Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

More maritime spatial plans for the Baltic

​​​Consultations across country borders in maritime spatial will become easier as the Baltic-wide guidelines has been agreed on this week for final adoption. The Guidelines for transboundary consultation, public participation and cooperation is one recent achievement of the joint HELCOM-VASAB Maritime Spatial Planning​ , unique in all of Europe as it is the only inter-governmental entity covering the whole sea basin in spatial planning.  The Working Group meets this week in Gdansk, Poland. Strategic spatial planning across international borders requires skillful cooperation. Photo: Samuli Korpinen.The maritime spatial planning (MSP) workshop of held yesterday exchanged ideas, discussed the work done so far and also, importantly, envisioned for future scenarios. HELCOM, in its Annual Meeting next month and beyond, will start the discussion about a new agenda for maritime spatial planning. More interaction and closer cooperation is to be discussed between HELCOM and VASAB also in the higher levels of regional decision-making. In general, the MSP group works to implement the HELCOM-VASAB Regional Baltic maritime spatial planning , as well as the EU Regional Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region through its role as the steering body for the Horizontal Action Spatial Planning Strategy.  Projects and data related to MSP in the Baltic Sea region has also been discussed by the Meeting, as well as the plans for promoting MSP in the Exhibition of the European Maritime in May 2016 in Turku, Finland. The joint HELCOM and VASAB set up of the joint Working Group has combined the legal framework, institutional capacities and knowledge of marine ecosystems and environmental and sectorial policies by HELCOM with the tradition and experience of strategic spatial planning at land and large cooperation projects by VASAB.  The 12th Meeting of the HELCOM-VASAB Maritime Spatial Planning Working Group was held on 24-25 February 2016 and co-chaired by Ms. Anita Mäkinen, Finland, and Mr. Andrzej Cieślak, Poland.  . All documents will be public after the meeting.  * * *Note for editorsOperational since 2010, the HELCOM-VASAB Maritime Spatial Planning has established its place to ensure the regional coherence of any activities related to maritime spatial planning. The group is in charge of the Horizontal Action Spatial Planning within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. HELCOM Ministerial Meeting adopted in 2013 the Regional Baltic maritime spatial planning roadmap 2013–2020. The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as , is an intergovernmental organization of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region. Since 1974, HELCOM has been the governing body of the ‘Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention. For further information, please contactDmitry Frank-KamenetskyProfessional SecretaryHELCOMTel: +358 40 630 9933Skype: helcom68E-mail: dmitry.frank-kamenetsky(at) Johanna LaurilaInformation SecretaryHELCOMTel: +358 40 523 8988Skype: helcom70E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)

The Baltic region’s unique Working Group on maritime spatial planning has this week finalized the Guidelines for transboundary consultation, public participation and cooperation.