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Nikolay Valchev, the Assistance Mechanism´s MSP focal point for the Black Sea, attended the opening conference of the MARSPLAN BS II project on the 10th October, in Sofia, Bulgaria.

During the conference there were presentations and discussion on:

  • The MARSPLAN – BS project, its main achievements and lessons learned;
  • The MARSPLAN – BS II project main objectives, expected results, and work plan;
  • The first draft of the Synthesis report on Maritime uses, Land-Sea Interactions, and Multi-Uses in a transboundary context;
  • MSP in the Mediterranean Sea

Read more about the MARSPLAN BS II project here.

Find the presentations made at the conference here.

See our fiche on the MARSPLAN – BS project here (MARSPLAN - BS II fiche coming soon).

Contact our Black Sea focal point at

The project Maritime Spatial Planning for Sustainable Blue Economies (PLAN4BLUE) has recently ended.

The final newsletter, available here, presents highlights from the project results grouped in specific themes. Presentation of the highlights gives links in the Newsletter to some of the key publications of the project. All the publications are also available in the project’s Publications page.

Final recommendations can also be found through the same link, and are grouped into those made for a sustainable blue economy, for environmental management, for spatial analysis, and for cross-border collaboration.

See our page on the project, with related useful practices, here.

EMODnet Human Activities aims to facilitate access to existing marine data on activities carried out in EU waters, by building a single entry point for geographic information on 14 different themes. The portal makes available information such as geographical position, spatial extent of a series of activities related to the sea, their temporal variation, time when data was provided, and attributes to indicate the intensity of each activity.

The team has recently added new mapping tools to allow greater flexibility when interrogating data.

This includes:

  • Possibility to draw a rectangle over the visible map layers and download the data selected as tabular data only. Particularly useful for non-GIS users.
  • A printing and annotating of maps function.
  • Transparency settings for map layers.
  • Place name search name.

Click here for their website (original article).

In this publication DG MARE and EASME have brought together a sample of the projects funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund between 2014 and 2019.

Some of the projects brought to the fore include:

  • MARSPLAN-BS: the first project helping Bulgarian and Romanian national authorities and researchers work together on the transposition of the EU´s Maritime Spatial Planning Directive
  • OCEANMETISS: a project being developed in Réunion which custom builds maritime spatial planning tools to fit the local territory, and allows the department to preserve its rich biodiversity whilst boosting the economy
  • ARCHEOSUB: a project which has designed underwater robots that, using acoustic signals, can reach otherwise inaccessible places and collect myriads of data.

Download full document here.


The main objective of the project “Cross-border Maritime Spatial Planning for Black Sea (MARSPLAN-BS II)” is to support the coherent cross-sectoral MSP in Bulgaria and Romania and establish a long-lasting mechanism for the Black Sea Basin cross-border cooperation on MSP. This will be achieved building on the earlier MARSPLAN-BS project (MSP 2014) to further develop the national maritime spatial plants through addressing LSI and multi-use, taking into account environmental, socio-economic aspects, coherence between plans and other processes (ICZM), and strengthening the early transboundary cooperation between BG and RO. View the MARSPLAN-BS II project description here.

SIMAtlantic seeks to strengthen links between those working on MSP in five Atlantic sea basin countries. This will be achieved through developing an ‘Atlantic vision’ for MSP in the region based upon findings from a series of linked case studies and cross-cutting themes to be conducted during the project, whilst also recognising the geographic characteristics of the Atlantic region, current spatial uses and needs and existing governance arrangements. Four Cross-cutting Themes will be advanced in the project. These largely correspond to specific provisions in the EU MSP Directive and relate to governance; cumulative effects/impacts assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment; data and information; and Land-sea interactions. View the SIMAtlatlantic project description here.

Jun 25

The ESPON funded MSP-LSI Project is drawing to a close at the end of this month with many of the outputs already available for download on the project website. The final months of the project have been busy for the MSP-LSI Team who have presented the project work at a number of events including participating in European Maritime Day, in Lisbon on the 16th-17th May. ESPON representatives together with the Lead Expert of the project, Kidd Sue, from the University of Liverpool, were on hand at the ESPON stand in the exhibition area and two “speed exchange meetings” took place with other experts that participated also in the EMD 2019. “Speed exchange meetings” is an innovative and very interactive concept where a number of experts discuss for 30 minutes on a specific topic, exchange ideas and information without any presentations or formalities. More information regarding the exchange meetings can be found here. In order to celebrate the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, an ESPON seminar "The role of functional areas for territorial cohesion" took place in Iași, Romania on the 19th and 20th June 2019. There was again the opportunity for participants to learn more about the MSP-LSI Project on Day 2 of the seminar when Sue Kidd, University of Liverpool discussed the main impacts of maritime activities on land. The presentation can be watched via the event website

More about the MSP-LSI project 

Jun 25

The Findings document presents the main outputs and results of the project. It especially includes the main trends in the shipping and energy sectors that planners need to take into account; presents new tools for MSP data gathering; compares the national planning criteria and introduces the project's recommendations. 

