Preparing the 2nd cycle of the MSFD D6 implementation
The 2018 reporting on updates of MSFD Articles 8, 9 and 10 will be supported by web forms to aid completion of the XML files by Member States. It is planned to use, wherever possible, drop-down lists to facilitate data entry, thereby also helping to ensure consistency in the data entered. For the assessments of Descriptor 6 as part of the state Descriptors, there is a need to make available operational lists of habitats from which Member States can select those to be reported (or add new ones if needed). JRC is compiling draft lists which need validation by Member States before making them available in the web reporting system. The compilation of these lists will also inform the preparation of regional or sub-regional lists per broad habitat type, as required by Decision (EU) 2017/848.
Review of the Commission Decision 2010/477/EU

The Directorate-General for the Environment (DG Environment) had started a review process of the Commission Decision 2010/477/EU which is being endorsed by the Member States through the MSFD implementation groups. The goal of this process was to develop guidance on commonly-agreed approaches and parameters permitting that each of the Descriptors is assessed in an effective, coherent and comparable way.

Based on its scientific expertise and experience with EU marine environment policy, the MCC actively participated in the discussions and administrative processes for the D6 review.

In-depth assessment
In the first cycle of the MSFD implementation, Member States demonstrated very different perspectives, approaches and level of detail while defining GES and selecting criteria and indicators for Descriptor 6. Four Member States (FR, IT, LT, SI) have included an indicator on the percentage of area occupied by biogenic substrate acted upon by human pressures (Indicator 6.1.2). However, only one (IT) has associated this indicator with a quantitative threshold value for GES. Three Member States (LT, LV, SE) have included a quantitative indicator, the Benthic Quality Index, to measure Indicator 6.2.2. The need for a common understanding of methodological standards that permit achieving a coherent evaluation of environmental in each region/sub-region was a major highlight of the report. These and other conclusions are presented in the EU report concerning the in-depth assessment for Art. 8, 9 and 10.

List of key issues derived from the in-depth assessment for D1, 4 and 6, suggestions and potential actions to be dealt with.

Task groups
In 2010, a task group of experts (TG6) coordinated by JRC and ICES laid down a framework of criteria and methodological standards to assess seafloor integrity under MSFD using a Descriptor based on eight components (Substrate, Bioengineers state, Oxygen Concentration, Contaminants and Hazardous Substances, Species Composition, Size Composition, Trophodynamics and Life History Traits).