The second stakeholder event under the preparatory action found place in The Hague 20th and 21st June 2016. About 60 stakeholders from the North Sea region met a workshop on strategic cooperation on blue growth in the North Sea area, organised by the European Commission’s DG Mare.
The European Parliament granted 250 000 euros for a preparatory action for the North Sea end of 2013, based on lobby work of the North Sea Commission and then President, Ole B. Sørensen. The original aim of this Preparatory Action (PA) was to analyse the North Sea region’s growth potential and use the findings to investigate the added value of having a future shared macro regional strategy for the North Sea area.
The second stakeholder event under the preparatory action found place in The Hague 20th and 21st June 2016. About 60 stakeholders from the North Sea region met a workshop on strategic cooperation on blue growth in the North Sea area, organised by the European Commission’ DG Mare.
Aim of the workshop was to find new and better ways to develop strategic cooperation for the North Sea as a region. The NSC believes that formalised and coherent cooperation is a pre-requisite for tackling the challenges, and exploiting the opportunities, that the regions around the North Sea have prioritised in the NSR 2020 strategy. This is, for example, in order to have a coordinated approach, an alignment of funding, an overview of projects and stakeholders while avoiding duplication.
The workshop was an ideal place to discuss what forms such a platform for cooperation could take and what content the stakeholders would like to see in such a cooperation platform.
A clear message started to appear which was also reflected in the discussions and reports from the breakout sessions including:
- The need to promote cross sectoral collaborations
- The importance of necessary and correct tools and skills
- The role that intermediaries and technology brokers can play in putting projects together
- The clear need to facilitating search and match (matchmaking)
- The need for SMES to get help in finding public funding
- The important role of independent project management across value chains
- Need for a public – private platform to be visible for approaching SMEs.
NSC President Kerstin Brunnström was asked to draw up the concluding remarks after the two-day workshop. The need for political will and directions was stress in her conclusions. The full conclusion and NSC report from the report can be found here.
A workshop report will be presented to the European Parliament’s Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas Intergroup for further discussions on the way forward. More info can be found on DG Mare’s website: http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/newsroom/cf/mare/itemlongdetail.cfm?subweb=342&lang=en&item_id=32394