Maritime Spatial Planning in the European Union on the Example of the Polish Part of the Baltic Sea
Spatial planning is an extremely powerful tool, which can be used for shaping the development of the largest spaces, including maritime space. In order to improve maritime management, the European Union decided to establish a framework in the form of a Directive to support planning processes in these areas. The result of the EU legislation will be land use plans, which will organize human activities in maritime areas in such a way as to meet environmental, economic and social objectives. The EU law applies to the Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and the North-East Atlantic. However, since the internal regulations of individual EU countries differ from one another, the Polish part of the Baltic Sea was selected as an example. The conducted considerations include an analysis of the legal provisions that are to lead to the preparation of the above-mentioned plans. The research material includes both the provisions of the international and of the national laws. For the evaluation of the maritime spatial planning system, which is based on the above-mentioned research material, the SWOT/TOWS analysis has been used. This technique has been aimed at determining the directions of development of maritime spatial planning in Poland based on the current conditions of the spatial planning procedure for these areas as well as the future phenomena related to the implemented procedure for creating maritime area land use plans. It has been pointed out that maritime spatial planning should be carried out using the strengths of the current procedure and the external opportunities that would increase the importance of Polish maritime areas.