BRUSSELS (ANA/M. Spinthourakis) - The European Commission decided on Thursday to refer Greece to the Court of Justice of the EU for not notifying or partially notifying its measures transposing EU rules establishing a framework for maritime spatial planning (Directive 2014/89/EU). Member States had to transpose the Directive into national law by 18 September 2016.

The Commission will call on the Court to impose a daily penalty payment of 31,416 euros per day for Greece from the day of the judgement until this Directive is fully enacted and in force in national law. The infringement proceedings were opened in November 2016 and reasoned opinions were sent in these proceedings in July 2017. Greece has not notified the Commission on the adoption of the measures necessary to transpose the Directive.

Competition for maritime space ? for renewable energy equipment, shipping, fisheries, aquaculture and other uses ? has highlighted the need to manage our waters jointly and more coherently. Maritime spatial planning works across borders and sectors to ensure human activities at sea take place in an efficient, safe and sustainable way. This integrated planning and management approach has different advantages:

- creates synergies between different activities and sectors and reduces conflicts;

- encourages investment by creating predictability, transparency and clearer rules;

- increases cross-border cooperation between EU countries to develop energy grids, shipping lanes, pipelines, submarine cables and other activities, but also to develop coherent networks of protected areas;

- protects the environment through early identification of impact and opportunities for multiple use of space.

Maritime Spatial Planning directly supports and facilitates the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Among its main objectives are high levels of employment and productivity, and social cohesion and inclusion.