The Black Sea is the EU Eastern gate, a junction between Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, an 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 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 Growth", in a wise and integrated way.

Despite the great number of international, European, regional and local initiatives, programmes and documents, developed since the beginning of the 1990s, including the Convention on the protection of the Black Sea against pollution (Bucharest, 1992), the World Bank and GEF/UNDP Black Sea ICZM programme (1994-1997) and the EU recommendations for a common integrated approach through a number of communications and strategies, the region suffers from lack of synergy and sufficient coordination.

Information on the current situation on the both countries maritime areas

The Black Sea is the largest semi-enclosed anoxic basin in the world. It is linked to the Mediterranean Sea by the Bosphorus Narrow and Dardanelles Strait and to the shallow Sea of Azov by the Kerch Strait in the north. The Black Sea has a surface area of 423,000 km2 and contains 547,000 km3 of water. lt has regions of brackish, marine, and fresh water. The major components in the water balance are river discharge, precipitation, evaporation and marine exchange via the Bosphorus and Kerch straits. Changes in any of these sources strongly affect the water balance.

The largest volume of river flow into the Black Sea comes from the North-western coast - Danube, the Dniester, the Dnieper, and the Southern Bug. With an average flux of 208 km3 of water per year, the Danube is the strongest source of fresh water in the North-western region of the Black Sea. These rivers often carry high nutrient loads that cause large algae blooms in the sea.

Another freshwater source is precipitation. An average of 225 km3 of precipitation falls over the Black Sea each year. The primary source of this rainfall is atmospheric cyclonic activity that moves from west to east in the southern Black Sea. ln the North-western section of the sea, summer precipitation is also a considerable source. White the total precipitation over the Black Sea is much smaller than the river input, the precipitation varies considerably and causes seasonal and yearly changes in the water balance.

Over the past years, the amount of water being evaporated from the sea is decreasing. In 1951, 484 km3 of water were evaporated from the sea, while only 289 km3 in 1985. This phenomenon is attributed to changes in wind properties.

Marine water is exchanged through the Bosphorus and the Kerch Straits. Between 123 km3 and 312 km3 water per year flow into the Black Sea through the Bosphorus. White the amount is varying , most scientists agree that there is twice as much outflow through the Bosphorus. The Kerch strait has an inflow of between 22 km3 and 95 km3 per year. The outflow through this straight is between 29 km3 and 70 km3 per year.

The average fresh water balance in the Black Sea is positive. It varies seasonally, being negative in the winter months. The driving force in these changes is fluctuations in river discharge.

During the last three decades, the condition of the Sea has deteriorated considerably. This process is driven by many factors, such as the increased presence of phytoplankton blooms, the introduction of exotic species into the ecosystem, and changes in the chemical structure of the sea. The ecological balance of the Black Sea region has been also dramatically altered by eutrophication, the swilling of nutrient chemicals such as nitrogen and phosphorous into the region.


General info about the coastal and marine areas: The total length of the Bulgarian coastline along the Black Sea, between the Romanian and Turkish borders, is about 384 km. The coast is slightly segmented with various abrasion and accumulative forms - cliffs, lagoons, etc. The coastline is divided into three parts - Northern, Middle and Southern. The northern part (37,9% of the coastline) is located from the national border with Romania to the Fundukliiska river.
The land in the northern part is low and the coastline - marshy, however near the Dobrudja plateau it becomes steep, with cliffs and occurring landslides. The Middle part (12,1%) extends up to Aitoska river. The coastline is predominantly steep and in some parts almost vertical. The Southern part (50%) is low and flat in the north and very segmented in the south up to the Turkish national border.

Natural resources: There are unique protected sites and natural resources on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, such as mineral waters, sea salt, sea water, lye, mud and algae, important tourism resources for thalassotherapy and cosmetics. Some of the cities on the coast have traditions and experience in hospitality and catering, providing different attractions, based upon tangible and intangible cultural values.

