from resource use, natural ecosystems are protected and restored, and human health improved. These ambitions have clear implications for policies affecting the marine environment. Both global and European assessments of the oceans demonstrate how the cumulative impacts of human activities are leading to degraded marine ecosystems and biodiversity loss. This reduces the benefits from the oceans to society and threatens the ambitions for economic growth, as laid down in the supplementary EU strategy for Sustainable Blue Economy. Despite ambitious marine environmental policies at the EU and regional seas levels, progress towards them has been slow.

CrossGov’s core objective is to enhance knowledge on how coherence and cross-compliance of marine related policies and legislation affect the ability to realise the Green Deal and Sustainable Blue Economy, and to co-create proposals and roadmaps for more consistent and integrated approaches towards this end. The analyses and proposals will be conducted in the context of the multilevel governance system encompassing various sectors, composed by global and regional international frameworks, the EU and the European coastal states with their different national arrangements. The project addresses governance in three European marine regions: the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. The core strength of CrossGov is the close collaboration with the policymaking community and the production of co-created knowledge and solutions through innovative, web-based and fit-for purpose roadmaps and methodological guidelines. This will enable policymakers to effectively foster environmentally sustainable law and governance that is fit-for-purpose for delivering the societal transformation called for in the Green Deal.

CrossGov brings together seven partners, consisting of renowned interdisciplinary research organisations, universities top-ranked in the field of marine ecosystem governance & law as well as consulting companies with expertise in project management and stakeholder involvement, such as s.Pro who is a SUBMARINER member. S.Pro is responsible for the co-creation events and activities with the Stakeholder Forum and will act as Communication and Dissemination Manager for the consortium.

They have joined forces to:
·       concretize the various marine-related targets and objectives of the Green Deal and its related policies, and to develop future-oriented scenarios that visualise coherence and cross-compliance challenges for 2030 in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Mediterranean Sea regions: The scenarios will be used as dialogue forum to discuss coherence and cross-compliance challenges, needs, and solutions with the CrossGov Stakeholder Forum.

·       To develop analytical methodological guidelines for the study of coherence and cross-compliance: Based on reviews of existing methodology, the project will develop draft guidelines for assessing coherence and cross-compliance towards several policies, for assessing goal achievement towards the GD and for the critical analysis of science-policy-society interfaces.

·       provide end-users with a methodological toolbox: The draft guidelines will be tested in research and evaluated in dialogue with stakeholders before final versions will be presented as a user-friendly ICT tool to be applied by research- and policymaking communities.

 ·       analyse and explain (in-)coherence in marine-related laws and policies: The project will deliver analyses and explanations of the horizontal coherence of a broad suite of EU and international policies and legislation, the internal coherence of EU policies, and the vertical coherence of national policies in selected member states versus these higher-level frameworks, including the Green Deal.

·       study implementation in practice and the challenges of cross-compliance: The project will provide analyses of potential weaknesses, trade-offs, and underexploited synergies in cross-compliance of marine policies through case studies, analysing focusing on the implementation of MSFD, WFD, MSPD and ND, and the integration of key Green Deal objectives into sectoral decisions.

·       increase the understanding of the outcomes of decisions: The project will analyse decisions on policies and regulations as well as their practical implementation to understand to what extent biodiversity, pollution or climate related issues are taken into consideration, and explain the results based on rational input from scientific advice and political processes.

·      suggest improved science-policy-society interfaces: Together with relevant policymaking and research communities active in selected policy sectors and case study areas, the project will co-develop proposals as blueprints fit-for-purpose to overcome identified challenges.

·      develop guidance as digital roadmaps: Based on the analyses of coherence and implementation in practice, the CrossGov Stakeholder Forum and Advisory Board will develop recommendations for better integrated policies towards the implementation of the Green Deal within the three marine regions.

These novel frameworks, evaluation tools and governance models are expected to improve the coherence of multi-level policies and cross-compliance with their goals and consequently increase synergies between policies and provide significant support to policymakers at EU and national level.

Pedro Brosei
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SUBMARINER Network for Blue Growth EEIG

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