Governing and subsidiary bodies

The 22 Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention are: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Slovenia, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, and the European Union. They pledge to take appropriate measures in accordance with the provisions of the convention and its protocols in force to which they are party, to prevent, abate, combat to the fullest possible extent eliminate pollution of the Mediterranean Sea Area and to protect and enhance the marine environment so as to contribute towards its sustainable development. They also pledge to implement the Mediterranean Action Plan to pursue the protection of the marine environment and the natural resources of the Mediterranean, meeting the needs of present and future generations in an equitable manner.

The Contracting Parties decide on the MAP policies, strategies, budget and programme of work at their Ministerial level meetings, held every two years. They appoint Focal Points to review the progress of work and ensure the implementation of recommendations at the national level. A rotating Bureau of six representatives of the Contracting Parties, elected in accordance with article 19 of the Barcelona Convention provides guidance on the implementation of the Programme of work in the interim period between the biennial meetings.

Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD)

The Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD) was established in 1995 in line with Article 4 of the Barcelona Convention as an advisory body to the Contracting Parties, to assist them in their efforts to integrate environmental issues in their socioeconomic programmes and, to promote sustainable development policies in the Mediterranean region. The MCSD is unique in its composition which includes, on an equal footing, government representatives, local authorities, socioeconomic actors, IGOs, and NGOs. The MCSD coordinated the preparation of the Mediterranean Strategy on Sustainable Development (MSSD), which was adopted by the Contracting Parties in 2005 and 2016. The MCSD constituency revised documents were adopted by Decision IG.22/17 of COP 19 Reform of the Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD) and Updated MCSD Constitutive Documents.

Since 1995, The MCSD provides a large fora to build multilateral partnerships promoting efforts to integrate environmental and socio economic issues as well as sustainable development policies in the Mediterranean Region.

It is unique in its composition in the sense that it includes on an equal footing, 40 members representing governments, local authorities, the business community, NGOs, scientific community, intergovernmental organizations and eminent experts. It provides a bridge between, on the one hand, the global and regional frameworks and, on the other hand, the national policies and actions at the local levels. The MCSD enhances cooperation between the countries of the region and allows synergies between the MAP system and other institutions and initiatives concerning the region, and makes relevant proposals and recommendations to the Contracting Parties.

Compliance Committee

The Compliance Committee was established in 2008 to advise and assist the Contracting Parties in meeting their obligations under the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols and, to facilitate, promote, monitor and ensure such compliance.

The Committee may consider an issue after a matter has been referred to it by the Contracting Parties or by the Secretariat. It may also examine all general questions of non-compliance or any problems in implementing the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols on the basis of the reports submitted by the Contracting Parties under Article 26 of the Barcelona Convention.

The Compliance Committee is empowered to intervene in four cases:

a)  with a referral made by a Party regarding their own situation of noncompliance, where a Party deems that despite their efforts they are unable to comply fully with their obligations under the Convention and its Protocols;

b)  upon the request of a Party affected by another Party’s situation of non-compliance;

c)  upon the request of the Secretariat, where the latter has identified potential difficulties encountered by a Contracting Party in complying with its obligations under the Convention and its Protocols;

d)  on its own initiative.

The Committee may also be asked to make decisions on general issues of compliance with and application of the Convention and its Protocols, or any other issue submitted to it by the Meeting of the Contracting Parties.

Members of the committee:

The Committee is composed of seven regular members and seven alternate members, broadly representative of the geographic spread of the countries in the region. They are elected in their personal capacity by meetings of the Contracting Parties and act independently in order to serve the interests of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols.