EU policies and legal acts supporting sustainable coastal tourism

Natura 2000
The EU Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats,Fauna and Flora establishes a community wide network of Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protected Areas. It is a key means of achieving the principle of environmental integration and ultimately sustainable development (Natura 2000).

Water Framework
This new directive expands the scope of water protection to all waters and sets clear objectives that a "good status" must be achieved for all European waters by 2015. That water use is sustainable throughout Europe (Water Framework).

Bathing water quality
The 1976 Bathing Water Directive has set binding standards for bathing waters throughout the European Union. The annual Bathing Water Report and Tourist Atlas show substantial progress in the quality of bathing waters and large public awareness (Bathing water quality).

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
The SEA-Directive is to ensure that environmental consequences of certain plans, programmes on a regional and local level are identified and assessed during their preparation and prior to their adoption (Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)).

International conventions
In addition to such European directives and national legislation the EU member states have signed International Conventions aiming to preserve the rich diversity of nature and limiting their effects on climate change: The Convention on Biological Diversity and the Kyoto Protocol.

Basic orientation for the sustainability of European Tourism
This paper, published in November 2003 emphasises the need to ensure the consistency of various Community policies, measures affecting the sustainability of tourism and the competitiveness of the industry (Basic orientation for the sustainability of European Tourism).

Environmental Eco-Management and Audit Management Scheme (EMAS)
EMAS is a voluntary management system for businesses and organisations that wish to improve their operational environmental protection measures on a continual basis beyond the practices called for by law. It goes beyond the ISO 14001, the international standard for environmental management in businesses (Environmental Eco-Management and Audit Management Scheme (EMAS)).