External Organisations

  • Wageningen IMARES, Netherlands
  • Stichting DLO
  • Deltares, Netherlands
  • Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institute, Germany
  • Ghent University, Belgium

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Several EU member states had been working on spatial plans for their part of the North Sea. However, most marine spatial planning was carried out on a national level and largely ignored the possible benefits of cross-border cooperation. Joining forces with neighboring countries could have been an efficient way forward. A first step in this direction was the EU MASPNOSE project that brought together spatial planning practitioners, stakeholders and researchers in order to deal with these bottlenecks. MASPNOSE was an EU project on ecosystem based Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in the North Sea, focusing on cross-border areas. The project focused on the southern North Sea with Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands as target countries.

To achieve this aim, MASPNOSE explored possibilities for cooperation among North Sea countries; established elements for a common agenda for cooperation of countries around the North Sea; tested the 10 key principles on Maritime Spatial Planning set up by the European Commission; and identified potential barriers and opportunities for cross border Maritime Spatial Planning.

The MASPNOSE project acknowledged the overarching importance of national authorities and other stakeholders
(e.g. industries, NGO’s) in Maritime Spatial Planning. National governments had an advisory role in the project. Stakeholder participation was one of the focus points of the project and took place in the different case studies on a local scale. MASPNOSE could be seen as an experiment on how cross-border Maritime Spatial Planning could be carried out. This was based on two cross-border case studies in the North Sea: the Dutch-Belgian border and the Dogger Bank.

The project was coordinated by Wageningen University, The Netherlands.


  • Research areas: Ecosystem based Marine Management & Marine Living Resources & Coastal Ecology
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ID: 2287551