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Matrix of Interests for Coherent Cross-border Maritime Spatial Planning for the Southwest Baltic Sea


A matrix of interests was developed as part of this BalticSCOPE case study to map both present and potential future national sectoral interests in the case study transboundary focal areas. It provided an overview of the scope of interests and different priorities, as well as potential conflicts. 

Application in MSP:
Type of Issue:
Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Key words:

Questions this practice may help answer

  • How can national sectoral interests be presented and understood in a cross border MSP process?
  • How can conflicts be identified among national sectoral interests?

Implementation Context

The matrix of interests was developed in the context of the BalticSCOPE project to present an overview of the scope of interests and different priorities regarding national interests in four key sectors with transboundary impacts: shipping, energy, fisheries and environment/nature protection.


Aspects / Objectives

  • Identify different national interests and potential conflicts and synergies between sectors
  • Document how decisions were reached in the project context


As preparation for the matrix of interests exercise, partners identified transboundary focus areas, covering diverse interests and spanning country boundaries and bordering EEZs. Planners then mapped present and potential sectoral interests within each of the transboundary focus areas and determined the degree of interest (strong interest, minor interest, no interest, no information). Next, they compared the level of priority given by different countries to each item in each specific focus area. Additionally, the exercise gathered information about existing restrictions or regulations within each of the areas. This information was then presented in a visual format, organized by focal areas. Please see more detailed information in Info Box 1 in the linked report.

Main Outputs / Results

The completed matrix provided an overview of the scope of interests and differing priorities between the countries involved, as well as potential conflicts. It also documents how the project partners came to certain decisions.

Matrix of national interests in focus areas of the Southwest Baltic case study. Source: Baltic SCOPE

It is important to note that the completed matrix is an illustration to highlight methods used and provide process-tracing evidence regarding how and why certain decisions were reached. The assessment was an exercise in the context of the BalticSCOPE project, and does not necessarily reflect the national governments’ positions regarding the individual matters presented.


A similar exercise could be conducted in the context of  other cross border MSP processes to identify focus areas, given that sufficient information is available regarding degree of interest and restrictions and regulations to complete the matrix.

Responsible Entity

Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SE) – Lead Partner

Costs / Funding Source

Funding Source: the topic papers were developed within the BalticSCOPE project, funded by EMFF.

Costs: not possible to be defined, as part of the overall funds to BalticSCOPE project.

CoNtact person

Ingela Isaksson

Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management

Tel : 0046 (0)10 698 6229

Mobile : 0046 (0)703 662529 (ingela[dot]isaksson[at]havochvatten[dot]se)