1. MSP LEGAL BASES AND THE MARITIME ADMINISTRATION AUTHORITIES
1.1 The Maritime Areas of the Republic of Poland and Maritime Administration
Marine spatial planning (MSP) is a process of managing human activities in the marine and coastal environment in order to achieve sustainable development goals. The EU Directive establishing a framework for maritime spatial planning (MSP Directive) plays an important role in the development of marine spatial planning by promoting MSP instruments (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32014L0089). Marine spatial plans are the main instruments of marine spatial planning. According to the approach presented in the MSP Directive, development of the Polish maritime spatial planning was started in 2013.
Regarding maritime spatial planning, the most important legal acts in Poland are:
- Act of March 21, 1991 on the maritime areas of the Republic of Poland and maritime administration (consolidated text: Journal of Laws 2019 item 2169) http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU19910320131/U/D19910131Lj.pdf
- Act of October 3, 2008 on access to information on environment and its protection, public participation in environmental protection and on environmental impact assessment (consolidated text: Journal of Laws 2020 item 283) http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20081991227/U/D20081227Lj.pdf
- Act of April 16, 2004 on the nature protection (consolidated text: Journal of Laws 2020 item 55) http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20040920880/U/D20040880Lj.pdf
- Regulation of January 13, 2017 regarding on the detailed course of the baseline, the outer limit of the territorial sea and the outer limit of the contiguous zone of the Republic of Poland (Journal of Laws 2017 item 183) http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20170000183/O/D20170183.pdf
- Regulation of May 17, 2017 regarding the required scope of spatial development plans of marine internal waters, territorial sea and exclusive economic zone (Journal of Laws 2017 item 1025) http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20170001025/O/D20171025.pdf
- Regulation of August 5, 2013 concerning the maritime spatial plans of the Polish maritime areas (Journal of Laws 2013 item 1051, repealed in 2015) http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20130001051/O/D20131051.pdf
In Poland, the main legal basis of MSP are included in the Act on the maritime areas of the Republic of Poland and maritime administration, which defines the legal situation of the maritime areas of the Republic of Poland, coastal areas, sea ports and harbours, and the rules for the use of these areas, as well as the maritime administration authorities and their competences. Amendments introduced in 2015 to the Act on the maritime areas of the Republic of Poland and maritime administration regarding marine spatial planning within the Polish maritime areas (http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20150001642/O/D20151642.pdf) constitute grounds for developing and implementing maritime spatial plans for maritime areas.
Taking into account the effectiveness of works, it should be stated that in Poland the actual actions aimed at implementing the MSP Directive were taken in 2013. The provisions of the Regulation of the Minister of Transport, Construction and Maritime Economy and the Minister of Regional Development on the plans for spatial development of Polish marine areas issued on August 5, 2013 have been in line with the provisions of the MSP Directive proposed at that time.
The minister in charge of the maritime economy in cooperation with the Directors of Maritime Offices in Gdynia, Słupsk and Szczecin prepared a general schedule for the development of maritime spatial plans for Polish marine areas in September 2013. Then a significant “Study of the conditions for spatial development of Polish sea areas” was created together with spatial analyzes that define spatial, legal, economic, social and natural conditions for the purposes of drawing up a spatial development plan for the Polish maritime areas (http://www.umgdy.gov.pl/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/inz-msp-study.pdf). It was also at that time that intensive legislative works were initiated to adapt Polish legislation to the provisions of the MSP Directive. After about two years, the provisions of MSP Directive have been implemented into Polish domestic law by introducing changes to the Act on the maritime areas of the Republic of Poland and maritime administration in 2015, including by means of: revision of spatial development plans for Polish marine areas; introduction of provisions regarding cross-border arrangements for the draft spatial development plan for Polish marine areas and public arrangements for the draft spatial development plan for Polish sea areas. The maritime spatial plan of the Polish marine areas is being developed by Maritime Institute in Gdańsk (http://im.umg.edu.pl) and National Marine Fisheries Research Institute in Gdynia (https://mir.gdynia.pl/?lang=en).
Spatial planning and development covering the marine internal waters, territorial sea and exclusive economic zone means the process through which the competent authorities analyze and organize the use of marine areas to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives. The authorities competent for the maritime spatial planning are the minister in charge of the maritime economy and the director of the maritime office. The maritime administration authorities and their competences are specified in the Act on the maritime areas of the Republic of Poland and maritime administration. The minister in charge of the maritime affairs as the supreme organ of maritime administration, directors of maritime offices as local maritime administration authorities. Supervision over the activities of directors of maritime offices within the scope regulated by the Act on the maritime areas of the Republic of Poland and maritime administration and in separate regulations is exercised by the minister in charge of the maritime economy.