More about BalticLINes

Jun 25

VASAB, Visions and Strategies around the Baltic Sea, has published a new video that explains their work in developing strategic visions for the Baltic Sea Region. See the video here

Presentations and pictures are now available from the CO-EVOLVE Dissemination Event - 'Promoting the co-evolution of human activities and natural systems in MED touristic coastal areas'.

CO-EVOLVE's Dissemination event took place in Barcelona on 5 June, in the margins of the Mediterranean Sustainable Tourism Convention 2019 organised by the Interreg MED Sustainable Tourism Community. 

This meeting was the occasion to draw general conclusions from CO-EVOLVE's operational part i.e. Studying and Testing phases: Mapping of the threats and enabling factors to Sustainable Tourism; Toolkit to assess the sustainability of tourist destinations in the Mediterranean; Strategic planning at pilot areas level; Pilot actions, etc. (see CO-EVOLVE's deliverables).

CO-EVOLVE's methodology is now fully ready to be adapted and transferred to other territories, which is the main aim of the project's transferring phase, which started a few weeks ago and will run until the end of the project (October 2019);

CO-EVOLVE partners rely on this critical phase to guarantee the long-term impact of the project's activities, results and replication at local and regional scales, as well as at Mediterranean level.

Several opportunities to ensure the extension of CO-EVOLVE's methodology to other territories in the Mediterranean are undergoing:

  • Co-Evolve4BG (ENI CBC MED) and MedCoast4BG (UfM labelled project), in the Southern and Eastern parts of the Mediterranean (in particular Tunisia, Lebanon, Morocco and Montenegro)
  • TOURIMPACT4BG (Interreg IPA CBC Italy-Albania-Montenegro)
  • TAIEX (Morocco).

More information

Jun 04

Two studies have been published on MSP, prepared by the EU MSP Platform for DG MARE / EASME:

Cross-border consultation on Maritime Spatial Plans

The study is intended to inform the design and execution of cross-border consultation exercises - either as part of developing an initial maritime spatial plan, revising an existing plan, or a preparing a “next generation” plan - as well as advise those who are expected to respond to a consultation request. Recognising that Member States and countries have their own rules and procedures for engaging in such consultations, and that MSP is not a “one size fits all” approach, the study is in no way prescriptive. Rather, the study aims at providing a set of recommendations and considerations for those who have to design, or respond to, a consultation request.

Addressing conflicting spatial demands in MSP

This report presents the key findings of a study that was carried out in 2018 to explore the range of spatial conflicts experienced in MSP in Europe. The aim was to provide an overview of common types of spatial conflicts and solutions that have been found in various EU Member States, with particular focus on spatial conflict prevention and mitigation. This report looks at the different conflict potential of sectors, conflicting issues and stakeholder contexts, as well as different types of solutions and conditions for applying them. The study drew on conflicts described in the literature (e.g. past MSP projects) and input from planners and experts describing real-life examples of spatial conflicts. Its focus was on single cross-sectoral conflicts, bearing in mind that the term “conflict” may be contentious and that the respective sectors are not always in spatial conflict with each other. Various conflict cases between offshore wind farming, commercial fisheries, area-based maritime conservation, aquaculture, maritime tourism, maritime transport, defence, and cables and pipelines were identified for detailed consideration, either as likely to play a greater role in the future or to be faced by most countries at some stage of MSP. Detailed results are presented in nine conflict fiches available here.


May 28

The European Commission has launched the second edition of its Blue Economy Report at the European Maritime Day. This year’s blue economy report incorporates various new elements and content, including the maritime defence and the maritime equipment sectors. A preliminary analysis by sea basin has been added, as well as a number of in-depth case studies, e.g. on the economic impacts of marine protected areas or the contribution of the research and education sector to blue economy jobs. Finally, the second edition comprises a section on ecosystem services and natural capital, addressing the costs and economic impact of climate change and mitigation measures.

Download the report here

The Estonian Ministry of Finance, as the national MSP authority, has recently made available a proposed draft of the national Maritime Spatial Plan in English, as well as Latvian and Finnish. The draft plan, which marks the start of stage 2 of the Estonian MSP process, reflects the combined use of the Estonian marine area, including the future trends, vision and spatial development principles of the marine area. It also includes environmental considerations, such as most important associated impacts in areas of activity.  

In addition to the proposed draft plan, a web map and all the layers of the draft plan are also available in English on this website.  

Neighboring countries are invited to examine and make comments on the draft plan and the most important associated impacts. A separate SEA report will be conducted and distributed to neighboring countries in stage 3 (estimated spring 2020).