Which Maritime Spatial Plans exist?

There are no formal maritime spatial plans in Bulgaria.  

A draft version of the National Maritime Spatial Plan was presented to the European Commission on 31 March 2021 and was open to public consultation until 26 June 2021. At the same time, the Environmental Impact Assessment, which is considered an integral part of the plan was launched.  

The process of public consultations for the draft National Maritime Spatial Plan covering the period 2021-2035 and the Report on Ecological Assessment of the plan, have now been completed. On 31 August 2021, a public online event, called “Public discussion of the two major documents” was carried out and hosted by the Ministry of Regional development and Public Works. The opinions, remarks and comments received during the whole consultation process from all stakeholders have been reflected within the draft Maritime Spatial Plan and the Report on its Ecological Assessment. Final Approval of the Ecological Assessment of the MSP is expected to be delivered by the Ministry of Environment and Waters as a competent authority. 

In the meantime, the next steps before adopting the MSP by the Council of Ministers are as follows:  

  • Approving of the Plan from the Advisory Council on Maritime Spatial Planning, a subsidiary body to the Minister of Regional development and Public Works by the end of February 2022.  
  • Adoption by the National Expert Council on Territorial Development and Regional Policy by the beginning of March 2022. 
  • Approval of the MSP by the Council of Ministers in March/April 2022. 
  • Publishing the MSP for the Republic of Bulgaria in the State Gazette and sending the Plan with all relevant explanatory material to the Commission and to any other Member States concerned within three months of its publication, according to Article 14 of the Directive 2014/89/EU on Maritime Spatial Planning.  

To support the elaboration of the National Maritime Spatial Plan, pilot plans for MSP have been elaborated in the framework of the MARPLAN BS project.  

MSP Legislation 

Bulgaria transposed the Directive 2014/89/EU by an amendment of the Maritime Spaces, Inland Waterways and Ports of the Republic of Bulgaria Act. The Advisory Council on Maritime Spatial Planning has been working since 2018 on the development of the Plan that should be delivered in 2020. Some general measures that cover MSP (and ICZM) are mentioned in the Development Strategies of the coastal districts (Burgas, Varna and Dobrich), in the National Strategic Plan for Aquaculture in Bulgaria (2014-2020) and in the National Regional Development Strategy (2012-2022).

Natural MSP Authorities

The overall management and coordination of the Maritime Spatial Planning related activities are performed by the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, who is also responsible for development and maintaining of the Maritime Spatial Plan of Bulgaria (Article 51b).

Furthermore, an Advisory Council on Maritime Spatial Planning is established as a subsidiary body to the Minister. The latter supports the cooperation and coordination between relevant stakeholders during the Maritime Spatial Planning process.


Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works

Directorate General “Strategic Planning and Regional Development Programs”

1.Mr. Ivaylo Stoyanov

Head of Department "Strategic Planning and Programming"

Sofia 1618, 215 Tsar Boris III blvd.

tel. +3592 9405 627

e-mail: istoyanov@mrrb.government.bg

2. Ms. Stanislava Atanasova,

Chief Expert in DG "Strategic Planning and Regional Development Programs"

е-mail:  satanasova@mrrb.government.bg

tel. +3592 9405 655

Last Update 21.02.2022