Romania approves Maritime Spatial Plan

Romania approves Maritime Spatial Plan

Romanian ministries have prepared a draft emergency ordinance with which the Maritime Spatial Plan (MSP), a strategic planning document identifying the spatial and temporal distribution of current and future activities and uses within Romanian waters, is approved.

Source: MSP Platform/ European Commission

Romania’s Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Development, Public Works and Public Administration prepared the draft emergency ordinance at the end of September, approving the MSP.

The MSP is meant to establish the general framework for the sustainable and integrated development of different economic sectors.

As such, the MSP is a strategic planning document for the installations and infrastructure for exploration of oil, gas and other mineral resources as well as for energy production from renewable sources, routes of submarine cables and pipelines, relevant also for their protection areas, contingency plans for accidental pollution or marine natural hazard, and areas of extraction of raw materials, among others.

The plan will be implemented based on a permanent monitoring mechanism, with the designated public authorities being obliged to prepare monitoring reports every three years.  

Several public authorities are directly involved in the process of developing, implementing, and monitoring the MSP, while the coordinating role belongs to the Maritime Planning Committee (MPC), which will establish to what extent it is necessary to update the MSP.

According to the draft ordinance, but also to the general legislative framework of Ordinance 18/2016, the MSP is updated periodically, but no later than once every 10 years.

Operators proposing new projects must notify the MPC before carrying out the authorization/licensing procedures for their projects, based on which the MPC will analyze and issue a position if there are any conflicts or synergies of the proposed uses/perimeters with other objectives, as per the MSP.

To remind, coastal member states were required to submit their MPSs to the EU Commission by March 31, 2021. Romania was among the 16 countries that failed to send in their plans on time.

At the time, WindEurope called for the 16 member states to accelerate their work on their MSPs and to submit them as soon as possible, keeping in mind the EU’s offshore wind and climate change goals.