1.2 Polish maritime areas
Since 2013, intensive efforts have been made to draw up a maritime spatial plan in Poland (https://www.umgdy.gov.pl/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/PZP-POM_SM2_draft_plan_v.0.pdf). The current project of the Polish maritime spatial plan 1:200 000 (draft plan) covers internal waters and territorial sea of the Republic of Poland as well as the Polish exclusive economic zone, but does not cover the Szczecin, Vistula and Kamieński Lagoons and marine internal waters within the boundaries of ports.
The maritime areas of the Republic of Poland are: marine internal waters (2 041 km2); the territorial sea (8 783 km2); contiguous zone (7 787 km2) and exclusive economic zone (19 736 km2). The Polish marine internal waters and territorial sea are part of the territory of the Republic of Poland. The territorial sovereignty of the Republic of Poland over the internal waters and the territorial sea shall extend to the waters, to the airspace over such waters as well as to the seabed and the subsoil of the internal waters and the territorial sea. The territorial sea of Poland consists of a marine area of 12 nautical miles wide, measured from the baseline of that sea. The baseline of the territorial sea is a line connecting the corresponding points defining the lowest water level along the coast or other points designated in accordance with the principles set out in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The outer limit of the territorial sea is the line, where each point is 12 nautical miles from the nearest point of the baseline, but roadsteads which are normally used for the loading, unloading and anchoring of ships and which are situated entirely or partially outside the outer limit of the sea waters areas, are included in the territorial sea. Polish contiguouszone adjacent to the territorial sea of the Republic of Poland, the outer limit of which is not more than 24 nautical miles from the baseline. In the exclusive economic zone Poland is entitled sovereign rights to explore, manage and exploit the natural resources, whether living or non-living, the seabed and its subsoil and the waters covering them as well as the right to conserve those resources, as well as the sovereign rights with respect to other economic undertakings in the zone; and jurisdiction with regard to: the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations and other structures; marine scientific research; the protection and preservation of the marine environment; as well as other rights provided for under international law.
1.3 Issues and functions of the Polish maritime spatial plan
The Polish maritime spatial plan decides on five main issues: (1) the destined use of the maritime areas; (2) prohibitions or limitation in the use of the maritime areas, taking into account the requirements of nature protection; (3) location of public purpose investment; (4) directions of development of transport and technical infrastructure, as well as (5) areas and conditions of environmental protection, cultural heritage, fishery and aquaculture, renewable energy production and exploration and extraction of minerals.
The Polish legislator distinguished two main functions types of allocations of the marine area, namely: the main functions and the allowed functions. The main functions mean the leading allocations of the area established in the plan, which cannot be interfered by any other allowed functions. The allowed functions of the area mean the possible ways of using the area, the coexistence of which does not adversely affect sustainable development of the area.
1.4 Adoption of the Polish maritime spatial plan
The draft plan is prepared by a territorially competent director of the maritime office, using the ecosystem-based approach and taking into consideration:
- supporting the sustainable development in the maritime sector, taking into account the economic, social and environmental aspects, including the improvement of the environment and the resilience to climate change impacts;
- defence and national security;
- coordination of actions by relevant parties and the methods of using the sea.
The ecosystem-based approach is defined in the Article 37b § 1a of the Act on the maritime areas of the Republic of Poland and maritime administration and means that in management of human activities, the following three conditions must be satisfied cumulatively, namely:
- maintaining an impact of the planned human activities on the ecosystem at a level enabling to achieve and maintain a good environmental status;
- maintaining both the ability for the proper functioning of the ecosystem, as well as resilience to environmental changes, arising from human activities;
- enabling the sustained and at the same time sustainable use of the marine goods and services by the present and future generations.
The Polish maritime spatial plans will be adopted by the Council of Ministers. The Polish maritime spatial plans coveringthe marine internal waters, the territorial sea and the exclusive economic zone will be adopted by a regulation.
The plan may include the arrangements binding upon the self-governments of voivodeships and the municipalities, within which there are the marine internal waters, or the municipalities adjacent to the plan area by the coastline or the maritime areas’ boundaries, corresponding to that line, in drawing up, respectively, the spatial development plans of voivodeships, the studies of conditions and the spatial development directions of the municipalities, as well as the local spatial development plans in the field of: deployment of public purpose investments of the national significance specified in the medium-term national development strategy and other development strategies, the concepts of the national spatial development and the programmes which specify the tasks of the government, protected areas, the manner of using of the marine areas (including the restrictions and approvals).
The minister in charge of the maritime economy carries out the cross-border cooperation within maritime spatial planning as well as the cross-border exchange in the field of spatial data necessary in the process of maritime spatial planning. The Council of Ministers may specify, by means of a regulation, the required scope and manner of crossborder arrangements of the maritime spatial plan covering the marine internal waters, the territorial sea and the exclusive economic zone, having regard, in particular, to the recommendations adopted by the HELCOM and the authorities of the EU in the field of maritime spatial planning. The director of the maritime office collects and stores the materials relating to the plans. The maritime spatial plan should be reviewed from time to time, at least every 10 years. The plan is being prepared in accordance with the Regulation of May 2017 on the required scope of spatial development plans of marine internal waters, territorial sea and exclusive economic zone.
