North Sea 2050 Spatial Agenda

Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment 


The report of joint research into the long-term potential of sea and coastal areas, translated into a vision, series of ambitions, opportunities, points of action and maps. The vision and points for action are guiding the 'maritime spatial plan' for 2016-2021.

Sea Basin(s): 
Application in MSP: 
Taken into account in an MSP process
Not sector specific
Type of practice: 
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Vision and aims
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 

Questions this practice may help answer

  • What are the national policies which apply to the range of sectors and interests in the Dutch area of the North Sea?
  • What is the national approach to planning in the Netherlands?
  • How can trans-jurisdictional issues be addressed in the North Sea?

Implementation Context

The North Sea Spatial Agenda aims to present an entire integrated maritime and marine policy, considering existing policies and new policies for sectors and interests in the Netherlands. The Agenda is aimed to complement similar approaches on land, and focusses on vision, potential, ambition, challenges and measures.

The North Sea spatial agenda provides themes and topics that could receive further elaboration in the North Sea policy plan for 2015-2021, which is part of the National Water Plan 2 (NWP). The North Sea 2050 Spatial Agenda forms the start of a long-term integrated maritime policy that gives direction to trade in the short and longer-term.

Aspects / Objectives

  • Provide guidance and certainty for trade in the Dutch area of the North Sea in the short and long-term.
  • Clarify the range of policies which apply in the North Sea area across the range of interests.
  • Outline an approach to developing planning and management of marine activities in the North Sea


The report centres around five North Sea 2050 Spatial Agenda themes:

1) building with North Sea nature;

2) energy transition at sea;

3) multiple/multi-functional use of the space;

4) connection between land and sea;

5) accessibility/shipping.

The North Sea spatial agenda is the result of an intensive process of consultation and cooperation in the period June 2013 - March 2014, between a multiplicity of organisations and parties that are involved in the North Sea (from nature, fishing, mariculture, shipping, energy, recreational divers, anglers, tourism, cultural heritage, science and government employees, to artists and children).

Main Outputs / Results

Report available online at:


The policies focus on the Netherlands but many aspects are communicated in a collaborative way and should be of interest to other countries bordering the North Sea who may share trans-boundary issues.

Contact Person

Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment

Plesmanweg 1-6

The Hague

PO Box 20904

2500 EX The Hague

Responsible Entity

Dutch Government: Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment

Costs / Funding Source

Dutch Government: Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment