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Polish Chairmanship in the cooperation of the Ministers responsible for spatial planning and development VASAB – frame programme
1 July 2015 - 30 June 2016
1. Subject and priorities of the Polish chairmanship

The aim of the Polish chairmanship is to support an integrated territorially oriented approach (place-based approach) in the programming and implementation of public policies at different spatial scales and thematic areas.

Implementation of this objective will be the continuation of the efforts performed during the Polish Presidency of the EU Council in 2011 in the field of territorial cohesion and urban development.

Acting within this framework and using the Committee on Spatial Planning and Development of the Baltic Sea Region (VASAB Committee) as a platform for exchange of knowledge and good practice, the priorities of the Polish chairmanship are the three themes important for the Baltic Sea Region:

  • Urban issues,
  • Maritime spatial planning,
  • Territorial monitoring.

The ambition of the Polish chairmanship in VASAB will also be strengthening the coordination between the activities of the VASAB Committee and other important pan- Baltic organizations, especially the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

2. Calendar of events under the Polish Chairmanship

2.1. Conference: "Integrated Approach to Spatial Development of Europe – five years later, Baltic Sea Region as an example of successful implementation".

  • May 2016, Warsaw

The two-day conference summarizing the strategic processes and activities taking place in Europe, with particular emphasis on the Baltic Sea Region, and presenting progress in implementation of the territorially oriented approach made since the last conference Integrated Approach to the Spatial Development of Europe - Meaning of Territorial Cohesion, which was held in February 2011 in Warsaw.

2.2. Meetings of the Joint HELCOM-VASAB Maritime Spatial Planning Working Group
Two international meetings of the Working Group are planned, which will focus on the approximation of a shared vision for the Baltic Sea and the definition of the consistent rules for cross-border spatial planning. Additionally to Working Group meetings the Baltic Sea Region Maritime Spatial planning Data Expert Subgroup will be carried out in Riga.

  • October 2015, Riga
  • February 2016, Gdańsk

2.3. Meetings of the VASAB Committee
Poland plans to organize three VASAB Committee meetings back to back with workshops discussing more in depth the means and ways of implementing above mentioned priorities.
For each of the meetings, besides some issues fixed firmly rooted in all VASAB Committee meetings, tentatively scheduled on one topic – priority Chairmanship – which will be further discussed in the frame of a full or half day workshop.

  • October 2015, Łódź: "Workshop on revitalisation and VASAB input to EU urban agenda process",
  • February 2016, Gdańsk: "Workshop on future cooperation in maritime spatial planning",
  • June 2016, Kraków: "Workshop on territorial monitoring systems".


icon Polish Chairmanship in the cooperation of the Ministers responsible for spatial planning and development VASAB – frame programme (1 July 2015 - 30 June 2016)

HASPS - Horizontal Action "Spatial Planning" Support
Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020 Technical Assistance grant project

Project's lifetime: 22 May 2015 – 30 June 2016
Total project budget: € 117 646
European Regional Development Fund: € 99 999

The project aims to support objectives assigned in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region in Horizontal Action (HA) Spatial Planning, co-lead by HELCOM and VASAB. The project involves related activities of both organisations to improve coordination, stakeholder involvement and achievement of the strategic targets of the HA Spatial Planning.

The activities of the project contribute to the better implementation of the EUSBSR Action Plan, better visibility and promote and enable more Flagship Projects. The activities cover both thematic areas of the HA Spatial Planning: maritime spatial planning and land based spatial planning.

The project supports regional implementation of the 2014 EU MSP Directive (2014/89/EU) and implementation of the Regional Baltic MSP Roadmap 2013-2020. The project adds capacity to the joint HELCOM-VASAB MSP WG to act as a regional platform for coherent MSP activities. Four meetings of MSP Data Expert Sub-group of the joint HELCOM-VASAB MSP WG will be organized to develop common approach in MSP data and information sharing in order to coherently implement Article 10 of the EU MSP Directive.

The project also supports VASAB Polish chairmanship 2015/2016 in promoting place-based approach concept and coherent planning and monitoring of the Baltic Sea Region territory. Within the project two events are organized to strengthen the focus of HA Spatial Planning on EU Urban Agenda:

  • The workshop on urban revitalization and cooperation organized back-to-back with VASAB CSPD/BSR meeting in Lodz, Poland on 28 October 2015. The workshop aims at generating joint input of the Region (HA Spatial Planning) to the EU Urban Agenda process based on existing sustainable urban planning solutions and partnership concepts.
  • A policy conference on improved territorial cohesion will be organized in Warsaw, Poland on 6-7 June 2016. Building on the outcomes of the previous workshop the conference will discuss policy guidelines and best practices of place-based approach in territorial development, effective use of functional areas concept, territorial impact assessment tool, territorial development monitoring solutions and projects.

The project lead partner is VASAB Secretariat, project partner – HELCOM Secretariat.


Baltic SCOPE
Towards coherence and cross-border solutions in Maritime Spatial Planning

Project's lifetime: March 2015 – March 2017

Total Project's budget: € 2 638 829

The overall objective of the Project: to come up with common solutions of the cross-border maritime planning leading to greater alignment of national plans. It is a unique exercise to challenge countries involved, learn from the gained experience and transfer the knowledge beyond the Project and the Baltic Sea Region.

