New Directive Establishing a Framework for Maritime Spatial Planning

The European Commission and European Parliament has today published Directive 2014/89/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Framework for Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP)

This long-anticipated Directive has been developed as part of the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy, which aims to support sustainable development of the marine environment, to develop coordinated and transparent decision-making re sectoral policy that affects oceans, seas, islands, coastal and outermost regions and maritime sectors and at the same time achieve Good Environmental Status for our seas as set out in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The new Directive establishes a framework for MSP to promote sustainable growth of maritime economies, sustainable development of marine areas and sustainable use of marine resources.

Key points to note are:

  • The Directive comes into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (which was 28th August 2014)
  • Transposition into Member States’ own laws, regulations, etc., as needed must take place by 18 September 2016.
  • The maritime spatial plans must be established as soon as possible, and at the latest by 31 March 2021.
  • The plans must be reviewed at least every 10 years.
  • It requires the application of the ecosystem-based approach
  • It recognises the linkage between coastal and marine activity and references the need to have due regard to land sea interactions, as well as both the Recommendation of 30 May 2002 concerning the implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Europe and the Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Mediterranean
  • It does not interfere with Member States’ competence for town and country planning, including any terrestrial or land spatial planning system.

 The full text can be read here

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