The objective of this call for proposals is to support the establishment and implementation of Maritime Spatial Plans in line with the objectives pursued in the framework of the MSP Directive. More specifically, this action intends to support Member States in setting up maritime spatial plans and ensuring that plans are coherent and coordinated across marine regions concerned. The deadline for Member States to adopt their Maritime Spatial Plans is 31 March 2021.
In this context, applicants are required to address the following priorities in their proposals:
- Support the work of MSP competent authorities and/or inter-ministerial bodies in the establishment and adoption of maritime spatial plans;
- Where relevant, support the development of cross-border cooperation on MSP with bordering Member States and third countries with a view to ensure that maritime spatial plans are coherent and coordinated across marine regions concerned;
- Making use of the best available data and organise the sharing of information, necessary for maritime spatial plans, by using relevant mechanism and tools (e.g. INSPIRE, EMODNet).
Themes & priorities
Proposals are expected to develop innovative responses to tackle specific challenges that EU Members States might encounter when preparing, establishing or revising their maritime spatial plans.These challenges should be common to the Member States participating in the project. The shared interest in developing innovative responses can apply within a sea basin and/or across sea basins. This means that a proposal could bring together participants from different Member States, located in different sea basins.
Hereunder is a non-exhaustive list of examples of such challenges/issues:
- Climate proofing of MSP: incorporating adaptation and mitigation actions and/or strategies into MSP, making MSP flexible and adaptive to respond to climate change.
- MSP as an enabler of the EU's "Green Deal": development of a clean, circular blue economy, preserving and protecting biodiversity in the marine environment (in particular with spatial measures), facilitating the supply of clean, affordable and secure, energy, enabling the provision of healthy and environmentally-friendly food from the sea.
- Development of an economic sector (e.g. tourism, offshore wind energy, aquaculture) in the maritime domain: ex-ante assessments (Strategic Environmental Assessment, Environmental Impact Assessment), allocation of sufficient sea space, resolution of conflicts with other uses, enabling synergies with other sectors / activities, etc.
- Applying the Ecosystems Based Approach (EBA) in MSP: designing maritime spatial plans to integrate objectives and measures of other EU instruments (e.g. the Marine Strategy Framework Directive) with the aim to reduce collective pressures and ensuring that marine ecosystems are in a healthy, productive and resilient condition.
- Addressing gaps and challenges in the collection and use of data in the MSP context: using best available data and instruments to prepare, monitor and revise maritime spatial plans. Developing data tools, models and infrastructures, allowing for interoperability and enabling Member States to share MSP data and information, especially in a cross-border and sea basin context.
- Promoting ocean governance through MSP: incorporating oceans' governance tools into the MSP process and in maritime spatial plans. For example by enabling stakeholder participation in governance schemes and instruments (e.g. management of marine resources, protection of the environment or of the underwater cultural heritage) or by promoting cooperation with third countries in issues of common interest in a sea basin or a shared ocean space.
The above list is purely illustrative and applicants might identify other challenges that are specific to them, or to the sea basin(s) where they are located.
Applicants should identify one(or maximum two), challenge(s) and build their proposal around the response(s) to such challenge(s).
At least one project per topic is expected to be funded.
Priority will be given to proposals that build on the outcome of prior MSP related projects, relevant to the objectives of the call. In this context, proposals should describe how they build on, complement and differ from finalised or ongoing research and innovation projects, including from EU programmes, where relevant. In case a proposal includes activities a particular sea basin in which a dedicated sea basin strategy or similar initiative exists, priority will be given to proposals that explain how they contribute to the objectives of the relevant sea basin strategy or initiative.