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Best practice in consultation for MSP


Stakeholder representation, consultation on plans and projects, transparency, timeframes and appeals process recommendations

Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Cross-border / trans-national aspect:
Coherence with other processes:
Key words:

Questions this practice may help answer

  • What are the best practices on consultation for offshore energy in MSPs?
  • What can be done to improve the consultation process for offshore energy in my country?

Implementation Context

The Seanergy 2020 project has developed a set of seven criteria to evaluate the different MSP regimes across the 17 EU Member States. These criteria are: 1) policy and legal framework; 2) data and information management; 3) permitting and licensing; 4) consultation 5) sector conflict management; 6) cross-border cooperation; 7) implementation of MSP. Based on these criteria, a series of national reports were commissioned to establish the current status of MSP within each EU Member States. These reports go into detail on the specific arrangements within the different countries and provide details on national legalisation, data management, permitting arrangements, consultation mechanisms, methods for managing sector-conflict and cross-border cooperation. In this practice the findings concerning consultation will be elaborated.

Aspects / Objectives

What have been best practices in consultation for offshore energy in MSPs?


A series of national reports were commissioned to establish the current status of MSP within each EU Member States. In these report the focus of consultation was on the following areas:

  • Stakeholder representation
  • Consultation on plans and projects
  • Transparency
  • Timeframes
  • Appeals process.

Main Outputs / Results

The report provides a summary of the findings as well as the following recommendations for consultation have been defined:

  • Defined and legally binding systems for consultation on individual projects, sector plans and overarching maritime spatial plans;
  • All relevant stakeholders are represented in the processes  
  • A central institution is responsible coordinating consultations and allowing cooperation between partners;
  • Where appropriate stakeholders are organised into associations or representative groups to streamline the consultation process;
  • Stakeholders are „actively‟ consulted so that they are specifically sent relevant information and directly invited to participate;
  • Stakeholders are provided with sufficient information to make informed choices. This information is provided in a timely manner and is easily accessible;
  • Stakeholders are able to provide input into projects, sector plans and MSPs at various stages of the process including initial scoping phase; detailed presentation and a final presentation;
  • For sector plans and overarching maritime spatial plans, stakeholders are involved in ongoing consultations for regular plan reviews and updates;
  • There is a legally binding system for appeal with defined rules and time limits;
  • Informal consultation is encouraged before the formal processes starts for early identification of potential conflicts or issues;
  • Consultations cover all potential impacts – including the laying of sea cables for transport of electricity from energy platforms to onshore sub-stations.


The recommendations do not refer to a specific geographical area or institutional context and are therefore highly transferable among the EU member states.

Costs / Funding Source

The practice was elaborated under the Seanergy 2020 Project co-financed by Intelligent Energy Europe. Direct costs of its elaboration are unknown.

Responsible Entity

European Wind Energy Association

Contact Person

Dorina Iuga

European Wind Energy Association

Email: (di[at]ewea[dot]org)