Chapter 6 Territorial cohesion and the sea: experiences from European maritime spatial planning
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The European Union (EU) has promoted maritime spatial planning (MSP) as an important tool for increasing collaboration in the management of shared European sea spaces. This chapter examines whether the 2014 MSP Directive has enhanced transboundary cohesion in MSP in the Baltic Sea and North Sea Regions. The chapter finds that MSP processes in the Baltic and North Sea Regions have had a limited impact on establishing further coherence in the alignment of national maritime spatial plans. Transboundary MSP remains a deeply fragmented process where different national planning systems, competing national and sectoral interests, and a lack of shared data, remain obstacles to EU cohesion efforts. EU transboundary MSP policies have, however, consolidated MSP networks and raised awareness of transboundary MSP issues within national planning processes. The analysis raises the question how Cohesion Policy can support greater MSP collaboration to utilize the potential of European seas in achieving territorial cohesion.

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