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PERMAGOV marine ocean governance

Transformative Action for Marine Governance


It's time for change

PERMAGOV marine ocean governance

Global challenges such as climate change, environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, and pollution require new governance strategies in a number of areas that are closely related. However, implementing transformative action within existing governance arrangements can be challenging. Policy innovation is often hampered by institutional barriers like path dependency, bounded rationality, and institutional inertia. These barriers must be well understood and adequately addressed to enable new approaches and solutions that policy instruments like the European Green Deal are calling for. 

PERMAGOV marine ocean governance

Progress toward the European Green Deal is also dependent on transformative action in marine governance. Oceans are vital to life above and below surface, so their sustainable exploitation will be key to ensuring their effective functioning - as a climate regulator, as a source of clean air, energy, jobs, recreation and food, as one of the main trading routes - for generations to come. But marine governance is complex. It is multi-actor, -sectoral and -layered, often with poor communication between and within stakeholders and structures. The lack of collective action impedes effective policy implementation.



Acknowledging these needs, opportunities and challenges, PERMAGOV sets out to contribute to the European Green Deal by improving implementation and performance of EU marine policies. This will be done in two phases.

Project Stages

PERMAGOV marine ocean governance knot rope

Phase 1 starts by giving insight into the major challenges and drivers of multi-layered governance arrangements, consisting of actors, coalitions, rules, resources and discourses, to support progress to the implementation of the EU Green Deal (WP2). This is followed by the development of a novel diagnostic tool to identify and understand how different types of institutional barriers hamper the performance and implementation of marine policies (WP3), such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Habitats and Birds Directives, Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, Common Fisheries Policy, Plastic Waste management and Circularity Policies and Maritime Transport Policies. Insight into the challenges of marine governance arrangements and the institutional barriers results in the development of a collaborative multi-layered governance model (WP4). This analytic model also includes the interplay of formal and informal practices and captures the ways in which digital and e-governance tools could contribute to improving the performance of marine policies. The diagnostic tool, the analytic model, together with the indicators for assessing governance capabilities (WP5), result in PERMAGOV’s Marine Governance Performance Assessment Framework. The development of the Marine Governance Performance Assessment Framework will be done together with stakeholders and end-users of 9 cases within the four regime complexes. The performance of marine policies will be assessed at several levels: coastal and territorial waters, Exclusive Economic Zones, and regional seas across the EU. In a process of co-production and co-creation local, regional, national and international authorities, local communities, NGOs, citizens and other relevant stakeholders will be actively engaged in the assessment of the cases (WP5).

Co-developing and applying a Marine Governance Performance Assessment Framework to evaluate how institutional barriers, formal and informal collaborations and e-governance tools enable and/or constrain the capability of actors to implement EU marine policies within the four regime complexes: Maritime Transport, Marine Energy, Marine Life, and Marine Litter.

Co-producing Multi-Layered Collaborative Marine Governance Strategies that enhance the capability of stakeholders to effectively implement new and innovative governance modalities, including e-governance approaches, in support of the European Green Deal and wider international commitments like 30-by-30 agreed on at COP15.

Phase 2 is based on the assessment of the performance of marine policies in the nine cases. The main output here will be the development of strategies to improve marine policies and the implementation of the EU Green Deal both for the cases (WP5) as well as for Regional Sea Conventions and the EU more broadly (WP6). The developed Governance Strategies are deliberately kept flexible in order to respond to a) the outcomes of the marine governance performance assessment within the cases and b) all the social, political, economic, digital and environmental changes that might shift priorities within the case studies between proposal development and the start of WP6 in which the collaborative and e-governance tools and plans are generated. This flexibility will allow for developing tools and strategies, and networks of users of these tools and strategies, that are fit for purpose.

PERMAGOV marine ocean governance knot
PERMAGOV marine ocean governance knot
PERMAGOV research work packages marine ocean governance

Research Work

WP2 Multi-Layered Marine Governance Arrangements to Support the EU Green Deal
WP3 Institutional Barriers
WP4 Multi-Layered Collaborative Marine Governance Model
WP5 Performance Assessment
WP6 Improving Multi-Layered Governance Performance
Funded by the European Union
UK Research and Innovation funding

PERMAGOV has received funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe research and innovation programme HORIZON-CL6-2022-GOVERNANCE-01-03 under grant agreement No 101086297, and by UK Research and Innovation under the UK government’s Horizon Europe funding guarantee grant numbers 10045993, 10062097, 101086297.

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