Which maritime spatial plans exist?

To date, Italy has not officially completed or adopted a binding maritime spatial plan. In June 2021, the Italian Government submitted its proposal for future MSP plans for the three Italian maritime regions: 1) Maritime Area “Adriatic”; 2) Maritime Area “Ionian and Central Mediterranean”; 3) Maritime Area “Tyrrhenian and Western Mediterranean to the European Commission. These plans were submitted to the Regional Councils (Giunta) for approval. Once approved they will be open for a public debate in each of the Regions.  A legally binding national MSP plan is expected to be completed by the end of 2022

Public consultation on the draft MSP plans was open on September 15th and will close on October 31th. The consultation web page with links to all documents is available here. The consultation for SEA was open on September 30th and will close on November 15th.

Even though there is no MSP plan yet, Italy was involved in various projects aiming at carrying MSP initiatives and implementing maritime spatial planning such as ADRIPLAN or SIMWESTMED projects.

MSP legislation

The EU MSP Directive was transposed in Italian legislation with the Legislative Decree 17 October 2016, n. 201.

National MSP authority

According to the Legislative Decree 17 October 2016, n. 201 (art. 8) the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport is the competent authority for MSP.

MSP competences are also shared among different institutions

  • An Inter-ministerial Coordination Table responsible for marine areas definition for the development of maritime plans and coastal areas relevant for sea-land interaction analysis, and guidelines definition for the implementation of MSP and elaboration of related plans.
  • A Technical Committee responsible for MSP plans elaboration, according to the guidelines defined by the Inter-Ministerial Coordination Table, including SEA and evaluation procedures related to Natura 2000 legislation.


Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport

Directorate General for Port Authorities, Port Facilities and Maritime and Waterways Transport

Via dell’Arte 16 – 00144 Rome

Director: Maria Teresa Di Matteo

E-mail:        Phone: 0039 06 5908 4205


**The present list of relevant practices is purely indicative and not endorsed by the Italian MSP authority, as it does not represent the formal process of MSP implementation: practices are results of projects and studies.

Last Update 05.10.2022