Please note:

The Commission is in the process of updating some of the content on this website in light of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. If the site contains content that does not yet reflect the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, it is unintentional and will be addressed.



Overview of MSP related maritime use

  • Priority activities of national interest:

    • Oil and gas
    • Shipping
    • Mineral extraction
    • Offshore renewable energy production
    • Military
    • Nature protection
  • Click here to open the interactive map of the Dutch EEZ to see the currently planned Offshore Wind Energy parks and other sea uses.
  • Other current uses: CO2 storage (considered in the Policy Document as a temporary solution while progress is made to a fully renewable energy supply).
  • National spatial challenges for the North Sea: preservation of the “coastal foundation'' (kustfundament) and implementation of the area-based Coastal and Wadden Region sub-programmes; preservation and protection of Natura 2000 sites and the marine ecosystem; maintaining an unobstructed view of the horizon up to 12nm from the coast; providing space for the pipeline network that transports (hazardous) substances; protection of archeological values.

Which maritime spatial plans exist?

Policy Document on the North Sea 2016 – 2021 includes a framework vision map, which currently constitutes the Netherlands’ Maritime Spatial Plan.

  • The Policy Document contains the following sectors:            

    • Shipping
    • Mineral extraction
    • Oil and gas exploitation
    • Offshore renewable energy production
    • Fishing
    • Aquaculture
    • Tourism (incl. recreation and sports)
    • Under water cultural heritage
    • Military
    • Submarine cables and pipelines
    • Nature protection

MSP legislation

The National Water Plan provides a policy framework for MSP based on the Water Act and includes the Policy Document for the North Sea 2016-2021 as an appendix. The Policy Document includes the Netherlands’ Maritime Spatial Plan and reflects the Dutch Government’s policy choices for the North Sea. Every 6 years the plan is revised. The first policy document and plan were published in 2009.

National MSP authority

Interdepartmental Directors’ Consultative Body North Sea led by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.


The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment

Rijnstraat 8  Den Haag
Lodewijk Abspoel:



Lange Kleijweg 34 Rijswijk
Leo De Vrees:

Xander Keijser:


Directorate for Nature and Biodiversity of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality

Jeroen Vis:



The “coastal foundation” (kustfundament) refers to the area along the length of the coast comprising the sea bed immediately in front of the coast to the -20m  depth contour, the beach, the dunes and all sea defences on these. (Structuurvisie Infrastructuur en Ruimte Nederland concurrerend, bereikbaar, leefbaar en veilig. Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Milieu 2012



Last Update 31.01.2020