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French National Maritime and Coastline Strategies


In order to develop a long-term strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors, France has adopted a National Maritime and Coastline Strategy (Stratégie nationale pour la mer et le littoral - SNML) which sets out an ambitious maritime policy for the 21st century. The national strategy is implemented at the level of sea basins by means of sea basin strategy documents (document stratégique de façade - DSF) in mainland France (Eastern Channel-North Sea, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Mediterranean). Sea basin strategy documents are the legal solution chosen by France to address the requirements of the MSFD and the MSP Directive and these documents specify the conditions for implementing the national strategy according to local contexts. It includes MSP in the form of an activities map and it is subject to an environmental assessment. The four strategic documents have been drafted in cooperation with stakeholders and have been assessed by the French Environmental Authority. The documents provide an initial situational analysis, define strategic objectives, establish an evaluation procedure and lastly propose an Action Plan for each basin.

Application in MSP:
Type of Issue:
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 objectives of France’s Sea Basin strategies and how will they be achieved?
  • How can Actions Plans be developed to achieve a maritime vision?

Implementation Context:

These documents were developed as part of France’s initiative for the National Strategy for the Sea and Coast. They are undergoing public consultation until 4th of June, 2019. More information on public consultation can be found here:

Aspects / Objectives:

Each sea basin strategy gives a general overview of the respective Sea Basin through an inventory of activities and definition of desirable outcomes for the coastline through a cross-sectoral analysis. Additionally, each document seeks to establish strategic environmental and socio-economic objectives for the planning of maritime spaces.


Strategy documents were drafted in cooperation with stakeholders and by government authorities through the support of the Ministry for Ecological and Inclusive Transition. They are undergoing public consultation until 4th of June, 2019. More information on public consultation can be found here:

Main Outputs / Results:

  • Situational review of uses and activities
  • Definition of challenges
  • Definition of a vision
  • Definition of strategic objectives which have been divided into two categories; “environmental strategic objectives” and “socioeconomic strategic objectives”, which are outlined in detail in the tables below.

  • Cartographic representation of spatial uses and activities within each basin


Although the initiative focuses on the Sea Basins within France’s littoral waters, it could be used by neighbouring countries to develop a vision for transboundary cooperation in the region. 

Responsible Entity / Funding Source:

Ministry for Ecological and Inclusive Transition


Julia Jordan

Ministry for Ecological and Inclusive Transition (julia[dot]jordan[at]developpement-durable[dot]gouv[dot]fr)