This report makes a case for examining the role of integration and its links to how
sustainable development is variably expressed in different marine spatial planning (MSP)
contexts. The aim of the report is to refine an analytical approach to examine integration
in MSP in the Baltic Sea through consideration of preliminary empirical results from a
broad range of case studies. MSP is conceptualised here as a governance platform for
improving processes to enable political decision-making with the aim to achieve
sustainable development of marine space. Integration is universally espoused as a
means to address a variety of challenges closely related to MSP’s sustainable
development ambitions, such as supporting inter-sectoral decision-making, stakeholder
engagement and cross-border interaction, but its role, value and implementation in MSP
has not been examined in any empirical detail. Although increased integration may well
have positive effects on MSP processes and outcomes, in some instances, the contrary
might also be the case. With these thoughts in mind, this report argues that we need to
analyse integration as a multidimensional concept in MSP processes and outcomes.
Based on understandings of integration derived from MSP experience and concepts in the
broader social science literature, an analytical framework is developed to examine MSP
practice in the Baltic Sea. Integration is conceptualised as including
transboundary/cross-border, policy/sectoral, stakeholder and knowledge dimensions.
Despite common requirements under the European Union MSP Directive and policies,
national jurisdictions are likely to adopt MSP differently, which has implications for the
role integration is likely to play in national and transnational MSP practice. Drawing on
empirical data derived from national MSP studies, stakeholder dialogue forums and
preliminary interviews with stakeholders the analytical framework is applied to examine
how particular integration challenges play out in both national and transnational marine
space across the Baltic Sea Region. The analytical framework is then used to structure
an examination of several case studies from different parts of the Baltic Sea Region.
Based on consideration of the empirical work and an analyses of previous experiences in
science and practice we then propose some revisions to the initial analytical framework
presented earlier. The revised analytical framework, while capturing the integration
dimensions mentioned earlier, also includes consideration of the following aspects of
integration: how ‘balance’ between sustainable development dimensions is exercised;
the character of cross-boundary interactions; and temporal dynamics. Instead of a
conclusion, short think-pieces are presented to capture the main insights of the report,
which could be used to aid the examination of integration in MSP in other MSP contexts,
beyond the Baltic Sea.
Stockholm: BONUS , 2016. , 43 p.
Marine Spatial Planning, integration, sustainable development, Baltic Sea Region, transnational, social science