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Project Baltic LINes

Baltic LINes – Coherent Linear Infrastructures in Baltic Maritime Spatial Plans

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  • Duration: 2016 - 2019
  • Funding: Interreg Baltic Sea Region
  • Lead Partner: German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH)
  • Budget: 2,4 Mio. €
  • Website:


Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) is recognised by the European Commission in its Integrated Maritime Policy as an essential component for achieving Blue Growth. The particular role of MSP for blue growth has also been emphasised in the Limassol Declaration on EU Integrated Maritime Policy, which values its "improved planning transparency and a balanced approach between relevant sectors and stakeholders" of MSP.

Although MSP is a national competence, member states need to ensure that their national MSPs are coherent across seabasins. This is prescribed by the EU MSP Directive (2014) and also required in terms of spatial efficiency and connectivity. As a minimum issues that are transnational by nature, e.g. shipping routes, energy infrastructure and ecosystem considerations need to be coordinated. Sea space may be sub-optimally used and Blue Growth compromised e.g. if shipping lanes intersect with fixed installations (e.g. wind farms, pipelines). Already now it is increasingly difficult to find suitable space for efficient, transnational bundled corridors. All these uses entail massive investments with long-term planning cycles and longlasting impacts once being in place. At the same time the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea needs to be safeguarded.

Baltic LINes is supported as a flagship project by the HELCOM VASAB MSP Working Group and approved by the EUSBSR national coordinators. Its aims correspond directly to the ambition of this Horizontal Action to "Encourag[e] the use of maritime and landbased spatial planning in all Member States around the Baltic Sea and develop a common approach for crossborder cooperation". With its panBaltic approach, Baltic LINes helps to achieve the goal of implementing MSPs that are coherent across borders in a particularly comprehensive manner.

With all BSR countries preparing or revising their national MSPs during the project period, a window of opportunity has opened for ensuring Baltic Sea wide coordinated designations in MSP for linear infrastructures and routes.

Target of the Project

Baltic LINes seeks to increase transnational coherence of shipping routes and energy corridors in Maritime Spatial Plans in the BSR. This prevents cross-border mismatches and secures transnational connectivity as well as efficient use of Baltic Sea space.

Main Tasks

  • To carry out a structured and coordinated involvement process with relevant national/transnational stakeholders
  • To find out about requirements for MSP of the shipping and energy sector and their spatial implications (considering forecasted economic, environmental as well as technological developments at sea and on land)
  • To visualize gathered information in scenarios with the help of the MSP Challenge, a computer-supported simulation game based on accurate data and sectors’ feedback, to support maritime spatial planners to understand the diverse challenges of sustainable planning of human activities in the marine and coastal ecosystem
  • To improve access to relevant transnational MSP data needed for making spatial allocations for shipping and energy users in MSP by piloting the first ever BSR MSP data infrastructure
  • To set up planning solutions applicable for national Maritime Spatial Plans to support transnational coherence of linear infrastructures
  • To develop recommendations for a BSR agreement on transboundary consultations on linear infrastructures with in the MSP process


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 © 2016 Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie Last Update: 22.06.2016 10:21:14  
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