Synthesis Report on the Experience from MSP in the Baltic Sea Region and Resultant Policy Messages


The Synthesis report on the experience gained from maritime spatial planning (MSP) projects in the Baltic Sea Region and the resultant policy messages was developed by the consortium leading the Interreg BSR project platform Capacity4MSP: Strengthening the capacity of MSP stakeholders and decision makers.

Sea Basin(s): 
March 2022
Application in MSP: 
Applied in an MSP process
Not sector specific
Type of Issue: 
Cross-border cooperation
Type of practice: 
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
Coherence with other processes: 
Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Questions this practice may help answer:

  • How can the analysis of projects realised in the Black Sea basin support the development of good practices and effective policies to foster a sustainable development of human activities in the Marine Space?

Implementation Context:

Governance is a cross-cutting theme present in many good practices, and therefore has not been analysed separately. However, a key challenge in terms of marine space governance remains unsolved, i.e. how to wisely structure the processes which come in hierarchical order after a maritime spatial plan has been adopted to ensure the implementation of the key targets planned. This is a key issue affecting the effectiveness of the public's involvement in the development of a marine space. Experience and practical knowledge on this issue remains scarce.

Aspects / Objectives:

The overall aim of this report is to synthesise and multiply the knowledge gained from various maritime spatial planning (MSP) projects and MSP practices within and beyond the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) to supplement the EU’s pan-Baltic and national commitments towards well-functioning MSP in the BSR by 2021.


This report is composed of two parts, the first part screens and analyses the good practices in the themes important for the future of the BSR MSP. The following themes have been investigated:  cumulative impact assessment, green infrastructure, land-sea interactions, transnational actions, climate change, blue growth (blue economy) and the carrying capacity of a marine environment, data, MSP education, safety, socio-economic analysis, multi-use and conflict analysis, energy, new shipping, aquaculture, maritime cultural heritage, recreation and tourism, vision, ecosystem-based approach (EBA), monitoring and evaluation. In the second part, the conclusion of this examination is proposed in terms of: creating synergies between themes, a list of issues/activities of key importance for the development of BSR MSP (gaps in good practices, needs for further transnational co-operation), criteria and indicators for the process, content, and performance of MSP.

Main Outputs / Results:

This report presents policy-oriented tools to enhance the BSR MSP in the future and policy briefs on the following:

  • Financial and organisational ways and means of addressing or handling the task (e.g. projects, scientific analysis, political actions);
  • Responsibility for handling the task (who should do what);
  • Maturity of actions in handling the task;
  • Responsibility for bridging gaps;


The approaches presented are replicable in other sea basins with common goals shared between maritime countries.

Responsible Entity:

VASAB Secretariat

Costs / Funding Source:

VASAB Secretariat

Contact person:

Jacek Zaucha