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Best practice in sector conflict management for MSP


Cross-sector coordination; spatial planning; conflict minimisation agreements and compensation; consultation and recommendations for sector conflict management

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 sector conflict management in MSPs?
  • What can be done to prevent and solve sectoral conflicts in my national or regional MSP?

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 sectoral conflict management for MSP.

Aspects / Objectives

What have been best practices in sectoral conflict management in MSPs?


A series of national reports were commissioned to establish the current status of MSP within each EU Member States. The focus of sector conflict management was on the following areas:

  • Spatial Planning (Zoning) of the maritime space
  • Conflict minimisation agreements and compensation
  • Consultation as a mechanism to manage conflicts

Main Outputs / Results

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

  • Government authorities and institutions representing different sectors are effectively coordinated;
  • Information is effectively shared between sectors in a common format (see also Data and Information Management);
  • Up-to-date maps available on the current and future anticipated use of the maritime zone (see also Data and Information Management);
  • Legally-binding Maritime Zones (or clearly defined criteria) have been identified that define priority and reserve zones, as well as decision rules for resolving conflicts. There is however flexibility within the zoning by not ruling out developments outside of priority areas;
  • Regular consultations are undertaken as part of a legally binding review of maritime spatial plans and zones;
  • Accompanying sector guidelines exist for minimising conflicts. Some actions may be legally binding where appropriate;
  • Effective and active consultation carried out for overall Maritime Spatial Plans, sector plans and individual projects (see also Section 5: Consultation);
  • Stakeholders involved early in the process of developing a Maritime Spatial Plan.
  • Possibility of compensation mechanisms

There is also a role for regional initiatives to support sector conflict management as many of these issues will also be common to cross-boundary cooperation. In this sense the BaltSeaPlan project provides useful pilot approaches to MSP and conflict resolution. However, these approaches need to be translated into national legislation and policy to have significant impacts on managing sectoral conflicts.


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)