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BONUS BALTSPACE: Deliverable 2.7: New generation EU Directives and the role of transnational coordination: Marine Spatial Planning of the Baltic Sea
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science. (BALTSPACE)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5040-4917
Coastal Research and Planning Institute, Lithuania.
Helmholtz- Zentrum Geesthacht, Zentrum für Material-und Küstenforschung, Germany.
Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde, Germany.
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2018 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The EU Maritime Spatial Planning Directive (MSP Directive) from 2014 is an example of a so-called new generation directive, which gives Member States room for adaptation to national contexts. Because of this larger room for adaptation, transposition becomes a process of designing domestic policy frameworks that fulfil the broad requirements of the Directive, rather than a simple and linear implementation procedure. However, allowing Member States to design marine spatial planning frameworks that fit domestic contexts, have thus far meant that regional coherence suffers. Although the pivotal role of transnational coordination is emphasised in the Directive, it does not stipulate how to set up such coordination, and the Member States have not yet been able to achieve much of self-organising in this area.A closer look is in this report taken on four policy-dimensions that are emphasised in the MSP Directive: Planning approach, Organisation, Sustainability, and Stakeholder inclusion. Based on in-depth case studies carried out in the BALTSPACE research project on MSP frameworks in Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Sweden, examples of coordination and coherency challenges are described and discussed for each dimension.It is shown that planning approaches can differ substantially between neighbouring countries, which can make it challenging to coordinate across country borders. Even though they share the same (EU) regulatory pressures, Latvia and Lithuania, for example, are developing national MSP frameworks based on quite different conceptual foundations. Whereas Latvia has taken the Ecosystem Approach as a point of departure for constructing a new MSP framework, Lithuania has instead chosen to adapt existing functional zoning approaches to management of maritime areas. Such diversity may be possible to explain because of differing domestic contexts, but may nevertheless lead to coordination problems when coordination is needed.Divergence between national MSP frameworks can also emerge from different political, jurisdictional and, administrative systems and traditions, that is, in societal organisation. In an example based on case studies undertaken in Denmark and Sweden, it is shown that degree of societal centralisation and distribution of political power can be related to differences in how environmental protection and blue growth are prioritised. However, it is difficult to tell whether diverging prioritisations have led to differences on organisation, or of it is the other way around, that differences in organisation have led to diverging prioritisations.It is stated in the MSP Directive that the overarching objective is to promote sustainable development. The focus on sustainable development can be said to reflect the Directive’s new generation characteristics. The concept of sustainable development is broad and imprecise, which facilitates political agreement. However, when more precise details must be addressed, disagreements may surface that make implementation challenging. In cases where neighbouring countries diverge substantially on how ecological, economic and social sustainable ought to be balanced, finding agreements on how to coordinate policies and practices, when needed, can be difficult. Based on case studies in Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, and Sweden, it is, for example, argued that adoption of functional zoning or the Ecosystem Approach may not say much about how ecological, economic, and social dimensions are prioritised in different countries.Stakeholder consultations of some kind have historically been undertaken in all Baltic Sea countries. However, how such consultations have been undertaken, who have been invited, and the role the consultations play in relation to political decision-making differ, as shown in examples from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Poland. Because the MSP Directive is silent on how to design stakeholder consultations – it only says that they should be held – there is no political pressure on regional coordination. It is not clear from our data if these differences cause efficiency losses due to coordination deficits, but a reasonable assumption is that when, for example, marine natural resources are shared between two or more countries, jointly designed and undertaken consultations on specific transboundary issues potentially can promote transparency, understanding, and coordination.In conclusion, it is suggested that while regional coherency is often called for as a means to reduce inefficiencies, it might not be a good idea to integrate without discretion. Considering that the MSP Directive allows domestic context to matter when Member States design national MSP frameworks and that adaptation to domestic context is likely to reduce implantation gaps and increase the legitimacy of marine spatial planning, a more reasonable objective can be to embrace domestic diversity, while simultaneously adaptively promoting possibilities to solve coordination problems at lower levels, if they emerge or can be foreseen. From this perspective, increased coherence is a tool to reduce efficiency losses, rather than an intrinsic good.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Huddinge: Södertörns högskola, 2018. , p. 27
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Studies; Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-37205Local ID: 2186/3.1.1/2014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-37205DiVA, id: diva2:1276798
Projects
BALTSPACE
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European StudiesSwedish Research Council FormasBONUS - Science for a better future of the Baltic Sea regionAvailable from: 2019-01-09 Created: 2019-01-09 Last updated: 2019-01-10Bibliographically approved

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Saunders, FredStalmokaite, Igne

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1011121314151613 of 27
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