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Overview of MSP related maritime uses

  • Current main uses:

    • Tourism
    • Fisheries
    • Shipping
    • Aquaculture
    • Ports
    • Offshore renewable energy production

Which maritime spatial plans exist?

France notified the European Commission of the adoption of the four sea-basin strategies in February 2020. These documents all contain the two first parts: initial assessment, strategic objectives and MSP.

MSP legislation

On 8 August 2016, the MSP Directive was transposed into the French legislation through the entry into force of Art. 123 of Law n° 2016-1087 for the “reconquest of biodiversity, nature and landscapes”. The article modifies the French Environmental Code through the introduction of the notion of maritime spatial planning defined as “the process by which the State defines and organises human activities at sea with an ecological, economic and social perspective. It does not apply to activities related to defence or national security” (article L219-5-1).

Furthermore, the Law amended the Environmental Code, in particular the chapter dedicated to policies for the sea ecosystem, which was set in 2009 after the “Grenelle de la Mer”, with an integrated approach for  strategy development for the sea and the seashore.

The Law defines the documents stratégiques de façade (DSF) (‘Sea basin strategic documents’) as the main tools through which MSP is implemented. Strategic documents for legal bases were initially defined by Decree n°2012-219 and introduced in the Environment Code (articles R219-1-7 and following articles).

The modalities for implementing Art. 123 are further elaborated through the Decree n°2017-724 adopted on 3rd May 2017. The text defines the scope, objectives and content of the document stratégique de façade as main tools through which each French marine region integrates and combines the implementation of several EU legislative texts and policies.


Public Consultation on the French Sea Basin Strategies

A consultation with the public was organised from 26 January 2018 to 25 March 2018. It was structured around two modalities (i) the set-up of an online participatory platform aimed at allowing the public to learn more about the planning and objectives and to submit comments on the proposed future vision, with participants able to to interact and exchange views among themselves; and (ii) the holding of citizen workshops which are being organised in several coastal cities. Within one month after the closing of the consultation, the National Commission for Public Debate integrated the feedback results in a report, which was finalised on 24 April 2018. During the second half of 2018, a report on how stakeholder opinions were taken into account was written and annexed to the draft strategic documents to be submitted to a final consultation.

Concerning the sea-basin strategies (parts 1 and 2 of the sea basin strategic documents), a draft was delivered and opened to public consultation from 4 March 2019 to 4 June 2019. During the consultation, public opinions were collected on the platform. A summary report was produced detailing the opinions expressed. Consultations were also undertaken with bordering countries (Spain, Portugal, Ireland, UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy). An English version of the consultation is available online.

Following the consultation of the public and concerned bodies, the first two parts of each sea-basin strategy were adopted by the coordinating Prefects. The final version of the strategies, including their Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) report, is accessible at:

East Channel-North Sea : strategy / SEA

North Atlantic-West Channel: strategy / SEA

South Atlantic: strategy / SEA

Mediterranean: strategy / SEA

The other two parts of the sea-basin strategies (action plan and monitoring mechanism) are being drafted to be adopted in 2021. A new public consultation will be organised on these two parts, which will be launched at end of 2020.

National MSP authority

Ministère de la transition écologique et solidaire


Ministère de la transition écologique et solidaire

Direction générale des infrastructures, des transports et de la mer

Direction des affaires maritimes - Délégation à la mer et au littoral (DML)

Délégué à la mer et au littoral

Tour Séquoia - 92 055 La Défense Cedex



Last Update 28.02.2020