Protected areas: The varied and rich natural resources, the rocky coasts, the sand beaches and dunes, the wetlands, the river estuaries, the lingoes forests, the smaller and bigger bays, the lagoons and wetlands, and the biodiversity of the terrestrial and marine areas are among the reasons for including the protected sites in the National Ecological Network as Natura 2000 sites. According to the EC publication in 2010, in 2008 about 40 sites for conservation of the natural habitats and wild fauna and flora (Habitat Directive 92/43/EEC) and 27 special protected areas for protection of wild birds (Birds Directive 2009/147/EC) important for the community (SCls), were adopted in the Black Sea Region, covering almost half of the terrestrial part of the region . Along the coast there are several globally important ornithological sites (IBAs), habitats for more than 300 bird species. One of globally important birds migration route Via Ponticae also follows the shoreline. There are 6 nature reserves on the coast (1 category, IUCN) and 2 natural parks. Despite all the measures, the transposition of the EU environmental legislation and the introduction of the EIA, SEA and SA, the biodiversity in the region is endangered. Insufficient measures have been taken for conservation of the marine areas, despite attempts to establish certain regulations for the sea areas and the territorial waters, closer to the urbanized coast. The disturbed ecological balance of the sea has its negative social and economic impact in addition to the environmental one.

Endangered zones - conflicts and risks: The conflict areas and zones on the coast and in the marine areas are identified as risk zones, affected by the natural phenomena and disasters and threatened by accidents. About 70,8% of the Bulgarian coastline is directly affected by erosion. Due to the rapid urbanization, led by the tourism industry and lack of sewage infrastructure, landslides are a common problem for the entire coastline. The new developments, especially in the northern part of the coastline, contribute dramatically to the ongoing processes, due to construction near steep slopes, insufficient water and sewage infrastructure and general neglect of drainage and anti-erosion constructions.
The risk of floods is high near the town of Pomorie în the Southern part of the coastline, but also near Kamchiya River in the north . A series of "Plans for floods risk management" are being developed to address this matter nationwide and to decrease property damage and possible casualties. Another future threat for the area is drought, due to inefficient water management, which would heavily affect the agriculture sector. The outdated infrastructure leads to low efficiency and water loss. Although a very small percentage of agricultural land is being irrigated, the forecast for decreasing rainfall will require improvements of the current irrigation infrastructure.
The cross border MSP will aim at better identification and mapping of zones, which will need a special attention and more focused approach in order to mitigate disasters and discourage the construction of key installation and infrastructure facilities in hazard-prone areas. For this purpose the consortium will use the adopted classification by the UNISDR , dividing risks in several groups - geological, hydrological, meteorological, biological, as well as criminal and operational. The cross-border MSP will support the development of knowledge about hazards, climate change vulnerability and risk resilience and will give recommendations for better coordination of risk reduction, safety and security measures, thus covering the current analytical gaps and promoting joint capacity and needs assessments.

Cultural heritage: The coastal area is rich with cultural monuments from different periods.
The town of Nessebar is the only „living town" in the UNESCO World Heritage List with its more than 3000 years of history, unique location and atmosphere, remains of more than 40 churches, a great number of typical Black Sea coast houses and Outstanding Universal Value.
The towns of Sozopol and Balchick, the rocky monasteries in the district of Varna, Kaliakra cape, the roman village Deultum, south of Burgas, established as an Thracian sea port and market place some 3000 years ago, the roman spa Aquae Calidae north of Burgas, the small villages in Strandja mountain with preserved scale and architecture, are all parts of the cultural heritage. The most important cultural asset for this particular project however is the underwater archaeology, which badly and urgently needs attention. There are remains from coastal villages, existing 4000 years ago, hidden under the waters in the Southem (Kiten), Central (Sozopol) and Northern part (Varna) of the sea.

Demographic profile and urbanization: The coastline of Bulgaria is part of two NUTS 2 regions - Northeastern and Southeastern. The major urbanization axes along the coastline include several towns, directly affected by the sea: Kavama - Balchik - Varna and Nessebar - Pomorie - Burgas - Sozopol. On the regional level the urbanization processes spread on 72,7% of the territory of the Northeastern and on 71,33% of the Southeastern region. The coastline includes parts of the territory of 15 municipalities with a population of 819,392 . The biggest city on the coast Varna is among the few Bulgarian cities with positive migration between the two censuses - in 2001 and 2011.
Man made major activities - of the coast and sea: Some of the major man made activities, affecting the sea and the coastline are the functioning ports, tourism and industry, affecting the balance of the ecosystems. Great impacts have Varna and Burgas areas, which are the biggest cities on the coastline and are responsible for lowering the air quality and for water pollution.
The high population density, together with an agricultural sector in the north and other human activities including fossil fuel combustion from energy production and transport, result in large inputs of nutrients, mainly compounds of nitrogen and phosphorus, entering the Black Sea.