2. TIMETABLE FOR WORK ON POLISH MARITIME SPATIAL PLAN
Since 2016, the Polish maritime spatial plan has been developed according to a detailed timetable for work (https://www.umgdy.gov.pl/?p=12762):
- August 2, 2016 – commencement of work on the maritime spatial plan (draft plan);
- August – October 2016 – collecting comments and conclusions on the draft plan;
- August 2016 – February 2017 – acquisition of planning materials;
- March 2017 – the first national consultation meeting;
- July 2017 – preparation of the preliminary draft plan;
- October 2017 – the second national consultation meeting;
- April 2018 – preparation of a draft plan taking into account the findings of the EIA;
- June 2018 – laying out the draft plan together with the EIA (v1). In June 2018, a draft plan with an environmental impact assessment was presented for public viewing. It ensured stakeholders possibility of submitting comments and requests;
- July 2018 – public discussion; collecting arrangements, opinions and comments on the draft plan;
- December 2018 – preparation of a Draft plan including opinions, arrangements and conclusions from the public discussion (v). In December 2018 a modified draft plan was prepared, which introduced changes resulting from the environmental impact assessment and the arrangements made, as well as changes resulting from the opinions, remarks and conclusions considered. The modified draft plan (v2) together with the updated environmental impact assessment were forwarded to the competent authorities in order to procedure resulting from the in Article 37e § 1 point 8 of the Act on the maritime areas of the Republic of Poland and maritime administration. The draft plan together with the updated environmental impact assessment is available on the website of the Director of the Maritime Office in Gdynia (https://www.umgdy.gov.pl/?p=27458).
- January – February 2019 – reconciliation with the competent authorities of the draft plan at national level;
- In January 2019, the Director of the Maritime Office in Gdynia acting on behalf of the Director of the Maritime Office in Słupsk, the Director of the Maritime Office in Szczecin and his own informs about the completion of the next stage of work on the project of maritime spatial plan for marine internal waters, territorial sea and exclusive economic zone (the draft plan) in scale 1: 200 000 together with the environmental impact assessment.
- August 2019 – preparation of a Draft plan including reconciliations (v3); (https://mapy.umgdy.gov.pl/pzp/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=3abee3cc798e499dbd165472425f2434);
- 3rd quarter 2020 – submission of the draft plan to the Minister in charge of Maritime Economy for the adoption of the spatial development plan by way of regulation.
In Poland, the maritime spatial plan is under development (https://www.msp-platform.eu/sites/default/files/download/poland_country_fiche_05.06.2019_0.pdf). In accordance with the principle of sustainable development, in the scope of determining detailed decisions, both the activities resulting from the need for economic development and activities aimed at environmental protection, in particular maintaining and improving its condition, were taken into account. These detailed decisions of the Polish maritime spatial plan are in line with the precautionary approach in the context of conservation and protection of natural values. This was confirmed by: the preparation of separate and specific for each designated marine zone prohibitions and use restrictions relating to the welfare of natural resources, an issue not regulated in the Natura 2000 protection plans; and recommendations regarding the use of marine zones in the future.
Matczak M., Przedrzymirska J., Zaucha J., Schultz-Zehden A., Handbook on muli-level consultations in MSP, PartSeaPate 2014: http://www.partiseapate.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/PartiSEApate_handbook-on-multilevel-consultations-in-MSP.pdf
Pyć D., The Polish Legal Regime on Marine Spatial Planning, Maritime Law, vol. XXXIII, Gdańsk 2017.
Pyć D., Implementation of Marine Spatial Planning Instruments for Sustainable Marine Governance in Poland; TransNav, the International Journal on Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation, vol. 13, No 2, DOI:10.12716/1001.13.02.06, pp. 311-316, 2019; http://www.transnav.eu/Article_Implementation_of_Marine_Spatial_Py%C4%87,50,901.html#
Pyć D., The Role of the Law of the Sea in Marine Spatial Planning, [in] Zaucha J., Gee K. (eds) Maritime Spatial Planning: past, present, future, Palgrave Macmillan 2019, pp. 375-395, DOI:10.1007/978-3-319-98696-8_16.
Zaucha J., The Key to Governing the Fragile Baltic Sea. Maritime Spatial Planning in the Baltic Sea Region and Way Forward, VASAB 2014, passim.
Zaucha J., Sea Basin Maritime Spatial Planning: A case study of the Baltic Sea region and Poland, Marine Policy 50, 2014, pp. 34-45.
Zaucha, J., Methodology of Maritime Spatial Planning in Poland, Journal of Environmental Protection and Ecology 19, No 2, 713–720, 2018; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326941315_Methodology_of_maritime_spatial_planning_in_Poland
See also: MSP in Poland: https://www.msp-platform.eu/countries/poland