The North Sea Region 2020 strategy paper regards the North Sea region as a territorial co-operation area. Its strategic focus is on the major challenges and common characteristics where there is added value in transnational action and collaboration.

The four strategic priorities address the challenges and opportunities facing the North Sea Region. They are at the same time closely linked to the EU2020 objectives and contribute to the implementation of several–if not all–of the EU2020 flagship initiatives.

The North Sea Region 2020 strategy was revised 2016. During the Annual Business Meeting (ABM) in 2018 it was decided to begin the process of developing a North Sea Region post 2020 strategy, to be adopted during the ABM 2020 (read more further down this page).


The North Sea Region has the potential to act as an engine for growth in Europe and as a center of excellence for wider EU issues through developing existing cooperation efforts, improving policy efficiency and value for public money.


The aim of the North Sea Region 2020 is to:

Help the North Sea Region remain and improve the performance as a competitive, attractive and sustainable area of Europe

More efficiently address common transnational challenges and exploit opportunities related to sustainable economic growth, climate, energy, accessibility and management of the maritime space

Ensure a better governed region through cross-sectorial coordination and multi-level governance

Provide a potential pilot for at different kind of macro-regional strategy than the EU strategies for the Baltic Sea and Danube areas.

Download the North Sea Region 2020 Strategy


The strategy is implemented through an action plan and a number of work plans.

The action plan is a step towards implementing the strategy. It is a rolling plan with a set time-frame of one year and contains a limited number of measures related to each of the four strategic priorities.

Download the Action Plan 2019-2020.

Process of developing a North Sea Region post 2020 strategy

The Annual Business Meeting decided in 2018 to begin the process of developing a North Sea Region post 2020, replacing the current one which stretches to the year 2020.

The strategy process is coordinated by a strategy task force consisting of the NSC Secretariat, the thematic group advisors and additional officers representing all countries of our member regions. The work is supervised by the Executive Committee, who had a special session in January 2019 discussing priorities.

The task force has also examined a lot of strategy documents from various organisations and European institutions and extracted a long list of challenges and opportunities for the North Sea region. During the spring of 2019, we discussed priorities for the new strategy with members, thematic groups and stakeholders. A short document of possible objectives was prepared (with no formal status, only aimed to stimulate discussions).

Some major deliverables so far:

During the coming months we will also gather facts and figures on some of the areas that are relevant for the process of the new strategy.

Draft strategy is out for consultation!

At the Annual Business Meeting in Marstrand in June 2019, members were asked to decide on a set of priorities for the new strategy. During autumn 2019 the new strategy was drafted and is now sent to all NSC member regions for consultation (deadline on the 6 March 2020) and will later be adopted at the ABM 2020.

If you have any questions about the process or on how you can take part, please contact the NSC Secretariat,