Recommendations on the procedural steps to follow for the development of cross-border MSP


This report describes a methodology for the development of cross-border MSP initiatives in the Western Mediterranean, taking into consideration an ecosystem-based approach. 

Sea Basin(s): 
Application in MSP: 
Unknown effect
Not sector specific
Type of Issue: 
Cross-border cooperation
Sea-basin cooperation
Type of practice: 
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
Coherence with other processes: 
Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Questions this practice may help answer:

  • How can a cross-border MSP plan be developed?

Implementation Context:

This guidance was developed as an output from the SIMWESTMED project to support a transboundary approach to maritime spatial planning (MSP) and cross-border cooperation amongst EU member-states in the Western Mediterranean.

Aspects / Objectives:

The aim of this methodology is to provide a conceptual guidance for the development of cross-border maritime spatial plans through a procedural guidance. 


This guidance was developed through a review on current methodologies for the implementation of MSP taking into consideration cross-border aspects. 

Main Outputs / Results:

The report presents a procedural step-by-step methodology for the development of a cross-border maritime spatial plan:

Step 1: Establishment of a transboundary/transnational working group

Step 2: Definition of transboundary area(s) to be planned

Step 3: Definition of common planning and management goals

Step 4: Assessment of national competencies and jurisdictions

Step 5: Definition of the study area

Step 6: Identification of necessary data

Step 7: Data management

Step 8: Mapping

Step 9: Human activities having a transboundary nature

Step 10: Identify spatial conflicts and synergies

Step 11: Identification and mapping of the scenarios

Step 12: Strategic planning proposal

Step 13: Identification of pilots actions


The methodology and conceptual framework presented is meant to be applicable to every case of cross-border MSP, beyond the SIMWESTMED regional scope. 

Responsible Entity:


Costs / Funding Source:

EC – DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) Call for Proposal EASME/EMFF/2015/

Contact person:

Niccolo Bassan