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(13 March 2013) - Today the European Commission launched a proposal to improve the planning of maritime activities at sea and the management of coastal areas.

Human and economic activities such as offshore wind energy, submarine cable and pipeline routes, shipping, fishing and aquaculture are increasing in marine waters and coastal areas, but too little coordination can lead to competition for space and pressure on valuable resources. The proposed action will require Member States to map these activities in maritime spatial plans.

Using a single instrument to balance all interests should also increase certainty for investors and reduce the administrative burden for national administrations and operators, while preserving ecosystem services.

Currently, in some countries one needs to contact up to 8 administrative agencies before having the permit for an aquaculture site. With the one-stop-shop principle proposed in the draft directive, such administrative complexity will be done away with and time and money will be saved.

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