Similar to other key environmental areas, the marine environment policy developed by the Federal government is determined by international processes and strategies defined by the European Union.

The Belgian part of the North Sea covers a very small part of the world's seas.
The Federal marine environment policy implements international conventions, the European strategy and laws that apply:
- the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the OSPAR Convention covering the North East Atlantic which includes the North Sea;
- the environmental policy of the European Union including the “Marine Strategy Framework-Directive”.