News archive



Jun 06

The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management is inviting representatives from neighbouring countries to a consultation meeting on the marine spatial plan consultation proposals for Skagerrak and Kattegat, the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia. The international consultation will take place from 15 June to 15 September 2018. Consultations under the Espoo Convention will also take place during this consultation period. The purpose of the meeting is to inform and explain the proposals to facilitate written consultation opinions sent before the end of the consultation period. The meeting is primarily aimed at authorities responsible for marine/maritime spatial planning and transboundary environmental effects. It will be devoted to cross-border and transboundary issues in general and part of the meeting will address transboundary environmental effects of the consultation proposals. The meeting will take place on 19 June from 10.00 - 15.30 at the World Maritime University, Malmö, Sweden.

More information



The workshop on Co-existence and synergies in MSP took place in Edinburgh 4-6 April. The workshop was co-organised by ICES Working Group on Marine Planning and Coastal Zone Management (WGMPCZM), the Horizon2020 Project MUSES (Multi-Use in European Seas). Apart from the members of the ICES WGMPCZM and MUSES project partners, workshop has also gathered a wide range of maritime professionals, including  government representatives, marine spatial planners, and maritime industry representatives, to discuss synergies and co-existence in marine areas as a key issue in MSP. The workshop had a highly interactive format and discussed questions included 'What types of synergies and resulting benefits can be identified?  What is the role and limitation of MSP in supporting different types of synergies? What are the barriers and preconditions for implementation of the multi-use concept?".

Moreover, in the context of MUSES project workshop participants have discussed what actions are needed to support transition of co-existance and multi-use from concept to life. The workshop report is expected to be completed in July, providing a more structured approach to understanding coexistence and synergy in MSP and its links with other relevant factors including policy, regulation, funding and social perspectives. 

More about MUSES

Apr 11

The Dutch government is developing an Embassy for the North Sea between March 1st and June 29th. The Embassy will be developing a vision regarding the relationship with the North Sea and is asking cittizens to submit motions on behalf of Things, Animals, Plants or Humans. The collective 'Plea for the North Sea' will be presented to Parliament on 29 June.

More about this event

Apr 11

The EU MSP Platform and OCTO: Open Communications for the Ocean are co-organising a webinar on cumulative impact tools, as a follow-up from the expert roundtable on the same topic, held on 18 January 2018.

Cumulative impact tools can be useful for evaluating the environmental effects resulting from human activities in a given area. Several initiatives are underway in Europe to develop and enhance cumulative impact tools and assessments to incorporate the ecosystem-based approach in marine management, as called for in multiple policy frameworks (e.g., Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive, and regional seas conventions such as the Barcelona Convention). This webinar will share latest developments on cumulative impact tools from Europe, including examples of their application from Portugal and Montenegro. The webinar is co-organized by the EU MSP Platform,  an assistance mechanism, operating under an EU funded service contract and providing administrative and technical assistance to EU Member States in the implementation of the EU’s MSP Directive. It assists the Commission in preparing technical background information and meetings which are linked to the implementation of the Directive. The EU MSP Platform recently organized an expert roundtable on cumulative impact tools for maritime spatial planning. Conclusions from this roundtable will be shared during the webinar, including limitations and opportunities for further incorporating these tools in MSP and SEA processes.

The webinar will be held on 3 May 2018 at 15:00 UTC / 16:00 WEST / 17:00 CEST. 

Register for the webinar at

More about the expert roundtable

PLASMAR has published two reports on the state of play of Blue Growth in the Autonomous Portuguese Region of Madeira and the Canary Islands. The reports include a forecast of growth in the maritime sector as well as projections of blue acitivites, including fisheries and transport, by 2030.  PLASMAR will define and propose robust scientific methodologies in support of Maritime Spatial Planning and Blue Growth, taking into consideration the biogeographic characteristics of the Macaronesian Region and searching for a balance between the diverse maritime sectors and the conservation of the natural marine heritage. The report about Madeira is available in English.

