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MSP Strategies

Main issues

Maritime strategies often serve as preliminary approaches to a real maritime planning process. They may provide a roadmap for how to organise the MSP process within one country so as to enable the government’s vision and high-level goals for realising the national marine potential. In contrast to the topic MSP visions, they are therefore more process oriented. Maritime strategies help to include the maritime zone into the mainstream planning process– which has so far often been absent from national strategic documents.

Developing a MSP strategy also requires including maritime planning into the existing international regulatory framework, which governs a number of aspects of marine management. This includes EU Directives such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Water Framework Directive; the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy governing commercial fishing rights and obligations; and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The topic covers two different levels which are highly interlinked with each other: a) developing an overarching national maritime strategy, in which MSP is one among various sets of processes and b) the distinct process of how the maritime spatial plan is concretely developed within the given national governance setting (i.e. inter-ministerial cooperation). On both levels, the strategy may provide a good basis for supporting integrative planning, which is also referred to in the topic Cross-sector integration and the topic Stakeholder involvement

Please note that this section of the EU MSP Platform website is not currently being updated with new information. However, the resources throughout our website remain relevant to our mission of sharing knowledge and experiences on MSP in the EU.

Frequently Asked Questions

Strategy: Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth

Ireland CP, Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland

This sets out a roadmap for the Government’s vision, high-level goals and integrated actions across policy, governance and business to enable our marine potential to be realised. Implementation of this...

  • Feb 2012

The overarching strategy of spatial development of Poland


The National Spatial Development Concept 2030 (NSDC 2030) is the most important national strategic document that addresses the spatial planning management of Poland. Sea space is present under all objectives of the NSDC, if appropriate, and it is divided into two functional zones: the EEZ and the coastal zone (both sea and land) for which different spatial development measures have been proposed.
  • Jan 2011

Plano de Ordenamento do Espaço Marítimo (POEM)

Instituto da Água

Study setting out the economic, environmental and social importance of Portugal’s mainland sea area, showing existing and potential uses and their integrated planning and adaptive management.


  • Jul 2008

Maritime Strategy for Västra Götaland

Sweden - Västra Götaland Region

To develop the maritime sector further, a strategy is needed that brings together all players around a set of objectives and a vision of the direction that development will take.
  • Jan 2008

Bologna Charter 2012

Regional multilateral initiative, Bologna Charter 2012

The Bologna Charter 2012 is aimed at strengthening the role of the coastal administrations in the context of European policies and initiatives at the Mediterranean scale.
  • Mar 2013