European Commission Launches Consultation on Maritime Spatial Planning

24 March 2011: The European Commission has launched a public consultation to explore options for future EU action on maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal zone management.

The concept of maritime spatial planning has been developed as a part of the EU's integrated maritime policy, as a process by which maritime space is allocated between multiple and potentially competing uses to prevent potential conflicts, maximize synergies and ensure the efficient and sustainable use of scarce maritime resources. The European Commission has already developed guiding principles to stimulate transparency, predictability, coherence and stability of Maritime Spatial Planning activities in Europe, in the interest of sustainable economic growth.

The questionnaire addresses, among other things, opportunities for sustainable economic growth, resilience to coastal risks and impacts of climate change, and protection of the environment. The Commission will decide whether to propose future EU action on the matter by the end of 2011. [EU Press Release][The Online Consultation]