The Project is bringing together the partners from the organizations responsible for maritime spatial planning to facilitate the implementation of the EU MSP Directive.

Baltic SCOPE was designed to increase collaboration and coordination between national authorities and other key stakeholders, in order to develop common approaches to solve transboundary issues and enhance the alignment of national maritime spatial plans in the Baltic Sea region.

Baltic SCOPE was a unique cooperation, a learning-by-doing exercise, as the national planning was taking place while the project was running, at the same time uniting planning authorities around the Baltic Sea.

When project started, there was no common platform for actual planning and for informally exchanging related information. So it was created.

Everyone worked as a team, exchanging experiences, tackling the challenges of the complicated Maritime Spatial Planning here. We asked what was needed to achieve successful cross-border cooperation, and where potential barriers lay, and came up with solutions.

The project was divided in two case study areas to handle regional differences: the Central Baltic and Southwest Baltic case studies. The Central Baltic case covered the marine areas shared by Estonia, Latvia and Sweden. The Southwest Baltic case covered the marine areas shared with Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Poland.

The two-year project covered four sectors of maritime activities: fishery, shipping, environment and energy. New methods were developed to gather information and develop planning evidence. The project reached its aim and increased the collaboration between the countries involved. The findings we made in Baltic SCOPE can benefit the Baltic Sea, now and in the future.

To continue the cooperation and cover even more spatial issues the next phase of this collaboration will start in February 2018 as PanBaltic SCOPE. Follow it via #PanBalticSCOPE

The results of the Baltic SCOPE are available on its website


Lead partner:
Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management

Partner organizations:
Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (DE)
Ministry of the Environment (DK)
Maritime Office in Szczecin (PL)
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (LV)
Ministry of the Interior (EE)
VASAB Secretariat
HELCOM Secretariat


MSP Country Fiches

The MSP country fiches are a reliable source of data on the MSP status in the Baltic Sea countries and Norway. The fiches contain maps and information on the sea areas, national laws and regulations, governance, contact information, existing spatial plans and plans under development as well as information on other MSP related developments.

The updating of the fiches is coordinated by the Joint HELCOM-VASAB Maritime Spatial Planning Working Group based on an agreed procedure.

icon Denmark

icon Estonia

icon Finland

icon Germany

icon Latvia

icon Lithuania

icon Norway

icon Poland

icon Russia

icon Sweden


MSP legislation implementation BS

Older versions of MSP country fiches are available HERE

The first attempt to visualize the status of the maritime spatial plans in the BSR is publicly available on the HELCOM Map and Data Service HERE

Procedure of granting support letters to the potential flagship projects

Land-based projects

On 22-23 January 2015 VASAB CSPD/BSR has agreed on the procedure of granting support letters on behalf of EUSBSR Horizontal Action "Spatial Planning" to the potential flagship projects related to land-based spatial planning:

• VASAB requests all interested project developers to submit their project ideas (in the form of Concept Note or extended project description) at least 7 (seven) working days before the deadline for submitting applications to the funding programme;
• VASAB Secretariat serves as a contact point;
• VASAB Secretariat verifies if the formal requirements of a flagship project are met by the applicant;
• VASAB CSPD/BSR members are consulted before proposing formal decision;
• Decision to grant Letter of Commitment or Letter of Support is made by the VASAB CSPD/BSR via written procedure or at the CSPD/BSR meeting. Written procedure may take up to 7 (seven) days.

8th VASAB Conference of Ministers Responsible for Spatial Planning and Development of the BSR, Tallinn, 26 September 2014

The main focus of the Ministerial Conference was to follow the implementation progress of VASAB Long-Term Perspective and adoption of VASAB Tallinn Declaration about planning and development challenges in the Region.

The Tallinn Declaration sets new tasks and objectives, which will promote cooperation between the cities, improve the internal and external accessibility of Region, enhance maritime spatial planning by implementing the Regional Baltic Maritime Spatial Planning Roadmap 2013-2020 and facilitate blue growth through spatial planning and development

However, the main goal remains unchanged – in 2030 the Baltic Sea Region should become a well-integrated and coherent macro-region, which has overcome the socio-economic development divides between its individual parts and turned the global challenges into assets.

The 8th VASAB Ministerial Conference also marked the 20th Anniversary of the first VASAB common strategic document (Tallinn Vision) agreed at the 3rd Ministerial Conference in 1994.

The 8th Ministerial Conference took place under the Chairmanship of Estonia.

Documents of the Conference

Photos of the Conference


icon Tallinn Declaration 2014. 8th VASAB Conference of Ministers Responsible for Spatial Planning and Development of the Baltic Sea Region

icon Tallinna deklaratsioon 2014 (EE). 8th VASAB Conference of Ministers Responsible for Spatial Planning and Development of the Baltic Sea Region

icon Tallinn Declaration 2014 (RU). 8th VASAB Conference of Ministers Responsible for Spatial Planning and Development of the Baltic Sea Region

icon Progress Report 2009-2014. Implementation of the VASAB Long-Term Perspective for Territorial Development of the Baltic Sea Region

icon Eighth VASAB Conference of Ministers Responsible for Spatial Planning and Development of the Baltic Sea Region. Statements and Documents

Videos of the Conference:

Opening statement

Concluding remarks

Final speech



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