Trade and infrastructure: The transport communications in the coastal and Black sea areas are not yet fully developed. In the Northeast part of the coast the functioning ports are Varna and Balchik and the fishery port of Shabla. ln the Southem part the biggest port is Burgas, with 59% of all imports and exports nationwide. The ports of Pomorie, Sozopol, Zarevo and Nessebar are mainly for tourist purposes. The main transport hubs are Varna and Burgas with their ports, specialized sections for ferryboats, well developed links with the railway transport network of the country and airports, serving a great number of charter flights during the tourist season. Elements of the TEN-T are under construction and parts of the transport corridor No 4 and 8 will be completed in the next 3 months. The Black Sea motorway is planned to connect the Black sea countries and to run in parallel with the old route of Via Ponticae. Another important route of the transport network is the corridor Europe-Caucasus Asia (TRASECA) as well the corridor No 7 Rhine-Main-Danube .
The integrated plans for urban regeneration and development of the cities of Varna and Burgas propose future reuse and revitalization of the port zones, which should be funded by the ERDF - the OP "Regional Development" in the programme period 2014-2020.

Energy: Priorities in the field of engineering infrastructure are the regional waste deposit sites completion, waste water treatment plants construction, revision of the strategy for wind and solar energy production facilities, the gas supply lines construction, the ICT development.
Thanks to the geographic location of Bulgaria, a significant potential for improving the security of energy supply exists in the increase of the transit of Russian and Asian energy resources (natural gas, oil) towards the western and southern countries, as well as the possibility for diversification of the sources and suppliers of energy resources. The construction of some of the gas supply corridors and facilities is connected with the Black Sea risk protection.
The TEN-E infrastructure in the Black Sea region will develop in compliance with the European policy "Energy 2020" - a strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure EU energy sector, whose basic principle is guaranteeing of free energy movement. Further efforts for upgrading of the energy infrastructure are envisaged, especially in the new Member States, which have joined the EU after 2004, as well as in the less developed regions. The development of the energy infrastructure will be oriented towards achievement of the target priorities for the respective type of energy, the capacity for connection to the grid of the installations for energy generation from RES and transmission to the major centers of energy consumption, including some of the big tourist locations on the coast. The single sectorial initiatives still play an important role in the EU Black Sea region cooperation and communication, including the Interstate Oil and Gas Transport to Europe (INOGATE, 1997, 2006) but Bulgaria and Romania are not part of the network .
There are no current plans for offshore facilities in Bulgaria, but suitable space could be determined in the project. The cross-border MSP for the Black sea have to point out also the marine areas with potential for exploration of mineral resources with the necessary buffer zones for precautionary measures.

lndustry: Most of the industry is concentrated near Varna and Burgas. Some of the largest industries near the coastline are shipbuilding, mechanical engineering and electronics. The chemical industry is well developed (industrial complex near Varna and Devnya) – oil products, plastics, etc. The largest sea salt extraction plant in the country is located near Burgas.
Food and textile industries are also present in the area, and the first one is_ especially developed in the northern part due to the fertile soils of Dobrudja.

Tourism: Tourism expansion on the coast in the last two decades contributed significantly to the economic growth, but at the same time threatens the quality of the environment, the biodiversity, the seashore and the sea waters. According to the National Strategy for Sustainable development of tourism (2009-2013) there are 28 resorts on the coast. The construction of hotels, apartments, vacation houses and villas with increased number of beds far exceeds the capacity of the beaches and the aquathory. This construction boom overtook the transport and engineering infrastructure, the main reason for poor communications and contaminated sea waters.

Agriculture, Fishery and Aquaculture: All the above mentioned human activities are in conflict with the most traditional one - the fishery and in more recent times aquaculture. The increased rate of the net incomes from fish and fish products and aquaculture, although not very high, shows a trend toward stability. Mussel breeding, using subsurface pipe structures, is developed in the Northern part of the coastline area, with very favorable potential in the areas of Balchik and Durankulak. Sea draught is economically important to the Burgas Region.
According to data of the territorial section of the Executive Agency of Fishery and Aquacultures, the number of issued permits for business fishing in coastal areas grows for the last couple of years. The species structure of yearly draught includes: sprat, pelagic fish (belted bonito, blue-fish, scad), Danube herring, floor fish (turbot, shark, goby), non-fish live resources (mainly rapana). The largest cannery factories for tinning of fish products are located in Burgas; Varna and Sozopol. A limited number of SME operate in the field.
The agricultural land is mostly situated in the northern part of the coastline. The area is the biggest nationwide supplier of cereals and other crops. Wine production is also developed in the region.

