Bulgaria has a territorial sea of about 6,400 km2, a contiguous zone of about 5,200 km2, and an exclusive economic zone of about 29,000 km2. It and Romania are the only two Member States of the European Union located on the Black Sea. It does not have a national marine spatial plan, nor does it have MSP legislation in place. Under the EU Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning Bulgaria will be required to implement a maritime spatial plan by 2021.

The European Commission has funded (€2,000,000) MARSPLAN-BS (Cross-Border MARitime Spatial PLANning in the Black Sea), a pilot trans-boundary MSP project with Bulgaria (2015-2017). The purpose of the project is to support the implementation of the EU Directive for Maritime Spatial Planning in the Black Sea Basin, starting with its Member States, Romania and Bulgaria. The Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration is the lead Romanian partner; the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works is the lead partner in Bulgaria. In addition to several case studies, the project will review the institutional and legislative framework relevant for MSP in Romania and Bulgaria, the development of a maritime spatial plan for the cross-border area of Mangalia (Romania) – Shabla (Bulgaria), creation of a common spatial database for maritime areas in Romania and Bulgaria, and the creation of a data-sharing centre supporting the cross-border maritime spatial planning activities in Romania and Bulgaria.

For more information, see the European MSP Platform website (http://www.msp-platform.eu).