18th October

EU Parliament adopts Maritime Spatial Planning legislation

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The European Parliament has endorsed (17/04) a Directive for MSP that 'should help Member States develop plans to better coordinate the various activities that take place at sea, ensuring they are as efficient and sustainable as possible,' an European Commission communique states.

In coastal and maritime areas, many activities compete for the same space and resources, e.g. fishing grounds, aquaculture sites, marine protected areas alongside maritime infrastructures such as cables, pipelines, shipping lanes, oil, gas and wind installations. 

'The new Directive will help avoid potential conflicts between diverse users and create a stable environment attractive for investors thereby contributing to sustainable growth.

It will also contribute to more efficient implementation of EU environmental legislation in marine waters and will help Member States reach good environmental status of their waters by 2020.

It should help establish coherent networks of Marine Protected Areas for which cooperation on planning across borders is essential and ensure that participating of all stakeholders in planning processes.'

Next Steps

Once adopted by ministers, Member States must transpose the Directive into their national legislation by 2016 and nominate Competent Authorities in charge of implementation. MS must also draw up their national marine spacial plans by 2021.

'They are free to tailor the content of the plans and stategies to their specific economic, social and environmental priorities, and their national sectorial policy objectives and legal traditions, but must respect the minimum requirements of the Directive. 

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