Study on the economic impact of maritime spatial planning

The European Commission's study shows that maritime spatial planning is a crucial factor for the development of maritime sectors and the blue economy in Europe. The competing needs for renewable energy, oil and gas extraction, shipping and fishing, sustainable ecosystems and biodiversity, raw material extraction, tourism, aquaculture, as well as more pressure on coastal resources from a growing population, require integrated planning and management methods.

The European Parliament and Councils directive 2014/89/EU of 23 July 2014, an established framework for marine spatial planning and integrated coastal management, provides a common framework for countries to implement the directive in Member States' national legislation, cooperate across national borders and establish plans by March 2021.

The aim of the study is to show the benefits of maritime spatial planning for Blue Growth and the economy, as well as to use the results in relevant EU policy.

The study indicates economic benefits, with Belgium and Germany as clear examples. In Norway, the overall effect is negative, but is largely due to the downward trend in the oil and gas industry, which does not appear to be affected by maritime spatial planning. In Scotland and Rhode Island, it is too early to draw conclusions based on statistical analysis, but the general perception among stakeholders is that maritime spatial planning is beneficial to the blue economy.

  • Direct effect: With the exception of Norway, the studies show that maritime spatial planning can promote economic growth by increasing production value and added value, and by generating employment in the blue economy.
  • Indirect effect: Since the blue economy is deeply intertwined with the rest of the economy, growth in maritime activity has effects that are reflected in other sectors. For example, as the offshore wind sector grows, it results in further growth in the sectors that produce goods and services for the offshore wind sector.
  • Rippling effects: Direct and indirect growth means that companies hire more people, they earn wages which are then used on other goods and services in the European market.

Typical benefits of maritime spatial planning are listed as follows:

  • Promotes conflict resolution.
  • Contributes to building trust.
  • Increasing participation from actors.
  • Clarification of policy and decision-making.
  • Improves the collection and use of data and information.

By Stig Kristian …