Since 2006, the European Commission has supported Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) to optimise the use of the marine space to benefit economic development and the marine environment. In March 2013, a legislative proposal to support the implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Management in Europe has been adopted. The Directive 2014/89/EU (MSP Directive) requires Member States to establish and implement maritime spatial planning. While the content of each plan is left to the Member States to determine, the Directive sets out minimum requirements.
Most Mediterranean and Black Sea countries have only recently started looking into maritime spatial planning. Pilot projects have been carried out (or are being carried out at the moment) in the two sea basins, allowing the EU Member States to develop their own approaches to maritime spatial planning, create the necessary working arrangements in their administrations and start implementing the requirements for cross-border cooperation included in the MSP Directive. However, many public authorities still lack the necessary expertise. Introducing the concept of MSP to targeted groups of government officials is bound to help build capacity in and facilitate cooperation between the EU countries having to implement the MSP Directive. It will also build capacities in and provide added value to the co-operation activities with non-EU Member States that share the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
To bring about the above, the European Commission will get together with the Mediterranean Coastal Foundation (MEDCOAST) to co-organise a dedicated workshop centred on maritime spatial planning and integrated maritime policy. The workshop will build up on the regular MEDCOAST institute trainings, which has been organised since 1994 and will be continued every year from now on with the aim of increasing the technical capacities of government officials from Mediterranean and the Black Sea countries working on maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal management.
The dedicated workshop will be held under the working title "Workshop on integrated maritime policy and marine spatial planning in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea". The European Commission's contribution will encompass the co-organisation of the Launching event of the 7-day workshop, meant to take place on 20 September 2016 in Dalyan (Turkey). While the European Commission will co-organise the Launching event, MEDCOAST Foundation will be in charge of the 7-day workshop that follows.
The event aims to also respond to the increased interest of the Black Sea countries in integrated maritime policy and its tools (MSP is one of them) as showcased at the recent high-level Stakeholder conference on the blue economy, held in Odessa on 14-15 June 2016. This action follows up on the conference conclusions.