Negotiations to determine the international or European environmental policy or to implement the approved international or European policies cannot be made without the consultations between the federal and regional authorities.
Because the environment is a very specific issue, the federal government and the three regions have concluded a cooperation agreement over the international environmental policy on 5th April 1995. The premise of this agreement is that the activities of many international organizations involved with the environment are so complex that, given the distribution of powers in Belgium, a prior coordination is necessary to handle the international negotiations with one voice. The Coordination Committee for International Environmental Policy (CCIM) is thus a consultative body that takes a close look at the international environmental policy. It is based on a cooperation among the Federal State, the Flemish Region, the Walloon Region and the Brussels Capital Region. This cooperation and the associated discussions are necessary, given the distribution and delegation of the environmental responsibilities among the various government services.
The working group within the CCIM that handles the international marine environment is the Working Group for North Sea and Oceans.