Maritime spatial planning
1. What is it?
It's about planning when and where human activities take place at sea – to ensure these are as efficient and sustainable as possible. Maritime spatial planning involves stakeholders in a transparent way in the planning of maritime activities (see also Integrated coastal zone management).
In March 2013, the Commission proposed legislation to create a common framework for maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal management . While each EU country will be free to plan its own maritime activities, local, regional and national planning in shared seas would be made more compatible through a set of minimum common requirements.
2. Why does the EU need rules for maritime spatial planning?
Competition for maritime space – for renewable energy equipment, aquaculture and other growth areas – has highlighted the need for efficient management, to avoid potential conflict and create synergies between different activities.
3. What are the benefits of maritime spatial planning?
The benefits of maritime spatial planning are:
- Reduce conflicts between sectors and create synergies between different activities.
- Encourage investment – by instilling predictability, transparency and clearer rules. This will help boost the development of renewable energy sources and grids, establish Marine Protected Areas, and facilitate investment in oil and gas.
- Increase coordination – between administrations in each country, through the use of a single instrument to balance the development of a range of maritime activities. This will be simpler and cheaper.
- Increase cross-border cooperation – between EU countries, on cables, pipelines, shipping lanes, wind installations, etc.
- Protect the environment – through early identification of impact and opportunities for multiple use of space.
- Proposed directive on a framework for maritime spatial planning & integrated coastal management (all available language versions) (15.03.2012)
- Stakeholder consultation on MSP and ICZM [332 KB] All available translations. (Summary results)
- Commission communication on maritime spatial planning in the EU
- Roadmap for maritime spatial planning in the EU
- MASPNOSE - Preparatory Action on Maritime Spatial Planning in the North Sea (2010-12)
- Plan Bothnia - Preparatory Action on Maritime Spatial Planning in the Baltic Sea (2010-12)
- BaltSeaPlan - Baltic Sea Region Programme project "Introducing Maritime Spatial Planning in the Baltic Sea" (2009–12)
- TPEA, Transboundary Planning in the European Atlantic – Project on Maritime Spatial Planning in the Atlantic, including the Celtic Sea and Bay of Biscay (2012-14)
- ADRIPLAN - ADRiatic Ionian maritime spatial PLANning (2013-15)
- Maritime spatial planning section (background info, working documents, events)
Maritime transport and port stakeholders gather to discuss Maritime Spatial Planning implementation
On 6 June 2014, the European Commission organised a conference on MSP and shipping in Athens.
Conference to explore the benefits of Maritime Spatial Planning for shipping and ports – 6 June 2014
On 6 June 2014 in Athens, a conference on Maritime Spatial Planning and ports will gather experts, industries and NGOs to discuss the coexistence and synergies between shipping and other maritime sectors in a context of increasing use of marine space.
Commission welcomes Parliament's adoption of Maritime Spatial Planning legislation
The European Parliament today endorsed a Directive for Maritime Spatial Planning which should help Member States develop plans to better coordinate the various activities that take place at sea, ensuring they are as efficient and sustainable as possible.