Network of environmental organizations from Adriatic Sea Countries
To the European Commission
President Jean-Claude Juncker
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans
Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella
To the European Parliament
President Martin Schulz
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
Chair Giovanni La Via
To the Italian Republic
Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea
Minister Gianluca Galletti
To the Albanian Republic
Ministry of the Environment
Minister Lefter Koka
To the Republic of Slovenia
Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning
Minister Irena Majcen
To Bosnia and Herzegovina
Government of Republic of Srpska, Ministry of Spatial Planning, Civil Engineering and Ecology
Minister Srebrenka Golić
Government of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ministry of Environment and Tourism
Minister Edita Đapo
Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations
Minister Mirko Šarović
To the Republic of Croatia
Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection
Minister Mihail Zmajlović
To the Republic of Montenegro
Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism
Minister Branimir Gvozdenović
December 9th, 2015
Dear President of the European Commission, President of the European Parliament,
Commissioners and Ministers,
As network of environmental organizations from different countries of the Adriatic Sea, we are
writing to you to draw you attention to the oil and gas drilling plans in the Adriatic Sea.
In this delicate moment with the UN Climate Change Conference currently underway in Paris, our
network, bringing together organizations and environmental movements from Albania, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro and Slovenia, asks you to support ours fight against oil
and gas drilling strategies in the Adriatic Sea.
The decision of some of our national governments to invest in new research and hydrocarbon
extraction activities is narrow minded, short lasting and anachronistic; it does not take into account
the global economic importance of renewable energy sources and the policies to overcome the
reliance on fossil fuels, which entail research, innovation, new jobs and sustainability.
Moreover, this choice does not take into account the negative impact on the other economic
sectors that live and develop off the sea, e.g. tourism and fishing activities. We consider these
activities the true wealth of our territories and the real trades of sustainable economy which
deserve boost and backing from international governments.
The Adriatic Sea is a very important and extremely fragile ecosystem that should be protected and
enhanced; this area is put to the test with the 53 already operating concessions for the extraction
of gas and oil in Italian and Croatian waters, composed of 145 offshore platforms with over 400
wells; to these numbers additional 72 areas should be added in which governments plan to start
research and exploitation, in an area 100 thousand square kilometers wide.
Similarly, the different ways in which many of the Adriatic countries are trying to reactivate and
release multiple activities of research or hydrocarbons cultivation, do not take into account - or are
clearly in the opposite direction in some cases - of the principles outlined by some major European
directives such as the one on the safety of operations at sea in the hydrocarbons sector
(2013/30/EU), the Marine Strategy (2008/56/EU) or the one that establishes a framework for
maritime spatial planning (2014 /8 /EU), just to mention the main ones.
The 2013/30/EU focuses the attention on strengthening the conditions of environmental safety of
operations at sea in the hydrocarbons sector. Although the directive stems from some principles of
reference, including that major accidents related to the extraction of hydrocarbons at sea can have
serious and irreversible consequences on the marine and coastal environment, it recalls the
importance of assessing the impacts from the early stages of research. Therefore, it foresees a
series of evaluations and checks to be put in place during permitting and implementation phases,
as well as and safety measures for existing activities, even of transboundary nature if the
consequences may affect more countries, as in the case of the Adriatic Sea
The 2008/56/EC Marine Strategy Framework Directive aims to achieve a good state of the marine
environment by 2020 at the latest, or an “environmental status of marine waters where these
provide ecologically diverse and dynamic oceans and seas which are clean, healthy and
productive within their intrinsic conditions, and the use of the marine environment is at a level that
is sustainable, thus safeguarding the potential for uses and activities by current and future
Furthermore, the Directive also foresees the evaluation of the cumulative impact of all the activities
for an integrated management of coastal marine system.
The 2014/89/EU for maritime spatial planning (MSPD), is about a “a process by which the relevant
Member States analyse and organise human activities at sea to ensure they are as efficient and
sustainable as possible; it ”process maritime spatial planning’ means a process by which the
relevant Member State’s authorities analyse and organise human activities in marine areas to
achieve ecological, economic and social objectives; it stresses the importance of greater cross-
border cooperation, involving "stakeholders in a transparent manner in the management of
maritime activities."
In light of all this and in the interest of the community that you represent, we ask you to become a
promoter of concrete actions to protect the Adriatic Sea, beyond the national territorial limits, and
commit to:
- Stopping oil extraction, and all research and prospecting related to it, in the Adriatic Sea and
chooseing a different economic, social and environmental model;
- For all cases request the initiation of cross-border EIA procedure, involving all the coastal
countries, to assess the cumulative impact of the activities of prospection, exploration and
extraction of hydrocarbons. Procedure to date undertaken only by Croatia;
- Promoting a fossil-free economy and sustainable, efficient and renewable energy future, opening
up prospects of new industrial sectors with significant positive impacts on employment, as well as
for the environment;
- Protecting the immensely rich marine biodiversity of the Adriatic, reviving an economy linked to
sustainable fishing that avoids exploitation of the most depleted species and the promotion of a
new concept of tourism linked to the sea that takes the environmental sustainability as its pride and
In light of the ongoing Climate Change Conference in Paris, where world governments are working
on a vision to phase-out the use of fossil fuels and embrace the renewable energy future, we urge
you to exercise your authority to protect the Adriatic Sea, its ecosystem and the people whose
livelihoods dependent on it by putting a stop to oil and gas exploration.
Yours Sincerely,
The One Adriatic Platform is composed by: Croatian SOS Adriatic Platform (Zelena
akcija/Friends of the Earth Croatia, Sunce , Zelena Istra , Žmergo, BIOM, Greenpeace Croatia, and
WWF Adria), Legambiente (IT), Focus (SLO), WWF/INCA (AL), Center for Environment (BiH),
Green Home (MN), MedCEM (MN)

ONE ADRIATIC Network of environmental