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MSP EU Legend 3

This map was compiled from different international sources such as EMODnet, EEA or Marine Regions. Information obtained from these sources was cross-checked with data from national sources. While compilation was carried out by the European MSP Platform, validation and quality assurance remain the responsibility of the primary data sources.

Basic facts on Marine Waters

  • Netherlands' Planning Area, including its Territorial sea out to 12 nautical miles and Exclusive Economic Zone (as defined by UNCLOS) covers a total area of 58,000 km2.
  • Only the central government has jurisdiction over marine areas beyond 1 km from the coast (the first km is shared with municipal and provincial authorities).
Contact email:

Maritime Spatial Plan(s) 

Status: Adopted

The Netherlands adopted its first maritime spatial plan, the North Sea Policy Document in 2009. 

Netherlands' first MSP is available here (in English) 

The second spatial plan, the North Sea Policy Document covering the period 2016-2021, and adopted in December 2015, is an update from the 2009-2015 document.

Netherlands' second MSP is available here (in English)

More recently the Netherlands adopted the North Sea Programme 2022-2027, including the maritime spatial plan and describing the policy to bolster the ecosystem, the transition to sustainable food supply and the transition to sustainable energy provision. 

Netherlands' North Sea Programme 2022-2027 is available here (in English)

Latest MSP developments

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management launched the transboundary consultation on the scope and level of detail of the Strategic Environmental Assessment for the partial revision of the North Sea Programme 2022-2027 expected in September 2025 and in accordance with the Convention on environmental impact assessment in a transboundary context (Espoo-Convention). 

The Netherlands has undertaken a revision of its maritime spatial plan in order to increase its offshore renewable energy targets (to reach 50 GW by 2040). In this context a scoping document is currently being developed. 

Next steps

The partial revision of the North Sea Programme 2022-2027 is ongoing and is expected to be finalized in September 2025.

The Energy Infrastructure Plan for the North Sea (EIPN) is currently being developed and is expected to be published in June 2024.

MSP Legislation

The EU MSP Directive was transposed into nationl legislation through the National Water Plan, which provides the legal basis for MSP in the Netherlands. The current National Wter Plan (NWP) fulfils the obligation under Section 4.1. of the Water Acct for the period 2016-2021. The Policy Document on the North Sea is an appendix to the NWP and was adopted along with the NWP in December 2015. 

National MSP authority

The Netherlands' competent autority for MSP is the Interdepartmental Directors’ Consultative Body North Sea led by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.


Dutch Ministry for Infrastructure and Water management.

Rijnstraat 8  Den Haag
Lodewijk Abspoel: (Lodewijk[dot]abspoel[at]minienw[dot]nl) 


Sophie Vergouwen: (sophie[dot]vergouwen[at]rws[dot]nl)

Directorate for Nature and Biodiversity of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality

Jeroen Vis: (g[dot]a[dot]j[dot]vis[at]minez[dot]nl) 

For more information

For more information regarding the evolution of the MSP process in the Netherlands please see the dedicated country profile below.