The members of the CPMR North Sea Commission (NSC) met in Fredrikstad, Østfold (Norway), 13th of June, for the 27th Annual Business Meeting.

Thematic group meetings

The day started with thematic group meetings. The Energy and Climate Change Group (ECCG) focused on hydrogen and  offshore wind with presentations from Aberdeen City, Hordaland County Council and Østfold County Council. The Smart Regions Group (SRG) had presentation son on digital economy and innovation from Halden Municipality, Smart Innovation Norway and The Slåttland Group. The Transport Group (TG) discussed clean transport and shipping as well as the European Commisson’s proposal for Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) 2021-2027.

The Marine Resources Group (MRG) made an excursion to the Isle of Saueholmen where they cleaned the beach from marine litter. They were joined by the Cathedral of Hope, Interreg project “Clean Coastline”, Oslofjord friluftsråd and KIMO International.

Marine litter is one of the prioritized issues of the MRG this year.
Cooperation agreement with KIMO International

The ABM took a first official step towards strenghtening the cooperation with KIMO International by signing an agreement. This will be finalized during KIMO’s board meeting in October. Marine litter will be one of the main issues in this cooperation.

Read more about KIMO International.

Recap from the 27th Annual Business Meeting

Representatives from 25 member regions participated during the 27th ABM. Presentations on the four thematic groups’ work this past year was done by the Chairs: MRG Chair Anders Fasth (Region Västra Götaland), TG Chair Preben Friis-Hauge (Region of South Denmark), ECCG Chair Jimmy Gray (Highland County Council) and SRG Chair Barney Crockett (Aberdeen City Council).

Future of Europe, future of the North Sea

An update on Brexit, the potential effects on the North Sea region and the work of the NSC Brexit Task force was presented by Magnus Engelbrektsson, NSC Executive Secretary.

Gregg Jones, CPMR Director of Finance and EU programmes, gave a presentation on the CPMR’s work and analysis of the European Commissions Multi-Annual Financial Framework 2021-2027 proposal, and Christian Byrith, Director of the Interreg North Sea Programme Secretariat gave an update from the programme.

One of the bigger issues that was discussed during this ABM is the process of developing a post 2020 North Sea Region Strategy. Magnus Engelbrektsson presented the results of the evaluation that was answered by members.

Internal affairs

The NSC Action Plan is revised yearly and the 2018-2019 plan was presented by Melissa Frödin, Assistant Executive Secretary, and the NSC Communication Activity Plan, also revised yearly, was presented by Irma Ganibegovic, Assistant Executive Secretary. Both plans were adopted by the ABM.

Gregg Jones presented CPMR’s Strategic Plan that is scheduled to be adopted during CPMR’s General Assembly in October, Madeira (Portugal). See presentation “CPMR strategic plan”.

An agreement was signed between the NSC and Region Västra Götaland to continue hosting the NSC Secretariat from June 2018 – 2021.


Kerstin Brunnström (Region Västra Götaland) was re-elected as President for the period June 2018 – June 2020 and Andreas Lervik (Østfold County Council) was re-elected as Vice President for the period 2018-2020. John Lamb holds the position as Vice President during the period June 2017 – June 2019.

Andreas Lervik, John Lamb and Kerstin Brunnström signing the secretariat agreement, ABM in Fredrikstad.

During the Executive Committee meeting that followed the ABM, following Vice Chairs of the thematic groups got re-elected for the period of June 2018 – June 2020:

  • Tjisse Stelpstra, Noord-Nederland (NL), for the Energy and Climate Change Group
  • Jon-Olav Strand, Aust-Agder (NO), for the Energy and Climate Change Group
  • Åshild Kjelsnes, Sogn og Fjordane (NO), for the Marine Resources Group
  • Henk Staghouwer, Noord-Nederland (NL), for the Marine Resources Group
  • Birgitta Adolfsson, Västra Götaland (SE), for the Smart Regions Group
  • Otto Kjær Larsen, Nordjylland (DK), for the Smart Regions Group
  • Kåre Pettersen, Vestfold (NO), for the Transport Group

One of the Vice Chairs for the Transport Group, Cllr John Reynolds, Aberdeen City (UK), was elected at the ExCom meeting in March 2018 for the period until 2020, since the position was vacant.

Adopted resolutions

The ABM adopted four political resolutions:

Meeting documents

Kerstin Brunnström’s keynote speech during North Sea Conference

The North Sea Conference took place on the day after the ABM, where Kerstin Brunnström, attended the first panel, “What is the status of the current course in the North Sea Region?”.

First panel of the North Sea Conference 2018.

Read more about the North Sea Conference.


If you have questions regarding the NSC ABM 2018, please contact the NSC Secretariat,

For questions regarding the thematic group meetings, contact our advisors:

Paulien Kooistra, ECCG Advisor,

Jon Halvard Eide, TG Advisor,

Yolanda Schmal, MRG Advisor,

Geir Sør-Reime, SRG Advisor,