Which maritime spatial plans exist?

Maritime spatial plans exist for the German North Sea and Baltic Sea EEZs (2) and for the territorial sea areas under jurisdiction of the three coastal federal states (Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) (3).

The process of revising the current MSP is ongoing. The international consultation for the revision of the maritime spatial plans for the German EEZ started early in the process in the first quarter of 2020. Documents on the international consultation are now available online. A virtual meeting will also be offered on 27 January 2021 in English. A possible second round of consultations may be conducted in Q2 2021. Comments from the national consultation are available on the BSH website (in German). Updates will be available at: 


Maritime Spatial Plan for the Territorial Sea of the Baltic Sea – Schleswig-Holstein 

The State Development Plan for Schleswig-Holstein regulates conclusively the spatial objectives and principles for terrestrial as well as marine areas. The guiding principle is sustainable spatial development, which brings the social and economic demands regarding space in line with its ecological functions and leads to a permanent, large-scale balanced order. The different uses in the coastal zone should be balanced and adjusted to each other. Integrated coastal zone management should play an important role in this. The plan came into effect 2010 and was last amended May, 5th 2019.

The plan takes coastal and flood defence into account.

Maritime Spatial Plan for the Territorial Sea of the Baltic Sea – Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

The Spatial Development Programme Mecklenburg-Vorpommern aims to implement the principles of sustainable spatial development which may bring social and economic requirements to be met by the territory into harmony with its ecological functions, and which leads to a long-term, large-scale and balanced spatial development. The plan was extended to the 12-nm zone between 2003-2005 and adopted in 2005. Between 2013-2015 it was revised and adopted. Accordingly, it became a legally binding act in 2016.

According to the LPIG M-V, an evaluation of the planning should be carried out after 5 years. A monitoring system is under preparation. 

Maritime Spatial Plan for the Territorial Sea of the Baltic Sea – Lower Saxony

The Spatial Planning Programme of Lower Saxony includes provisions concerning wind power production and nature conservation, offshore electricity transmission, and shipping. Objectives that apply to both the territorial sea and coastal zones include sustainable development, consideration of stakeholder perspectives from multiple groups and geographies, and reversible measures. The programme of Lower Saxony has been revised and amended in 2008 and 2012. There exist three current drafts due to an amendment process of the years 2014, 2015 and 2016. The plan takes water management as well as coastal and flood defence into account.

MSP legislation

The national legal basis for MSP is the general Spatial Planning Act („Raumordnungsgesetz“/ROG) (Link to database), which was made applicable to the EEZ in 2004. The Spatial Planning Act provides the legal basis for the “Maritime Spatial Plan for the EEZ of the Baltic Sea” (Link to database) and the “Maritime Spatial Plan for the EEZ of the North Sea” (Link to database). Whereas the EEZ is governed at the federal level, the territorial sea is an integrated part of the (terrestrial) spatial plans of the coastal federal states. In addition to ROG, the legal basis for these plans is provided by the respective spatial planning law of each federal state.

National MSP authority


Internal Waters and the Territorial Sea:

State Chancellery of the State Schleswig-Holstein
Mr Frank Liebrenz


Ministry of Energy, Infrastructure and State Development Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Ms Petra Schmidt-Kaden

Lower Saxony
Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection
Petra Sewig



The amendment of the ROG in 2004 extended the scope of spatial planning according to the guidelines of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to include EEZ and allocated planning powers for the EEZ in the North and Baltic Seas (beyond the 12-nautical mile zone (territorial waters) outward to up to 200 nautical miles) to the Federal Government. This was the first time the Federal Government was assigned a concrete task in overall spatial planning.




Last Update 21.01.2021