Impact of agriculture and forestry: Most of the forests are located in the Strandja area, the southern part of the coastline. The area is protected but there are investment interests that threaten the future of the forests. Threats for agricultural development are the uncontrolled building of tourism infrastructure and the expected droughts. Those activities have also a negative effect on the sea itself. The Black Sea is one of the worst examples of excessive water fertilization. The major sources of nutrient flux into the sea are agricultural fertilizers, sewage, discharges from animal husbandry, and atmospheric fallout. Anthropogenic eutrophication has caused phenomena such as decreases in biological diversity, population bursts of select species, declining water transparency, hypoxia in bottom waters, and mass mortalities of zoobenthos and nektobenthos fish. These problems are all caused by a sharp increase in the mineral content of runoff into the Black Sea.
The brief description of the current state of the area shows that the main problems in the Bulgarian part of the Black Sea are due to the loose control on the implementation of the amended and harmonized regulations. Additional weaknesses are the low level of shared responsibility among the institutions and uncoordinated management of natural and cultural resources, missing integration among the coastal and marine area spatial planning and management, unspecified common approaches and standards and the insufficient institutional and administrative capacity.


At the Romanian Black Sea coast the land, adjacent to the marine areas water and submerged land), has specific processes and uses directly affecting the sea. The general definition of this area would be: "The coastal zone is viewed in its entirety as a special geographic area wherein its productive and natural defense functions are intimately linked with the physical and socioeconomic conditions far beyond its physical boundary" (Chua, 1993)

General info about the coastal and marine areas: The Romanian Black Sea shore has a length of 244 km, from the Chilia branch (Ukrainian border) to Vama Veche (Bulgarian border). The Romanian Black Sea coast is divided into two main parts. The northern part is the deltaic coast of the Danube river, consisting of deltas, lagoons and levees, formed of marine-river accretions, recent shells sands, disposed under shapes of beach and littoral belts with relative low height, often less than 2 m. The southern part covers 3 port areas, touristic beaches and a resorts belt.

Natural resources: Romania has a very rich biodiversity, particularly in coastal eco-systems. Besides coastal lakes, dunes and fields, Romania hosts the most important wetland in Europe, the Danube Delta. It represents a nature reserve with a highly diverse fauna (3 460 species) including birds (325 species), fish (137 species) and flora (1689 species). With more than 5000 species, the Danube Delta is on the third place in the world in biodiversity (the same as the Amazonian). It is a Biosphere Reserve under UNESCO, a Wetland Area of lnternational Importance under the Ramsar Convention and a Site of World Natural and Cultural Heritage.
With regards to its natural resources and economic importance, Dobrogea avails of significant mineral, flora and fauna resources and extensive areas for agricultural production. The area experienced increasing mining and industrial production - mines, several harbors, transport and communication infrastructure and it still remains one of the main tourist destinations for Romanians.

Protected sites: The Romanian littoral was formed during the upper Pleistocene and the Holocene. Today, this geomorphology affects the interaction of the river (sediment and water discharges) and the sea (waves and littoral currents, sea level changes). The Protected Areas', total surface is 1,234,608.12 ha, out of which 47% are the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve (580,000.00 ha) and 45% other national and natural parks (1,132,174.80 ha). In the sea sector a network exists, consisting of 9 Marine Protected Areas (8 SCI, 1 SPA), approved by the 2347/2011 Order of Romanian Ministry of Environment and confirmed by EC Decision no. 209/92/CE.

Endangered zones - conflicts and risks: The Romanian coast is a highly dynamic system. The most productive area of the Black Sea is strongly influenced by the Danube's discharges, climatic processes, and high temporal variability of optimal blooming conditions. It is a very attractive environment, but is increasingly affected by climate change (sea level, storms, floods, landslides, and coastal erosion), economic activities (agriculture, transport, tourism, fisheries, industry) and related pollution.

