The CPMR North Sea Commission

One of the six geographical commissions of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR), the North Sea Commission is a cooperation platform for regions around the North Sea.

Our mission is to strengthen partnerships between regional authorities which face the challenges and opportunities presented by the North Sea.

Through dialogue and formal partnerships we seek to promote common interests, especially in relation to European Union institutions, national governments and other organisations dealing with issues that are relevant to the North Sea.

The main objectives of the North Sea Commission are:

To promote and create awareness of the North Sea region as a major economic entity within Europe

To be a platform for developing and obtaining funding for joint development initiatives

To lobby for a better North Sea region

Cooperation focuses on 4 main themes and involves policy development and political lobbying, development of transnational projects and exchange of knowledge and best practice, in the areas of:

Key Achievements

North Sea Regional Advisory Council

The North Sea Commission, through its Fisheries group, set up the North Sea Commission Fisheries Partnership which brought together scientists and fishermen from all the countries around the North Sea including Norway. In 2004 the North Sea Commission Fisheries Partnership became the North Sea Regional Advisory Council and was the first RAC to be established.

Interreg North Sea Region Programme

The North Commission negotiated an EU funded programmefor the North Sea to support interregional cooperation and the development of tangible projects. The result was the Interreg IIC programme forthe North Sea which ran from 1997-1999. This was followed by the IIIB (2000-2006) and IVB (2007-2013) programmes.

North Sea Region 2020 strategy

Between 2009 and 2011 the North Sea Commission developed a strategy for the North Sea Region through a bottom-up process involving member regions, regional authorities in the North Sea Region, NGOs, industries and academia. The strategy addresses the potential for developing existing cooperation efforts and exploiting opportunities relating to sustainable economic growth, climate, energy, accessibility and management of the maritime space. The strategy was revised 2016.

North Sea Region preparatory action

During 2013 the North Sea Commission was in close dialogue with the European Parliament about the need to analyze the North Sea region’s growth potential and the added value of having a future shared macro-regional strategy for the North Sea. In October 2013 the European Parliament approved a budget line of €250.000 in 2014 for a preparatory action to look into this.


The North Sea Commission is a politically led organization structured around 4 thematic focus areas that cover the mutual interests of its member regions.

Annual Business Meeting

The Annual Business Meeting (ABM) is the highest decision making body of the North Sea Commission and consists of a representative from each member region. The ABM takes place each year in June and elects the President and Vice-presidents.

Presidency & Executive Committee

The President and two Vice-presidents make up the Presidency. They are elected for a two-year term. The responsibility for the ongoing work and strategic direction of the North Sea Commission is delegated to an Executive Committee.

It follows progress on the work of the thematic groups and prepares for decisions to be made at the ABM. The Executive committee meets 3 times a year and consists of the Presidency and a national representative from each member country.


Cllr. Kerstin Brunnström
Västra Götaland (Sweden)


Cllr. Peter Argyle
Aberdeenshire (Scotland)

Cllr. Andreas Lervik 
Østfold (Norway)

Thematic Working Groups

The North Sea Commission operates with 4 thematic working groups matching the thematic focus areas that the organization is pursuing. The groups are Smart Regions, Energy and climate change, Marine resources and Transport. The groups are open for elected politicians and officers from all member regions and meet on average twice a year.

They are politically led by a Chair and 2 Vice-chairs and supported by an advisor who is an officer from a member region.

Learn more about the thematic working groups:

Forthcoming Events

May 14

Smart Regions Group Meeting

14 May @ 12:00 - 15 May @ 12:00
Jun 23

NSC Youth Meeting 2020 – postponed

23 June
Jun 24

29th NSC Annual Business Meeting – postponed

24 June @ 08:00 - 17:00
Jun 24

NSC Executive Committee

24 June @ 12:00 - 25 June @ 12:00
Jun 25

North Sea Conference 2020 – postponed

25 June