CMS! is an academic start-up of the Vienna Forum für Democracy and Human Rights aimed at contributing to the reduction of plastic waste in the Mediterranean Sea. To achieve our goal, we analyse national and international legal frameworks, work closely with renowned NGOs and institutions from all over Europe and give hands on advice to reduce plastic in our everyday life. Talented and driven people from different academic backgrounds build our team, with one common goal – a cleaner Mediterranean Sea!

Project website:

CMS! is funded by the Hermann and Marianne Straniak Foundation.

Project Lead

CMS was founded by Hannes Tretter and Philip Wilfing. The project is managed by Hannes Tretter as scientific project leader and Clara Zimmermann as organisational project leader.

EU Politics

The EU-Politics Team analyses the status quo of initiatives, strategies and action plans of EU institutions with regard to the plastic pollution of the Mediterranean Sea.

We analyse the available documents and letters of intent in a comparative manner in light of their possible impact on plastic waste reduction.

Some of the plans sound promising, but we are convinced that a lot of work lies ahead to help the political will to its big breakthrough.

EU Law

The EU-Law Team focuses on the efforts of the European Union for cooperative handling of urban solid waste and protecting the maritime ecosystem.

The aim of the work is to compare the relevant EU regulations and directives, other legal acts and new regulations on the basis of different factual issues regarding plastic littering in a comprehensive analysis.

As marine litter is an increasingly urgent problem for the Mediterranean Sea and as it affects not only the coastal states, but the entire European Union, we consider it an important task for the Union to tackle the problem – notably by regulating land-based activities and developing a more structured approach and systematic collaboration on marine affairs.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

The CSR Team looks at the responsibilities of companies producing, utilising and recycling or disposing of plastic products.

The aim is to show why companies are responsible for their plastic waste in the Mediterranean Sea and worldwide, to collect best practices and to provide recommendations.

Therefore, we analyse legal documents and initiatives regarding Corporate Social Responsibility such as the Global Compact, the Ruggie Principles, the OECD Guidelines, the CSR strategy of the European Union as well as CSR activities already applied in the plastic-related industry by examining sustainability reports and evaluating taken measures.


We analyse international legal and political documents, programmes and measures with a link to plastic waste. We thereby focus on the work of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) as well as of the OSCE and its Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation. We assess existing recommendations, measures and legislation with regard to their relevance in tackling litter in the Mediterranean Sea.

Scientific Cooperation

We facilitate the communication and cooperation with universities and research institutes in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, as well as with NGOs, that address the problem of marine plastic pollution. 

Also, the team invites legal scholars and marine biologists to cooperate on formulating legal policy recommendations and initiatives to tackle plastic littering.


We analyse and assess international and European jurisdiction with regard to plastics in the Mediterranean Sea. Notably, we look into the accuracy of judgements in relation to a clean and safe environment and the well-being of people as well as into principles and concepts reflected by the case law. Our analysis focuses on the case law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

Comparative Legal Analysis

We undertake comparative legal assessments of the reports on international and European legal frameworks on the one hand and domestic reports gathered from cooperation partners in the riparian states on the other hand. In this way, we assess the overall implementation of international and European legal and political obligations, systematic flaws in the formal laws as well as the legal practise and examples of best practices. Our analysis will serve as a base for legal policy recommendations to international, European and domestic stakeholders.

Social Media

Transfer of knowledge increases the impact and dissemination of academic discussions and enriches the research. Thus, the Social Media Team distributes news and research results regarding legislative developments that aim at reducing plastic in the Mediterranean Sea. Also, we encourage and give advice on how to contribute to a cleaner sea as a single person in the everyday life via different social media channels. In order to raise awareness we will organise events with national and international experts and stakeholders and publish fruitful discussions on our website.

Stay tuned on Facebook and Instagram: