Baltic SCOPE

Towards coherence and cross-border solutions in Baltic Maritime Spatial Plans

Total budget:
€ 2.6 M
Project duration:
March 2015 – February 2017

Maritime policy and blue growth

Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) is widely recognised as an instrument essential for the efficient management of maritime activities. It plays an important role in maximising the development potential of maritime activities and ensures that any such activities are sustainable and in line with the ecosystem approach to marine management.
The EU commission’s support for developing MSP has culminated in July 2014 with the adoption of the MSP Directive.

A key aim of the Directive is to promote consistency and coherence of maritime spatial plans across marine regions. This not only requires practical MSP experience within Member States and the capacity to apply best practices, but also ongoing cooperation across borders and mechanisms that facilitate the exchange of best practices. Such cooperation is not easy to establish, and despite the ongoing activities of EU Member States in implementing MSP at national or regional level, cross-border cooperation between Member States remains limited at this point in time.

Baltic SCOPE will address this gap by conducting cross-border consultations for two case areas:
  1. South-West Sweden bordering Denmark, Germany and Poland and
  2. the Latvian sea border with Sweden and Estonia.

A series of meetings will be organised among planners and relevant institutional stakeholders to work on pertinent transboundary topics (e.g. shipping, energy, fishery and nature protection areas) in a systematic step-by-step approach. This enables the project to provide real planning solutions for real transboundary issues and a template for dealing with similar issues elsewhere. A key benefit of this approach is that it will equip planners from the participating countries to take on board transnational considerations when developing their national MSPs. This means that national maritime spatial plans can be prepared based on in-depth information provided by neighbouring countries and common solutions found in joint discussions, leading to greater alignment of national plans.

Apart from the planning solutions to be integrated into national MSPs, lessons learnt from the two case studies and practical recommendations will be formulated for future cross-border maritime spatial planning. In addition, the project will generate a framework for monitoring and evaluation of MSP processes, including a set of indicators and criteria to be used as measurements as well as recommendations for appropriate timing and governance structures for the evaluation process.