Read more..

BalticRIM has been selected by the European Commission as a project under the European Year for Cultural Heritage 2018. This initiave encourages more people to discover and engage with Europe's cultural heritage. BalticRIM relates to the EYCH aims as it will systematically include heritage sites in maritime spatial plans across the Baltic Sea. The project helps to identify and designate maritime cultural heritage zones by bringing heritage managers together with spatial information.

More about EYCH:


The Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, jointly with IOC-UNESCO, are organising the 1st kick-off event for the International Forum for MSP in Brussels, Belgium on 24 and 25 May, 2018.

Text from the Save-the-Date:

''Join us for a dynamic and interactive first workshop of the International Forum for Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP). The event is jointly organised by the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission (DG MARE) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, on 24th and 25th of May 2018.  This first workshop of the International Forum for MSP aims to start working on international guidelines on cross-border MSP. This is a direct follow up of the "Joint Roadmap to accelerate Maritime/Marine Spatial Planning processes worldwide" adopted during the 2nd International Conference on Maritime Spatial Planning, in March 2017 in Paris. The workshop will include interactive discussions and a wide exchange of good practices, focussing on cross-border integration in MSP and stakeholder involvement. Maritime Spatial planners from all across the world and experts directly involved in planning are welcome to participate and give their input. Please reserve this date and we will get back to you with more information and a draft agenda as soon as possible.''

Registration open until 14 May:

For enquiries about the event, please contact DG MARE through:

The Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission organised a two-day workshop on 15-16 March 2018 in Portorož, Slovenia, on the topic of how to apply maritime spatial planning (MSP) in small sea spaces. All presentations are available through the link below.

More about the workshop

Mar 12

A newsletter has been sent out today! This time with contributions on #MSP4SmallSeas, #BaltSPACE, #BlueInvest, brand-new #MSP projects, many new interesting documents and much more.

View the newsletter here

An expert roundtable was organised to share up-to-date information of on-going research and existing good practices, as well as to support the Romanian MSP authority and involved sectoral ministries. Specific needs from the MSP authority and sectoral ministries were identified beforehand:
• What is the relationship between the national plan and other national/European regulations?
• How to extract relevant conclusions from a mass of raw data?
• How to integrate cross-sectorally and analyse synergies or conflicts?
• What is the relationship between terrestrial and maritime areas and how to interact with ICZM aspects?

The roundtable addressed these identified topics and aimed to find out more about specific needs. During the day, the focus was on methodologies necessary for the elaboration of a national MSP. Discussions after
the presentations linked directly to examples of current processes and provided input. The roundtable fostered a better understanding of the four selected aspects of MSP, taking into account the importance of
strengthening collaboration between administrative institutions. Time for discussion and exchange concretely addressed the most pressing questions from the participants and provided answers how
regarding MSP can be turned into a real planning process. The roundtable also took into account results of the MARSPLAN-BS project.

Read the minutes of the meeting here:

Read the full report including all presentations

Together with its stakeholders and the French Maritime Council, French public authorities are currently drawing up 4 'Documents Stratégiques de façade' – one for each French maritime coastline (East Channel-North Sea, North Atlantic-West Channel, South Atlantic, Mediterranean). In this context, a public consultation was launched on 26 January which will run until 25 March 2018. It is structured around two modalities:

  1. 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. Participants will also have the possibility to interact and exchange along themselves. The platform can be found at:
  2. The organisation of public workshops in several coastal cities. More information on these meetings can be found on

Within one month after close of the consultation, the National Commission for Public Debate will analyse the results and integrate these in a report, which will be published on both the online platform ‘merlittoral2030’ as well as on the National Commission’s website. During the second half of 2018, a report on how stakeholder opinions were considered will be annexed to the draft final strategic documents which will then be submitted to a final consultation.

More information on the public consultation