Maritime Spatial Planning as Evolving Policy in Europe: Attitudes, Challenges and Trends
Maritime Spatial Planning (hereinafter mentioned as MSP) is developing and growing rapidly and constantly worldwide. It is acknowledged as a key instrument to balance sectoral interests and achieve sustainable use of marine resources with the ecosystem-based approach as the underpinning principle (EC, 2010). Nevertheless, there are different planning approaches and different levels of implementation of maritime/marine spatial planning (MSP) processes in the world. Among the plans implemented in Europe, and based on the planning processes developed, different aims for MSP can be noted which translate into either strategic, fully integrated, forward-looking and participative planning or “spatial optimization” elements. On the other hand there are areas where MSP is in an immature phase and where mutual learning, improved governance or capacity building is needed, or areas where a strategic approach to facilitate coordination of MSP arrangements would be necessary. This paper addresses current MSP attitudes, challenges and future trends and discusses the MSP planning and management conceptual approaches, options and styles, mainly as defined through the European regulatory framework.