The CPMR North Sea Commission (NSC) has called for the establishment of a formal platform of cooperation for countries and regions around the North Sea.
This clear message to national governments and European institutions was put forward in the Legoland Declaration, the North Sea Commission declaration from the North Sea Conference and the NSC General Assembly 2016.
At the NSC General Assembly in Billund, Denmark, Commission members also adopted the revised North Sea Region 2020 (NSR 2020) strategy document. The strategy identifies challenges and opportunities in the North Sea Region and promotes several tools which can be used to tackle the challenges we face.
This includes increasing cooperation and multi governance amongst North Sea Regions, tapping into and fostering innovation, building clusters for sectoral collaboration, and the promotion of the blue growth and alternative energy sectors.
In order to take advantage of these tools, the North Sea Commission (NSC) has recommended that the EU Member States and Norway, together with the European Parliament and the European Commission take the necessary steps required to set up a formal platform of cooperation for countries and regions around the North Sea.
This will mean coordinated and streamlined actions can be promoted in order to create a level playing field for private investments across the North Sea Regions.
As well as agreeing on important strategic issues such as the revised North Sea Region 2020 strategy and the Legoland declaration; members at the meeting also elected Kerstin Brunnström, from the Västra Götaland Region of Sweden, as President for 2016-2018. Andreas Lervik, from the Østfold region in Norway, was elected as Vice-President for 2016-2018.
Speaking after her election, Kerstin Brunnström, said: “I am very grateful for this opportunity to work with the Regions of the North Sea with the aim of creating growth, stability and prosperity for our citizens.”
During the meeting, Commission members adopted a resolution on landing obligation, supporting it as a means to prevent overfishing under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) while at the same time raising the concerns of fishery dependent communities.
They also agreed a policy statement on transport, highlighting some core requirements for the promotion of accessibility to peripheral and maritime regions and for sustainable transport solutions, in line with the NSR 2020 Action Plan.