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Margarita Doneliene

Pic Doneliene

completed 2016

Eutrophication Governance in the Baltic Sea Region: Institutional Interplay and the Problem of Fit

Betreuer / supervisor

Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs


The Baltic Sea is considered to be one of the most polluted seas in the world. Environmental issues in the Baltic Sea Region are co-governed by different institutions at the global, regional and European levels. Numerous networks and NGOs also support the existing environmental governance. However, the Baltic Sea still faces unresolved environmental issues. Anthropogenic marine eutrophication has increasingly become a major problem for the Baltic Sea Region.

Within the scope of my dissertation, I have observed eutrophication governance in the Baltic Sea Region as consisting of a group of several relevant institutions. The relationship between these institutions is explained using the theory of institutional interplay. Overall, one of the main revelations of my dissertation is that despite high institutional density in the region, Baltic Sea eutrophication governance does not have a clear regulatory leader that would explicitly take legally binding responsibility for the effective solution of marine eutrophication.

My dissertation demonstrates that understanding the mechanisms of institutional interplay is important for the improvement of the decision-making processes of governance. Effective decision-making between the EU policies, legislation and regional environmental regime is the prerequisite to the effective solutions to the problem of marine eutrophication.