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Please note that as of 30 June 2019, the EU MSP Platform website is no longer being updated with new information. Updates are expected to resume in the near future.


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The MSP Challenge Game is going from strength to strength. More than 3,000 participants have played the MSP Challenge Game by now in more than 100 sessions. During a recent meeting of the ICES Working Group on Marine Planning and Coastal Zone Management in Ireland, a session with the #MSPglobal edition was played at the Galway Aquarium, bringing together students of NUI Galway (SeaShoreNUIG) and MSP experts.  The game is fun but also a great platform for learning and exchange. Three recent scientific articles evaluate the MSP Challenge Game from the perspective of knowledge co-creation, collaboration and learning across boundaries, available for download here:

Abspoel, L. et al. 2019. Communicating Maritime Spatial Planning: The MSP Challenge approach. Marine Policy,

Jean, S. et al. 2018. Serious Games as Planning Support Systems: Learning from Playing Maritime Spatial Planning Challenge 2050.

Jean, S. et al. 2018. Serious games as a catalyst for boundary crossing collaboration and knowledge co-creation in a watershed governance context. Journal of Environmental Management 223, 1010-1022.

A new research project has begun at Södertörn University (Sweden) to investigate the links between social sustainability and MSP. Social sustainability has not received as much attention as the ecological or economic dimensions of sustainability in MSP, possibly because the concept and its various linkages to MSP  are not always clear. This project will look at different aspects of social sustainability, for example how MSP can contribute to social justice and a fair distribution of benefits, and what an MSP process would look like that can make democratic decisions over marine space. The project aims to deliver a more coherent understanding of what ‘social sustainability’ means in terms of sustainable marine spatial planning and how these insights can be applied to MSP practice in three Baltic Sea case study countries. For more information contact Fred Saunders, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Södertörn University,


The South marine plan was published in July 2018. Ongoing activity has been focussed on external implementation work with decision-makers in the plan area through a series of training workshops delivered from September 2018 to February 2019. The first review is expected to be completed and published in 2021. An Approach to Monitoring document has been published which sets out how this review will be undertaken. The remaining plans are being developed simultaneously and are all currently in the drafting phase. The third, and final, iteration of online engagement took place from 21 January to 29 March 2019 and was accompanied by a series of stakeholder workshops. Statutory consultation on these plans is anticipated in late 2019 and submission to government in 2020 with all plans adopted by 2021.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is also seeking feedback on a new digital marine planning system, envisaged to replace the Marine Information System. The MMO is undertaking targeted research with their stakeholders to better understand their requirements for a digital marine planning system. The research sessions will run between now and the middle of June, and an individual session is envisaged to take between 1-1.5 hours. If you would like to participate and help shape their future digital marine planning service, or have any questions about the research sessions, please get in touch with

More about MSP in the UK

The Interreg Baltic Sea Region Monitoring Committee has selected the Project Platform “Strengthening the capacity of MSP stakeholders and decision makers” or 'Capacity4MSP' for funding. Project Platforms are meant to support cooperation among partners of projects funded by different funding programmes in a certain thematic field in order to increase their impact. Project Platforms should ensure more intensive use, better durability and transferability of projects' outcomes. The Project Platform Capacity4MSP is aimed at intensifying the dialogue between different practitioners involved in maritime spatial planning in the Baltic Sea Region. It brings together eleven projects from five funding Programmes, i.e. from Interreg South Baltic, HORIZON 2020, BONUS, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and Interreg Baltic Sea Region.

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The UK’s Marine Management Organisation is currently in the process of creating a new digital marine planning system, envisaged to replace the Marine Information System ( As part of this they are undertaking targeted research with their stakeholders to better understand their requirements for a digital marine planning system. The research sessions will run between now and the middle of June, and an individual session is envisaged to take between 1-1.5 hours. If you would like to participate and help shape their future digital marine planning service, or have any questions about the research sessions, please get in touch with

More about MSP in the UK

The Belgian Marine Spatial Plan is currently presented to the King for his signature, which wil be followed by an official publication in the Belgian State Publication soon thereafter, This means that the review of the Marine Spatial Plan for the period 2020-2026 will be finalised soon. The key points include a doubling of the capacity of renewable energy; the allocation of zones for innovative industrial and commercial projects; as well as the allocation of a new marine protected area as well as the allocation of special zones wherein fisheries measures will be implemented.

More about MSP in Belgium

Slovenia is currently working on the revision of the Spatial Development Strategy for 2050, including in particular the component related to the sea and coast. The maritime spatial plan will be designed in the form of an action programme of this hierarchically superordinate strategic document.  On the basis of the legal, methodological and territorial frame, the maritime spatial plan will provide inputs from hierarchically superordinate documents; analyse state, process, restriction and development needs; analyse already present and expected use conflicts; elaborate scenarios and a vision for future development for the area and include the environmental report related to the plan. The plan will contain also implementation measures and guidelines for subordinate documents as well as monitoring and evaluation issues.

