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The framework established under the Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) Directive (2014/89/EU) is “aimed at promoting the sustainable growth of maritime economies, the sustainable development of marine areas and the sustainable use of marine resources” (Art. 1(1)). In preparing and implementing their plans, Member States should apply “an ecosystem- based approach” (Art. 5(1)).

Specific attention thus is given to supporting the application of ecosystem-based approaches (EBA) in MSP to ensure the functioning of ecosystems and biodiversity are well accounted for. However, practical application of EBA remains challenging, with limited practical examples on how to make it operational in an European context.

In this context, a stakeholder workshop is organised to discuss how best to seize the opportunities offered by the implementation of the existing policy framework to support the application of EBA in MSP in the Black Sea.

Case studies focusing on different European regional seas are being carried out, including one case study on the Black Sea. The main focus of this Black sea case study is to investigate how the requirements and instruments of the existing legal framework address the management of (marine and coastal) ecosystems and resources. It will look in particular at how the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the Water Framework Directive (WFD), the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), NATURA 2000 and biodiversity legislation (Habitats/Birds Directives), as well as Integrated Coastal Management (ICM), can support and facilitate the application of EBA in MSP, including in a transboundary context.

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