The permitting process is an integral part of the successful expansion of offshore wind and renewable energy in the European Union. Many permit process studies, to date, have focused on limited methods and criteria and have been a comparison of two countries. This thesis was written in collaboration with a steering group’s work on an updated marine synthesis report in the Swedish Energy Agency and Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s joint research programme, Vindval. It compares the permitting process and its effectiveness in 4 EU countries (Germany, Denmark, Scotland, and Sweden) with special emphasis on the acoustic impacts of wind turbine construction. 6 Key criteria that determine the outcome of a successful permit application were analysed: a) permit process maps b) quantity of actors c) consultation times d) ecological and environmental impact e) “planning vs permitting” and e) handling of acoustic impacts on marine mammals. Sweden’s process was found to be the most cumbersome and ineffective among the 4 countries. Germany, Denmark, and Scotland have streamline processes, in part due to the successful employment of a ‘one-stop-shop’ mechanism. It is recommended that Sweden create a similar, singular, and centralized ‘one-stop-shop’ authority that has the power to dictate permitting processes. If the country is to meet its goal of 100% renewable energy by 2040, permitting policy should include: flexible permitting for rapidly changing technology, endorsement of continuous dialog between authorities, a limit on consultation time, the removal or amendment of municipal vetoes, and have clear demarcation of worthwhile explorable zones reserved for offshore wind.