More about MSP in Slovenia

Estonia is preparing to start stage 2 transboundary consultations in May. Stage 2 period will be 9 weeks and countries can go through the first draft of Estonian MSP. Estonia is also preparing transboundary consultation meeting in 29th of May at 13.00-16.00 in the Ministry of Finance (Suur-Ameerika 1, Tallinn). A translation of the first draft of the plan is expected to be ready in mid-May.

More about MSP in Estonia

May 03

Spain is moving forward on the technical development of the Maritime Spatial Plans, through different simultaneous actions: 

  • Inter-administrative Coordination. A working group has been created, to facilitate coordination between the different departments of the Central Government. For a better coordination with other authorities, a first meeting took place in February 2019 with the regional administrations, in charge of tourism, environment, underwater cultural heritage, fisheries and aquaculture, as well as regional ports. The representatives of local authorities were also present in this meeting. 
  • Stakeholder’s involvement. A first meeting took place in March 2019 with more than 40 representatives of private sectors and NOGs, mainly representing the maritime sectors in Spain at the national level. It is foreseen that after summer 2019, a set of meetings or workshops will be carried out more at the sea basin level, for each of the five marine subdivisions in Spain. 
  • Development and agreement of a set of MSP objectives. A draft document is being developed with the help of the working group, as well as the contributions of the regional governments and stakeholders. It is foreseen that this document will be subject to public consultation, and finally endorsed by the Interministerial Commission of Marine Strategies. 
  • Compilation of existing and future uses and activities in the Spanish marine waters. Based on the information produced for the 2 nd cycle of marine strategies, as well as that provided by the Ministries, regional governments and stakeholders, a first spatial analysis of existing and future uses and activities will be ready soon. 
  • Starting the scoping process for the strategic environmental assessment of the maritime spatial plans. The draft documents will be circulated to the authorities and the public, for obtaining a scoping document that will guide the strategic environmental assessment of the plans. They will also be circulated to the neighbouring countries for them to communicate their intention to participate in the official transboundary consultations.

More about MSP in Spain


The Plan4Blue project presents four scenarios for how our choices will affect people and the marine nature in the Gulf of Finland and the Archipelago Sea. The short animation presents four alternative future scenarios: “Unlimited growth”, “Virtual reality”, “Sustainability above all!” and “Sustainability dilemma”. The animation explains the idea of thinking with alternative scenarios. In this work, scenarios are not forecasts. They are understood as different directions that our societies and economy might develop. The infographs describe how the alternative scenarios would play out for different sectors. The sectors are here understood very broadly.  More detailed information on how the alternative scenarios would affect different sectors can be found in the infographs and scenario report


Infographic Marine Energy Sector

Infographic Maritime Cluster

Infographic Blue Bioeconomy and Subsea Resources

Infographic Maritime Tourism

Apr 12

Registration for the 3rd UNESCO IOC and DG MARE MSP Forum is now open. It will take place in Vigo, Spain between 12 and 15 May and there will be interactive panels, roundtable discussions and local stakeholder visits! The deadline for registering is 19 May.

More information

Apr 12

The European Commission and the Co-Presidency of the Initiative for the sustainable development of the blue economy in the western Mediterranean are holding the event Hackathons WestMED: "Blue economy contribution to the Summit of the Two Shores” on Tuesday 14 May 2019 in Palermo, Italy.

The event aims to facilitate the exchange of project ideas and promote concrete project development among stakeholders in the region operating in the maritime sector (businesses, researchers, institutes, national and local authorities belonging to the western Mediterranean Countries).

Specifically, this exchange will take place in the framework of 6 different parallel sessions covering the fields of Illegal fishing (IUU), Aquaculture, Plastic Litter, Clean Transport, Clusters and Tourism.

The parallel working sessions will be held in a ‘hackathon’ style, hence involving selected practitioners across the western Mediterranean (and beyond) with the purpose of taking existing project ideas to the next level, so to strengthen project partnerships and further develop the project concepts in line with the available funding opportunities for the region.

The morning session will host a showcase of a number of funding programmes/initiatives and project ideas relevant for the themes and topics to be discussed. Given the specific objectives and approach of this workshop, participation to the “hackathon” sessions will be limited.

The event is organised back-to-back with the Conference of the "Med Lab Group: Innovative Practices in Coastal Tourism", organised in Palermo on 13 May 2019. For more information and to register to this event, please follow this link. 

More information