Skip to main content
European Commission logo

Transboundary management of Transitional Waters - Code of Conduct and Good Practice Examples


ARTWEI focuses on transitional waters and aims to strike an operational balance between EU requirements for Maritime Spatial Planning framework, Water Framework Directive and Integrated Coastal Zone Management, which do often overlap or contradict each other. The main output it this code of conduct which presents good practices, mainly from the Baltic Sea, with regard to ICZM, WFD and MSFD implementation.

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

  • Where to find practices and examples for the planning and management of transitional waters?

Implementation context

The report “Transboundary management of Transitional Waters – Code of Conduct and Good Practice examples” was developed in the scope of the ARTWEI project. It contains a compilation of experiences and approaches to transboundary management of transitional waters, including good practices and recommendations (code of conduct).

Aspects / Objectives

Based on projects findings from the Curonian lagoon, the Vistula lagoon, the Odra lagoon and the Sound, the compilation presents guidance on different aspects of the transboundary management of transitional waters, such as

  • Ecosystem goods and services
  • Management challenges for the South Baltic transboundary transitional waters
  • Key issues and strategic responses in transboundary reinforcement of
 environmental integrity of transitional waters
  • Planning for management of transboundary transitional waters
  • Information management in the reinforcement
of the environmental integrity of transboundary transitional waters
  • Strategic environmental assessment in a transboundary transitional water body
  • Financial sustainability of transboundary cooperation in transitional water
  • Research, monitoring, evaluation and review
  • Stakeholders’ involvement in nature management in the context of
environmental integrity of transboundary transitional waters


The different chapter of this document report on experiences on transboundary management of transitional waters in the case study areas. For each aspects, it elaborates on experiences that can be exchanged, gives an overview on the case, presents ICZM tools as well as reflects on conditions for success and failure.

Main Outputs / Results

The planning process for transitional water management is a continuous cyclical process following a sequence of basic steps from analysis to synthesis, action, review, assessment and revision of goals, strategies, priorities and measures. It includes seven phases: initiation, existing situation analysis, identification of conflict and opportunities, identification of goals and alternative courses of action, development of a strategy, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

The planning process for transitional waters, particularly the transboundary ones, needs to be integrated, inclusive, transparent and dynamic. It should reflect the provisions of the international management frameworks that are pertinent to the reinforcement of transitional waters’ environmental integrity.

A bilingual coastal information system for a transitional water body should be seen as the key tool facilitating transboundary information exchange.

Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is presumed for all large-scale projects (both, private and public) that are subject for governmental approval. Public participation must enable the concerned public to express their opinion on the draft plan or programme and the environmental report.

The key requirements for effective public participation are best met by a non-governmental forum of local stakeholders from the states sharing a transboundary transitional water body

Usually, full documentation should be available in the original language whereas a non-technical summary should be translated to the language(s) of the potentially affected state(s) and distributed widely.

Domestic government budgets are still the single largest source of funding for the transboundary cooperation in transitional waters’ management. Yet, the importance of the international financial assistance for biodiversity conservation increases.

Scientific research and monitoring in transboundary transitional waters require attention to both ecological and socio-economic values. This task should be taken on by a transboundary platform.


In the category “experience that can be exchanged”, the transferable elements of the case studies are presented.

Contact Person

Nardine Stybel


Email: (stybel[at]eucc-d[dot]de)

Phone: + 49 (0) 381-5197 279

Responsible Entity

Coastal & Marine Union (EUCC)

Funding Sources

The ARTWEI project was financed through the South Baltic Programme.