EUSBSR History


Horizontal Action ‘Spatial Planning’ focused on encouraging the use of maritime and land-based spatial planning in all Member States around the Baltic Sea and developing a common approach for cross-border cooperation.

HA Spatial Planning aimed to contribute to better adaptation of strategies to different types of areas, promote application of place-based approaches to territorial development, observe the territorial development processes in the region, and encourage transnational actions improving the accessibility and connectivity of the region. HA Spatial Planning had two thematic areas – maritime spatial planning (MSP) and land-based spatial planning.

HA Spatial Planning was coordinated by VASAB and HELCOM.



The overall goal of HA Spatial Planning was to achieve a territorial cohesion perspective in the Baltic Sea region by 2030. By 2030 the region was to be a well-integrated and coherent macro-region that has overcome the socio-economic development divides between its individual parts and turned the global challenges into assets. In addition to this, the horizontal action also had a shorter term target:

  • Drawing up maritime spatial plans, applying trans-boundary ecosystem-based approach.



In order to implement the VASAB Long Term Perspective for the Territorial Development of the Baltic Sea region (LTP) within the EUSBSR and achieve coherent development of the Baltic Sea region, horizontal action aims to:

  1. contribute to better adaptation of strategies to different types of areas and propose specific approaches for a diverse urban pattern by ensuring pan-Baltic dialogue and input to the EU Urban Agenda process.
  2. underline the need to apply place-based approaches to territorial development policies as well as effective use of functional area’s concept and territorial impact assessment tools by acting as a platform for sharing knowledge and best practices.
  3. observe the territorial development processes in the Region by using and advancing territorial development monitoring solutions, inter alia developed within projects of the ESPON programme.
  4. encourage transnational actions improving accessibility and connectivity of the Region using potential of TEN-T for regional development and observe regional effects of the European transport infrastructure development.