Appropriate scale and level in marine spatial planning – Management perspectives in the Baltic Sea
The ecosystem approach has become a common tool in environmental governance over the last decade. Within the EU context, this is most clearly accentuated through the adoption of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning, that both include requirements for Member States to apply the approach. This paper examines the organization of marine spatial planning (MSP) by the EU countries in the Baltic Sea Region in terms of management levels and geographic delimitations. The research shows that there is no consistent interpretation of what is the appropriate level of management, or ecosystem scale. These findings are used to inform a discussion on the application of the ecosystem approach in the countries around the Baltic Sea, and its effect on the potential of transboundary cooperation initiatives.