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 uses

  • 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

The Policy Document on the North Sea 2016 – 2021 includes a framework vision map and 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
    • Nature protection 
    • Military
    • Submarine cables and pipelines

MSP legislation

The Policy Document on the North Sea is not itself a legal document but was prepared on the basis of part 3.4 of the General Administrative Law Act (Algemene wet bestuursrecht), under Article 4.1 of the Water Decree (Waterbesluit). Additional procedural regulations apply under the National Water Act (Waterwet), the Spatial Planning Act (Wet ruimtelijke ordening) and the Environmental Management Act (Wet milieubeheer). The National Water Act is the legal basis for MSP (see 1.2.2 above). The current National Water Plan (NWP) fulfils the obligation under Section 4.1(1) of the Water Act for the period 2016-2021. The Policy Document on the North Sea is an appendix to the NWP, and was adopted with the NWP in December 2015. It fleshes out and substantiates the policy described in the main text of the NWP. and provides a framework vision for MSP as required under Section 2.3(2) of the Spatial Planning Act.

National MSP authority

Interdepartmental Directors’ Consultative Body North Sea led by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment


The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment
Lodewijk Abspoel
Plesmanweg 1-6 Den Haag
Phone: +31623430869

Leo De Vrees
Lange Kleijweg 34 Rijswijk
Phone: +31627038234

Directorate Nature and Biodiversity of the Ministry of Economic Affairs
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 27.06.2019