The erosion processes are more intense during winter when the storms are frequent and strong.
Storms have induced deficits of beaches sediments and damaged the tourist facilities. Coastal erosion is a particular problem and causes serious decrease of Danube sediment load, affecting negatively the littoral sediment balance. In the Iast 35 years the shoreline has retreated inland between 180 to 300 m. About 80 ha/year of the beach are losl, because of erosion but also because of the strong waves and winds. Erosion. flash floods as well as droughts and desertification are the most serious climate change risks threatening the country as a whole.
Romania is being affected by drought annually, with significant environmental and social implications every four to six years. There have been some catastrophic floods in recent years (e.g. 2005, 2006, and 2010) which resulted in significant human, economic and ecological losses. The widespread pollution of water reserves caused by the domestic, industry and agricultural activities add to the insufficient wastewater management increasing a major challenges for the area.

Cultural heritage: The area has historical and religious value - performing arts, festivals and exhibitions take place there. Other tourist attractions are the regional and local production of delicacies and wine. The area is famous for holding business conferences. Between Ostrov and Isaccea, near the Danube are located numerous historical sites, interesting geographical features and landscape sceneries, ancient and religious buildings, picturesque small lakes, etc. The whole area strongly promotes sustainability - using local products, human resources development, sustainable tourism, nature and environment protection.

Demographic profile and urbanization: According to their local administrative functions, the settlements near the coastline are 1 municipality, in Tulcea County and 4 towns. Constanţa County, with 3 municipalities (Constanta, Mangalia, Medgidia), 7 towns and 239 rural settlements. Tulcea county is characterized by a relatively low population density (less near the Danube Delta). ln Constanta County the population density is higher. The coastline remains the most attractive area of the whole territory and concentrates a big part of the trade, manufacturing and tourism infrastructure.
Man made major activities - of the coast and sea: The coastline land use induces the main rnan-made threats. They are: 1. Coastal urbanization as a result of building concentration very close to the sea (mostly holiday houses); 2. Uncontrolled tourism development and growth of recreational facilities with increased pressure on the ecosystem, leading to the loss of habitats. 3. Destruction of the natural shoreline defenses (dunes, etc). 4. Hydrotechnical constructions - building marina sand extension of ports, which leads to losses of coastal spawning and nursery area for marine creatures. 5. Risk of polluting water in residential areas, in spite of municipalities' sewage treatment plants improvement; 7. Development of marine transport and activities in coastal areas including uncontrolled recreational activities in the Danube Delta, generating significant quantities off litter on the sea bottom and beaches.

Trade and infrastructure: The transport infrastructure in Romania and the Dobrogea region is poorly developed and o f low quality. ln the Dobrogea region, the transport networks consist of roads (± 3500 km), railway (± 460 km), air and inland water transport over the Danube river and the Danube-Black Sea Canal. The 64 km long Danube - Black Sea Canal shortens sailing to Constanţa harbour by 300 km. There are two highways linking Dobrogea with the rest of the country. Tulcea and Constanţa County each have a small airport. Romania is geographically positioned on the crossroads of 3 Pan-European Corridors (Corridor IV, VII and IX), linked to the Port of Constanta with road and rail transport. The most important marine ports are: Constanţa, Mangalia, Midia and Sulina (in Tulcea County) and the lnfrastructure: Pan European Corridor IV (road, railway) and VII (Rhine-Main-Danube), and Tulcea-Sulina road. There are also oil exploiting platforms, oil and gas pipelines, avoiding fishing, marine and protected areas and mollusc waters.

Energy: Existing infrastructure in the energy sector consists of relatively small thermal power plants (Constanţa, Tulcea and Năvodari), small hydro-power plants (Cernavodă, Ovidiu) and a large nuclear power plant in Cernavodă. Water supply and wastewater treatment facilities are not sufficiently developed in the region, but are improving.

lndustry: The coastal area industries are a petrochemical plant, a chemical fertilizer plant, shipyards, pulp and paper, cement, metal works, construction & building, agro-processing, textile, leather goods and fishing industry. The changes from state to private ownership induced a distinct fall in industrial output leading to economic decline. The industry is primarily concentrated in the cities of Constanta (food, textile, metal works, naval construction, energy, wood processing and furniture), Cernavodă (nuclear, power plant operating at about 40 % of its capacity), Mangalia (food, textile, metallurgy, shipyards), and Medgidia (clothing, building materials and ship building establishments). The region also developed mining and wood industries, transport, logistics and telecom. Due to increasing foreign investments agriculture, tourism, industry and trade prosper, providing a large segment of the income for the coastal areas.

