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Marine Spatial Planning Within the EU

Marine spatial planning is an important tool in implementing the EU's integrated maritime policy. MSP contributes to blue growth an even supports the efforts in reach good environmental status in the EU's marine areas.

Baltic SCOPE

Baltic SCOPE is a two-year project that focuses on achieving coherence between the marine spatial plans for the Baltic Sea. Our agency is the project’s lead partner.

EU Directive for Maritime Spatial Planning

All member states are responsible for developing their own marine spatial plans. The EU Directive for Maritime Spatial Planning provides a common framework for everyone.

The Directive is to be incorporated into all member states’ national legislation by 2016. The deadline for developing marine spatial plans is 2021.

The Directive also specifies that the planning of common sea areas is to be a coordinated effort across borders.

Marine spatial planning, as outlined by the Directive, should support sustainable development and growth within maritime sectors while also applying the ecosystem approach.

The Directive requires member states to take into account the interplay between land and sea while planning, for example in coastal zones.

MSP Contributes to Good Environmental Status

Each country's marine spatial planning is also necessary for the EU's goal in reaching good environmental status in marine waters. This is yet another reason why marine planning requires coordination and cooperation between countries, agencies, and organizations.

EU Funding Encourages MSP Development

To support the development of marine spatial planning, the EU joint-finances research and pilot projects. Included are a number of INTERREG projects with MSP components that are financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

The same applies to certain projects funded through Horizon 2020, the EU's funding program for research and innovation.


MSP-Related Projects Initiated and Financed by the EU

Gulf of Bothnia

Plan Bothnia


Kattegat and Skagerrak

Hav möter land (PDF fact sheet in English)

Baltic Sea

Baltic SCOPE





North Sea





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