Collaboration, roles and responsibilities

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The marine spatial planning process is designed for collaboration between different stakeholders and enables those affected to participate in different ways. The Marine Spatial Planning Ordinance states the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders.

The Government

Adopts marine spatial plans and any associated regulations.

Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management

Is responsible for national marine spatial planning and has the task of drafting proposals for three marine spatial plans, with related regulations if necessary. At the same time, the Agency is the national interest authority for commercial fishing, and for nature conservation and outdoor activities together with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.

The County Administrative Boards

The coastal County Administrative Boards provide regional data and planning evidence for the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management. They also support the Agency so that municipalities, regions and others can participate in marine spatial planning.

The cooperation between the County Administrative Boards is coordinated by one County Administrative Board per planning area, namely the County Administrative Boards in Västernorrland, Kalmar and Västra Götaland.

The County Administrative Boards are, according to regular assignments, responsible for providing bases for the municipalities’ spatial planning and the supervision of the planning in relation to relevant regulation.

National Board of Housing, Building and Planning

The National Board of Housing, Building and Planning coordinates the work of national interest authorities with the national interest claims. The Board is also responsible for general supervision of the management of land and water and is the administrative authority for spatial planning.

The national interests authorities

The 12 national interest authorities are responsible for providing information on areas they deem to be of national interest within the respective authority’s area of responsibility. This responsibility includes both land and sea.


Municipalities are responsible for the spatial planning of land as well as water areas within the territorial sea. The municipalities participate in national marine spatial planning. The municipalities’ spatial planning and dialogue with citizens and those affected is the basis for Sweden’s application of integrated coastal zone planning and is important planning evidence for the national marine spatial plans.

KOMPIS – Municipal planning in national collaboration


The regions are responsible for regional development and lead and develop the work with regional growth. Some regions also have a planning responsibility. They are given the opportunity to participate in the work on proposals for marine spatial plans.

Industries, interest organizations, research, general public

Interested stakeholders are given the opportunity to take part of the marine spatial planning and give feedback on the proposals. Research and academia can also in particular contribute to the development of methods and knowledge in marine spatial planning.

Neighbouring countries

Neighbouring countries are entitled by law and conventions to be notified and to submit comments on plan proposals and strategic environmental assessments. They sometimes have interests in Swedish waters, especially fishing and shipping.

The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management is working together with other EU countries on cross-border planning issues and to develop the knowledge about marine spatial planning. The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management is also cooperating with countries outside the EU on matters related to marine spatial planning. Read more about the work on the International page.

Published: 2021-11-01
Updated: 2019-03-25