Tourism: Ecotourism is being developed in the northern area of the coastline - the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve region, with its high biodiversity, tourism routes, fishing, hunting, traditional and artisan handcrafts. ln the southern coast Romania has a variety of tourist attractions and recreational assets - 14 resort areas with 746 places for accommodation, spa and attractions in hotels, villas, camping sites and holiday villages (2000). The shoreline is known as Pontus Euxinus from antiquity. Mass tourism is concentrated between Mamaia and Vama Veche, providing therapeutic mud, spa resources, freshwater and saline lakes, historical and religious values.

Agriculture, Fishery and Aquaculture: Agriculture is developed on 80% of the area of Constanţa County. The production declined drastically, due to lack of irrigation. Animal number is also decreasing (subsistence-level). Natural pastures and hay fields represent about 8% of the region. Vineyards and fruit trees cover about 4%.
The fisheries sector suffered big changes in the last 20 years because of environmental degradation. The marine fishing in the Romania is mainly affected by: 1.Transformation from state to private ownership; 2.Limited market demand; 3.The jellyfish and ctenophore species, general difficult in some periods. The most important fish migration routes have changed during the last 6- 7 years. Fish tend to remain at a distance from the coast (isobaths of 5- 13 m) where the pound nets are located.
Currently new programs are implemented by the national authorities faced with uncontrolled, unregulated and unreported small scale fisheries. The marine aquaculture is less developed, with only one mussel farm (off shore) and one coastal flatfish farm.
Threats in the agricultural development are: 1 .The risk of increasing unemployment due to mechanization and automation, 2. The risk of increasing pollution as a result of the increased use of chemicals in agricultural production methods (fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides); 3.lncreasing demand for irrigation water, leading to severe water shortages. There are no forests on the Romanian coast. The impact on forests is from the Danube river, carrying big tree trunks during the floods.

Romania was a partner in the PlanCoast INTERREG IIIB CADSES project (2006-2008), introducing a new approach to MSP and strengthening the implementation of the ICZM.
Bulgaria adopted, after about 10 years of debates, the Black Sea Spatial Planning Act (promulgated SG 47/2007).
Romania has adopted the Act of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (Law nr. 202/2002), and set up the national Committee on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), under the coordination of the Ministry of Environment.
Turkey, Moldova and Ukraine took part in the Europe Aid project "Technical Assistance to the Black Sea Environmental Programme" (2002-2006). The current attempts to integrate the Danube strategy with the Black Sea strategy, as well as to launch joint projects in the region prove the need for integration of information resources and knowledge for introduction of the MSP in the region, thus strengthening the cross-border cooperation and accelerating the implementation of the IMP in the EU member states.
Until the beginning of the project very little progress has been made regarding the implementation of the Directive on maritime spatial plan in both countries and this project will very much support the efforts of the Governments in this direction. The project Cross-Border Maritime Spatial Plan for the Black Sea - Bulgaria is in this respect a part of the process of enhancing the cooperation between the two Governments on strategic issues.
The focus will be on the cross-border component of the MSP. lt is important to notice that through this project there will be a continuation of the other projects already implemented in the last years aiming to improve the cross-border cooperation on strategic issues. The cross-border maritime spatial plan to be elaborated within the project will complement the Strategy for a sustainable territorial development of the cross-border area Romania- Bulgaria, elaborated in 2014 by the Romanian Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration with the support of other 11 institutions from Romania and Bulgaria.
The implementation of the MARSPLAN-BS is a concrete project that has been initiated as a result of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration from Romania and Ministry of Regional Development of Bulgaria for cooperation in the field of regional development, signed on the 7th of March 2014 in Bucharest.

There is a lack of integrated planning in the maritime areas of Romania and Bulgaria (and the other Black Sea basin countries), as the planning of the sea space is mostly done in a traditional, sectorial manner. Currently there is no complete information in most of the relevant domain for the Romania-
Bulgaria cross-border maritime area.


Having all these into regard, the project aims to support the implementation of the Directive for maritime spatial planning (MSP) in the Black Sea and to facilitate the cross-border maritime spatial planning. lt focuses on the cross-border maritime spatial planning of Romania and Bulgaria, the only EU Member States in the Black Sea basin, but it will also prepare the expanding of the cooperation framework with the other Black Sea countries, with the support of the Black Sea Commission/ identified observer partners.