Astrea / News / Astrea successfully defends the marine spatial ...


Astrea successfully defends the marine spatial plan 2020-2026 for the Belgian marine areas

Firm News | Ciska Servais / Benoit Forêt / Jonas Deckers / Ruud De Houwer

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The marine spatial plan covers an area of approximately 3,500 km² and provides the legal basis for the pursuit of various activities in the Belgian part of the North Sea, such as port development, sea defences, energy, sea fishing, scientific research, etc.

Astrea assisted the Belgian State on two actions for annulment directed against the Royal Decree of 22 May 2019, which established this plan for the period from 2020 to 2026.

In two judgments dated 3 December 2021 (nos. 252,319 and 252,320), the Council of State followed the defence developed by Astrea in that context. These judgments have yet to be published on the website of the Council of State and in the Belgian Official Gazette.

With these judgments, the Council of State tackled some interesting legal issues, such as the scope and level of detail of the environmental impact study at plan level, the possibilities for building flexibility into regulatory provisions and the degrees of freedom regarding the study of alternatives.

Now that these appeals have been rejected, the Belgian State can once again fully focus on future-oriented policy in the Belgian marine areas.

For further questions, please contact Ciska Servais, Ruud De Houwer, Benoit Forêt and Jonas Deckers.