Speaking ahead of a European Commission event on MSP hosted in Athens, Commissioner Damanaki will be joined by Mr Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, Greece's Minister of Shipping, Maritime Affairs and the Aegean, and Ms Gesine Meissner, MEP and Rapporteur on the Directive for Maritime Spatial Planning.
The conference will bring together a range of stakeholders and experts, as well as representatives from industry and NGOs, to discuss how shipping and other maritime sectors can operate side by side in an increasingly crowded marine space. Participants will explore the benefits of Maritime Spatial Planning in terms of safety, access to space, environmental protection and the efficiency and competitiveness of maritime transport.
The Directive on a European Framework for Maritime Spatial Planning was adopted by the European Parliament on 17 April 2014 and is scheduled to be approved by the Council in July 2014. The Directive will support Member States in their action to develop plans to better coordinate the various activities taking place at sea, ensuring they are as efficient and sustainable as possible, and coherent across sea basins.
In many maritime areas, activities compete for space and resources: fishing grounds, aquaculture farms, marine protected areas exist alongside maritime infrastructures such as cables, pipelines, shipping lanes and oil, gas and wind installations. The new Directive will help avoid potential conflicts between such diverse uses and create an environment attractive to investors, thereby contributing to sustainable growth.