The World’s most senior Hydrographic Office (founded in 1720), Shom is a Ministry of Defence’s Public Establishment governed by a joint inter-ministerial Board of Directors. As a French Public Service body, Shom is tasked with collecting and checking all the information necessary to ensure the safety of navigation. Shom also disseminates this information or controls its dissemination to mariners. As a field operator, Shom carries out or supervises all surveys in the more than 10  million km2 of French jurisdiction areas, and elaborates and updates the official nautical charts, publications and ENCs.


The French Biodiversity Agency (AFB) is a public establishment of an administrative nature created on 1st january 2017 and placed under the governance of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and the Sea. The main assignments of AFB are:

  • Supporting public policies for the creation and management of marine protected areas in the entirety of French maritime waters
  • Running the MPA network
  • Technical and financial support of natural marine parks
  • Reinforcing French potential in intemational negotiations concerning the sea.

The Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO, is a public research organisation founded in I914 and involved in multidisciplinary marine research. IEO is responsible for providing the scientific basis for the management of marine living resources exploited by the Spanish fishing fleets, as well as advice on issues related to aquaculture, oceanography and marine pollution and environment. The Institute headquarters are located in Madrid but has nine coastal laboratories, five aquaculture plants and five research vessels. The current staffs include about 600 people, half of which are qualified scientists.

CEDEX is a National Public Institute that offers high level technical assistance and scientific knowledge in the fields of civil engineering and environmental management. CEDEX was founded in 1957 on the ground of pre-existing laboratories of Civil Engineering and has the following lines of activity:

  • Develop research & development in the fields of civil engineering and environmental management (create knowledge)
  • Serve govemments, public institutions and private companies in Spain and abroad (apply knowledge)
  • Network with related foreign and intemational entities in technical co-operation programs, associations, working groups, etc. (share knowledge)
  • Organise conferences, courses and other training activities for professionals in order to promote the transfer of technology and related environmental issues into the civil engineering sector (distribute knowledge)


CORILA is a no-profit association, legally recognised, between the following public bodies: University Ca’ Foscari of Venice, University of Padua, University IUAV of Venice, National Research Council of Italy (CNR) and National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics (OGS). It is an independent institution, under Ministry of Education, University and Research control, with a Scientific Committee and a Board of Directors. CORILA manages research activities functional to the safeguarding of the Venice Lagoon, using national funds, and has a wide experience in European projects. Its activities are carried out in close collaboration with international, European, national and local Administrations and agencies. CORILA directly works on coastal issues since 1999 and on MSP since 2008, being part of a number of consolidated networks such as LaguNet, EUROMEDLAG, GNRAC, EUCC. It actively participated to many initiatives promoted by DG MARE on MSP, where CORILA’s members often acted as invited speakers (such as the Maritime Spatial Planning conference series).

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport has established by Decree Law No. 300 of 07.30.1999 and is responsible for planning, financing, construction and management of infrastructure networks of national interest, and public under competence of the State, and it is also involved in activities relating to air, land, sea and inland waterways transport. It consists of two departments, one of which is the Department for Transport, Navigation, General Affairs and Personnel. The Directorate General for port authorities supervision, port facilities and maritime and inland waterways transport, inserted in the aforementioned Department, carries out activities related to national, community and international legislation on maritime navigation; the supervision of port authorities; administrative system of the ship; promotion of short sea shipping; seafarers; port’s planning schemes.

The Italian Ministry of the Environment, Land and Sea – Directorate – General for Nature and Sea Protection is a public authority with concurring competence for the implementation ofMSP and ofthe Directive 2014/89/UE dated 23″’ July 2014 on MSP. It is also in charge of the implementation of the Barcelona Convention as well as of the EUSAIR that are developing an important work on MSP. Moreover, the Directorate General for Nature and Sea Protection is the competent authority for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive aimed to achieve or maintain the Good Environmental Status through Programmes of Measures that are key elements also for the implementation of MSP.

The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) is the national agency responsible for land use planning and environmental regulation in Malta. Established under the mandate of the Environment Protection Act (2001) and the Development Planning Act (1992) of the Laws of Malta. The Authority employs over 420 personnel from a wide range of backgrounds to help solve and shape our country’s environmental and land-use issues.

In 1975, the Mediterranean States and the European Community approved the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) as the institutional framework for cooperation in addressing common challenges of environmental degradation. The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention) adopted in 1995 provides principles with which to meet the challenge of sustainable development, with a substantially extended field of application, in order to achieve the following main objectives:

  • to assess and control marine pollution;
  • to ensure sustainable management of natural marine and coastal resources;
  • to integrate the environment in social and economic development;
  • to protect the marine environment and coastal zones through prevention and reduction of pollution, and as far as possible, elimination of pollution, whether land or seabased;
  • to protect the natural and cultural heritage;
  • to strengthen solidarity among Mediterranean coastal States; and
  • to contribute to improvement of the quality of life.

On January lst 2014, 1 1 centres of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (namely the 8 CETEs, the Certu, the Cetmef and the Setra) merged to form Cerema (Centre for Studies and Expertise on Risks, Environment, Mobility, and Urban and Country Planning), an administrative public body with 3,100 employees. Placed under the joint supervision of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy and the Ministry of Housing, Territorial Equality and Rural Affairs, Cerema is a resource centre for scientific and technical expertise, in support of the definition, implementation and evaluation of public policies, carried by national and local authorities. Specific features of Cerema are a strong territorial rooting and its capacity to combine many fields of expertise to answer complex questions related to sustainable development.

The Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions ( brings together some 160 Regions from 24 States from the European Union and beyond. Representing about 200 million people, the CPMR campaigns in favour of a more balanced development of the European territory. It operates both as a think tank and as a lobby for Regions. Through its extensive network of contacts within the EU institutions and national govemments the CPMR has, since its creation in 1973, been targeting its action towards ensuring that the needs and interests of its member Regions are taken into account in respect of policies with a high territorial impact. It focuses mainly on social, economic and territorial cohesion, maritime policies and blue growth, and accessibility. European govemance, energy and climate change, neighbourhood and development also represent important areas of activity for the association.