In 2014 the EU adopted rules on the management of the different demands on maritime space including shipping, fishing, energy installations, oil and gas exploration, bio-conservation, tourism, underwater cultural heritage and extraction. It was agreed that integrated planning and management was needed. The rules require each Member State to establish a maritime special plan according to a series of criteria set out in the Directive.

Bulgaria and Greece have failed to notify the Commission as to how they intend to implement the Directive and the Finland implementation is not complete as the local rules do not cover Åland. Therefore, the Commission has decided to start legal action against these three states for failure to fulfil their EU obligations.

The Commission is calling on the Court to impose a daily penalty payment of €14,089.6 per day for Bulgaria, €7,739.76 per day for Finland and €31,416 per day for Greece from the day of the judgement until this Directive is fully enacted and in force in national law.