Cross-Border Maritime Spatial Plan for the Black-Sea Romania and Bulgaria (MARSPLAN - BS)

The Ministry of Regional Development, Public Administration and European Funds coordinates the implementation of the Cross-Border Maritime Spatial Plan for the Black-Sea – Romania and Bulgaria (MARSPLAN - BS), which purpose is to contribute to ensuring an integrated approach for the entire Black Sea cross-border area between Romania and Bulgaria in order to implement in the two countries, the provisions of Directive 2014/89/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for the maritime spatial planning.

The Black Sea is the EU Eastern gate, a junction between Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, important transport and energy hub, a crossroad of different cultures, a region with political, social and economic fragmentation. The Black Sea is among the most endangered ones in Europe, considered as a ”closed” water basin with unique, dynamic and sensitive ecosystems under threat by the continental pressures and conflicting coastal and maritime activities. It has a geopolitical and strategic importance for the stability, cohesion and prosperity of the region and a great potential for development, for achievement of the "Europe 2020" goals for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, including the "blue" one, in a wise and integrated way.

Objectives of the MARSPLAN BS project:

• supporting the implementation of the directive on EU maritime spatial planning;
• creating an institutional framework for Romania-Bulgaria cross-border maritime spatial planning;
• consolidating the cross-border cooperation and exchange of information between Romania and Bulgaria on issues related to maritime area;
• creating a vision and strategic objectives for the Black Sea area, also taking into account the interaction between the territory and the sea;
• elaboration of the maritime spatial plan for the identified Romania-Bulgaria cross-border area (Mangalia - Shabla) ;
• contributing to a wider dissemination of information on maritime spatial planning for the Black Sea and good practices to all relevant actors.

The estimated budget of the project is 2.048.921 euro out of which 1.639.137 euro represents the European Commission grant through the EASME (Executive Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises).

The project partnership includes the main public authorities in Romania and Bulgaria with attributions related to the implementation of the MSP directive, as they coordinate the spatial planning (for terrestrial and marine areas), transport (including navigation), and environmental protection and integrated coastal zone management. The partners of the project are :

Partner no. 1 Lead Partner – Ministry of Regional Development, Public Administration and European Funds (MRDPAEF Romania);
Partner no. 2 – Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works (Bulgaria);
Partner no. 3 – Ministry of Water and Forests (Romania);
Partner no. 4 – National Institute for Marine Research and Development “Grigore Antipa” (Romania);
Partner no. 5 – National Institute for Research and Development in Environment Protection –subunit Danube Delta National Institute for Research and Development (Tulcea, Romania);
Partner no. 6 – National Institute for Research and Development in Construction, Urban Planning and Sustainable Spatial Development URBAN INCERC (Romania);
Partner no. 7 – Ovidius University of Constanţa (Romania);
Partner no. 8 – Institute of Oceanology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Bulgaria);
Partner no. 9 – Executive Agency Maritime Agency (Bulgaria);
Partner no. 10 – Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company (Bulgaria).

The implementation period of the project is 30 months. The project will be completed on February 13, 2018.

Work packages for implementing the activities foreseen in the project:

Work Package 1: Cross-border maritime spatial development

Main objectives :

- Supporting the preparation of the national and cross-border maritime spatial planning framework in Romania and Bulgaria;
- Establishing methodological framework for the elaboration of cross-border maritime spatial plan;
- Elaborate a maritime spatial plan for the cross border area;
- Preparing interdisciplinary tools for analysis and monitoring of maritime spatial planning.

Activities to be realised within the project in this working package :

1) Initial assessment
This activity includes the following sub-activities:
1.1 - Elaboration of detailed studies for a complete analysis of the Romanian and Bulgarian maritime areas;
1.2 - Case studies on major challenges within the Romanian and Bulgarian maritime space;
1.3 - Reviewing the institutional and legislative framework relevant for Black Sea maritime spatial planning in Romania and Bulgaria.

Expected results :

- Collecting data and elaboration of research reports on most important fields for maritime spatial planning - studies and analyses on the Black Sea;
- 5 case studies -detailed analyses on key areas and strategic sector issues;
- Consolidate knowledge base of maritime and coastal activities in the Black Sea Basin;
- Integrated and coordinated the main actors, ideas, resources, projects, coastal and the marine areas, regional and spatial planning priorities;
- Analysis on the institutional and legislative framework as regard the MSP: most important challenges and solutions.

2) Preparing the cross-border cooperation in MSP
2.1 - Setting out institutional framework for cooperation in cross-border MSP;
2.2 - Defining common methodology for analysis and spatial planning for maritime cross-border area;
2.3 - Common strategic framework for maritime spatial planning in Romania and Bulgaria;
2.4 - Elaboration of a maritime spatial plan for the cross-border area (Mangalia – Shabla).

Expected results:

- Cooperation framework and institutional setup for cross-border cooperation between Romania and Bulgaria, expandable to other Black Sea countries;
- Common methodology for analysis an spatial planning;
- Delivery of a lasting mechanism to exchange information between Member States;
- Capacity built for the implementation of MSP directive in Romania and Bulgaria;
- Indicators and procedures defined for the monitoring of the implementation of MSP in the Black Sea cross-border area;
- Maritime spatial plan for the cross-border area (Mangalia -Shabla);
- Common strategic framework of MSP for Romanian and Bulgarian;
- Maritime spatial planning principles, vision and common objectives (at least for Romania and Bulgaria).

3) Setting out a monitoring system of Black Sea area
3.1 - Creation of a common spatial database for maritime areas in Romania and Bulgaria;
3.2 - Defining the indicators to be monitored and monitoring procedures;
3.3 - Creation of a data sharing centre supporting the cross-border maritime spatial planning activities .

Expected results:

- Common spatial database for maritime areas in Romania and Bulgaria;
- Monitoring procedures for MSP in Black Sea;
- Enhancing the exchange of data and information related to maritime area between Romania and Bulgaria, as well as with other Black Sea countries;
- Improving the stakeholders and public access to maritime data and information;
- Data sharing centre (in order to support the cross-border maritime spatial planning activities).

Work Package 2: Project Management

This working package include all the activities related to the physical, administrative, legal and financial activities which are necessary to a successful implementation of the project. This component includes activities between the project partners to set up and execute an exchange of information mechanism at a cross-sector and cross-border level that is viable and durable in time for this project.

Expected results:

- Creation and well-functioning of management structures: Advisory Board, Steering Committee, Thematic Working Groups;
- 3 meetings of the Advisory Board;
- 4 meetings of the Steering Committee;
- 10 thematic working groups;
- Quality project certification;
- Control and management activities that will guarantee a successful project;

Work Package 3: Communication and dissemination

Activities carried out under this component would aimed to disseminate the project's activities and achievements outside the project to the relevant stakeholders in both countries, Black Sea basin and Europe (e.g. neighbouring States, Regional Sea Conventions, specialised agencies).

Work Package 4 : Lessons Learned

The activities under this working package aim at ensuring the results of the project after its lifespan, achieved by the legislation adaptation and harmonisation in the partner countries Bulgaria and Romania. In terms of disseminating the lessons learned, there are two main objectives that should be attained:

- the possibility of expanding the cooperation between Romanian and Bulgarian authorities to other Black Sea basin states;
- the possibility of other institutions to learn from the experience of the project partners and thus to be able to replicate efficiently the project activities in other cross-border maritime spaces.

Expected results:

  • Information notes with lessons learned for all the activities;
    - Conceptual note for using MSP approach in other Black Sea basin countries;
    - Report with conclusions and policy recommendations;
    - Active participation at conferences.

About MARSPLAN BS Project