Resolution (73) - Council of Europe

at the 225th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies). The Committee of ... proclaim the principle of free public access to the coast and give effect to this principle as ...
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(73) 29

ON THE PROTECTION OF COASTAL AREAS (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 26 October 1973, at the 225th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

The Committee of Ministers, A w a r e that a considerable part of Europe's coasts is in a critical c o n d i t i o n o w i n g to the extremely serious biological degradation and aesthetic d i s f i g u r e m e n t caused

by the i n d i s c r i m i n a t e siting of buildings, i n d u s t r y and t o u r i s t f a c i l i t i e s in

coastal areas; Whereas the situation is liable to deteriorate still f u r t h e r in the f u t u r e , h a v i n g regard on the one hand to the scarcity of coastal areas and the v u l n e r a b i l i t y of the seashore, and on the other to the increasing c o n c e n t r a t i o n of h u m a n activities in those areas (urbanisation, the growth of tourist and leisure activities, the developm e n t of ports, m a r i t i m e industries


Whereas protection of the coast can o n l y be effective if m u l t i p l e interests and problems are taken simultaneously into account (maintenance of the ecological and biological balance, preservation of the beauty of landscapes and conservation of natural resources, promotion of economic and tourist development, safeguarding of the hinterland); Whereas the present dispersal of responsibilities in regard to coastal belts among numerous public authorities w i t h o u t any co-ordination between them is in some countries

an obstacle to all coherent and concerted



the need for j o i n t international action

to protect the coasts;

at world as well as at

regional level, having regard to the indivisibility of the marine environment; Considering also the particular need for concerted bilateral action where two countries have a d j o i n i n g coastlines: Recommends that the Europe base

governments of the member States of the Council of

their policies in this field on



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or some of the measures set out


deal with the problems of p r o t e c t i n g the seashore in the context of the n a t i o n a l

coastal heritage as a whole and, in order to do so: - draw up an i n v e n t o r y and m a k e a comprehensive s t u d y of all t h e i r c o u n t r y ' s coastline - and, if necessary, set

up appropriate s c i e n t i f i c

bodies, of a consultative

nature, to assist the public authorities in this work; 2.

endeavour to divide their coastline into homogeneous zones w i t h i n w h i c h the

land use is rationally planned with respect to the effects of a d j a c e n t zones and the various elements making up the environment; 3.

institute appropriate machinery to co-ordinate the various actions concerning

the coastline whether they are i n i t i a t e d by the State or by local authorities;


make and distribute a systematic review of all existing legal provisions of a

n a t u r e to facilitate the protection of the coasts, whether they relate specifically to coastal belts or to the n a t i o n a l t e r r i t o r y as a whole;


regulate development in coastal areas: - by issuing development bans applying to appropriate strips of land a l o n g

the seafront; - by s u b j e c t i n g the g r a n t i n g of development p e r m i t s to p a r t i c u l a r l y stringent conditions; 6.

proclaim the principle of free p u b l i c access to the coast and give effect to

this principle as required: - by creating adequate means of access to the various