Land & Sea interactions - ICM & MSP

From its start in 1989, EUCC has been Europe’s leading organisation when it comes to the development and implementation of Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) approaches. EUCC is also Europe’s most important expert network on land & sea interactions, ready to support all efforts towards meeting the MSP Directive’s objectives and requirements.

Integrated Coastal Management


Integrated Coastal Management is an ideal vehicle to carry the message of sustainability to all sectors of society in all coastal regions. ICM is an element of mainstream EU environmental objectives for Land Use, Water and Marine & Coastal policy implementation. Since 1991 EUCC has been championing ICM. We were at the forefront of preparing the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Principles as adopted by the European Parliament and Council in the EU Recommendation on ICZM, in 2002. We have also shaped related environmental policy fields, especially for coastal tourism, coastal erosion and defence. This involvement continues today since coastal policy formulation and implementation remains our main raison d'être.

Management Principles

EUCC has actively participated in meetings of the EU’s Expert Group on Integrated Coastal Management (ICM EG) since it was set up in 2002. We actively participated at the last 5th Joint Meeting of the ICM and MSP Expert Groups, held in Brussels April 2015, and the first joint meeting during the transposition phase of the MSP Directive. EUCC offered its support to the implementation of new legislation based on the experience of ICM principles applied to coastal management, especially considering land-sea interactions in the context of coastal and marine policies and best practices for MSP cross-border projects. Natasha Bradshaw (EUCC Board Member) gave a presentation about the practices undertaken and lessons learned from UK Coastal Partnerships and the Celtic Seas Partnership initiative, contributing successfully to the discussion item dedicated to public participation. It was apparent from this meeting that Member States are keen to obtain more support & expertise on how to interpret and implement their new obligations for MSP, particularly with regard to the land-sea interactions and cross-border collaboration.

Leadership to support

Since February 2017, EUCC is observer of the Member States expert Group on Maritime Spatial Planning (MSEG on MSP) based on our strong position to support Member States and the EC by providing access to knowledge & experience to help implement aspects of the MSP Directive.
It is a key time to enable EUCC to share lessons from 25 years of ICM leadership to support:

  • Methods to link MSP processes with already established terrestrial planning systems in order to facilitate consideration of land-sea interactions.
  • Transboundary MSP implementation across regional seas (which will help to deliver Good Environmental Status under the MSFD.
  • Approaches to stakeholder engagement and public participation which ensure efficiency and continuity for societal engagement in the process across boundaries, including Member States’ borders.