The methodology will be based on an Ecosystem-Based Approach (EBA) to reach objectives of sustainable use of the sea. A reflection on the conceptual methodology for addressing MSP in the Northern European Atlantic, taking into consideration transboundary and cross-border issues will be carried out. Operational aspects will be detailed on selected topics of concern. The sustainable use of the sea will be granted through an Ecosystem-Based Approach (EBA), which the methodology will be based on.

Outputs: Recommendations on the procedural steps to follow for the development of cross-border MSP.

C 1.3.1.1 Conceptual method: major steps

The task will consider the ongoing process of implementation of MSP in the Countries involved in SIMNORAT, to reflect on the state of advancement and the understanding of the MSP process from the methodological aspects. A review on current methodologies to implement MSP will be put in place (starting from the well established ones as the UNESCO-IOC step-by-step approach, Ehler and Douvere 2009). The review will be used to reflect on the ongoing implementation processes in the Countries, through a SWOT analysis, identifying barriers and bottlenecks to be considered from the methodological perspective.

Outputs: Report on the review on the methodological approach to MSP and SWOT analysis on on-going Countries implementation process towards cross-border MSP.

C 1.3.1.2 The definition and application of MSP by the OSPAR Convention taking into consideration the relationship between EU and non EU countries

The task will consider the ongoing work within the OSPAR Convention on MSP, in order to reflect on synergies between the MSP implementation in SIMNORAT countries and the MSP framework, interpretation and implementation under the OSPAR Convention. Starting from the definition, the general reflection and activities structured around the application of MSP in the SIMNORAT will be analysed to put in evidence key issues and key threats to be considered by each country, understanding and pathway on MSP in the Northem European Atlantic.

Outputs: Recommendation and guidelines to support common understanding on a regional scale for the Northern European Atlantic on MSP.

C 1.3.1.3 Coordination ofsectorial policies

This task will analyse relationship and coordination among relevant policy instruments (e.g. MFSD, WFD, H&BD and Biodiversity Strategy, CFP, ICM Protocol …), promoting an effective common implementation. The ecosystem based approach will constitute the common background of the analysis developed in this activity, to understand also possible interferences and impacts of sectorial policies on marine environment in relation to the MSP implementation process.

Outputs: Recommendations for a synergic implementation of the regionally relevant policy instruments supporting the MSP implementation, considering the framework of ecosystem based approach as well.

C1.3.1.4. Land — sea interactions and relationships with Integrated Coastal Management (ICM)

The Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning states that Member-States shall take into account the land-sea interaction in the establishment and implementation of maritime spatial planning. As a matter of fact, land-sea interaction is an important issue for maritime spatial planning processes to be successful.

This task will analyse and address the connections and relationships between MSP and ICM in the study area.

The aim is to understand how to work coherently between MSP and ICM, which should be reflected in coherent and coordinated land and sea use planning frameworks. Synergies between MSP Directive implementation and ICM protocol will be depicted and reported to be considered in the MSP implementation process in the case study. As main topics, ecological features and dynamics, socio economic relationships, interferences and interdependencies will be considered and put in evidence to inform MSP.

Output: This task will be addressed through:
– A specific report focusing on how land-sea interactions are addressed in the implementation of maritime spatial planning at national level. Infonnation to be used for this report will be gathered via the inclusion of land-sea interaction as a cross-cutting topic in the data collection organized through tasks C 1.1. (Initial assessment), C1.2.1. (in the infonnation to be collected in support to the Regional MSP platform), C 1.2.2. (in the analysis of Maritime Spatial Planning processes), C 1.3.3. (in the assessment of maritime spatial data), C 1.3.4. (Tools and methods supporting MSP processes), C 1.3.5. (Stakeholder engagement), C 1.3.6. (Casestudies on approaches to MSP implementation);
– Inclusion of the land-sea issue as a cross-cutting topic in the practical activities to be organized through task Cl .2.1. (Regional MSP platform).

C1 .3.1.5. Definition of the most appropriate geographical scale for MSP plans at national scale

This task will support MS in defining the number of plans to be developed and their boundaries; to promote the use of similar criteria among MS for harmonized results beyond administrative boundaries; to take into account transboundary issues in defining plan boundaries.

A general reflection on strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threat of establishing the geographical scope of MSP will be produced with National competent authorities in order to support the MSP Directive implementation process. Management boundaries of selected areas will be defined and verified with National Authorities, considering administrative and legal boundaries, as well as reflecting on environmental dynamics and their geographical domains in relation to the regions they cover. The analysis will reflect on place-based approach in relation to the definition of
boundaries, which should consider the MSP enforceability as well as the significance with respect to ecological processes.

Output: Report on swot analysis in relation to the application of MSP at different scales in the case study.