The European Commission has referred Greece to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for failing to ensure the correct implementation of the EU directive on maritime spatial planning.

The EU directive lays down a common approach for EU member states regarding the planning of their maritime areas. Maritime spatial planning aims to organize human activities in marine areas in such a way as to achieve various ecological, economic, and social goals.

These goals include the development of a sustainable “blue” economy, the sustainable use of marine resources, and the preservation of healthy marine ecosystems and biodiversity.

The correct application of the directive into national law is essential for the proper achievement of the stated goals within the framework of the European Green Deal.

The directive requires EU coastal member states to develop maritime spatial plans no later than March 31, 2021, and to communicate these plans to the Commission and other interested member states within three months of their publication. However, Greece has not yet drafted and submitted its maritime spatial plans to the Commission.

Therefore, following the warning letter sent in December 2021 and the reasoned opinion in April 2023, the Commission is referring Greece to the European Court of Justice.