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Baltic Sea Broad-Scale Maritime Spatial Planning Principles



The HELCOM-VASAB MSP Working Group agreed on ten principles ten providing guidance for achieving better coherence in the development of Maritime Spatial Planning systems in the Baltic Sea Region.

Application in MSP:
Type of Issue:
Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Cross-border / trans-national aspect:
Key words:

Questions this practice may help answer

  • What principles have to be taken into account in MSP?

Aspects / Objectives

The following ten principles have been agreed upon, which should guide maritime spatial planning and, thereby, to contribute to coherent MSP in the Baltic Sea:

  1. Sustainable management
  2. Ecosystem approach
  3. Long term perspective and objectives
  4. Precautionary Planning
  5. Participation and Transparency
  6. High quality data and information basis
  7. Transnational coordination and consultation
  8. Coherent terrestrial and maritime spatial planning
  9. Planning adapted to characteristics and special conditions at different areas
  10. Continuous planning

Main Outputs / Results

The principles are rather generic in nature. The HELCOM-VASAB Working Group has worked on their elaboration with:

  • Guidelines on transboundary consultations, public participation and cooperation

  • Through the work of the BSR MSP Data expert sub-group, which is supports data, information and evidence exchange for MSP processes with regard to cross-border and trans-boundary planning issues

  • Guideline for the implementation of ecosystem-based approach in Maritime Spatial Planning in the Baltic Sea area


These principles are valid not only for the Baltic Sea but can be universally applied for MSP.

Contact Person

Anita Mäkinnen

Co-chair of the HELCOM-VASAB MSP Working Group

Finnish Transport Safety Agency

Email: (anita[dot]makinen[at]trafi[dot]fi)

Phone: +358 401624592


Andrzej Cieslak

Co-chair of the HELCOM-VASAB MSP Working Group

Maritime Office in Gdynia

Email: (cieslak[at]umgdy[dot]gov[dot]pl)

Phone: +48 583553435

Responsible Entity