‘Whose science?’ Precaution and power-play in European marine environmental management

De Santo, E.M. 2010. ‘Whose science?’ Precaution and power-play in European marine environmental management. Marine Policy 34, 414-420. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2009.09.004.


This paper explores the science-policy interface in environmental decision-making in the European Community (EC2) 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.


De Santo 2010 Whose science