The seven North Sea Region Programme countries are Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, the Flemish Region of Belgium, the UK and Norway. The region is connected by the North Sea, and the Programme area is made up of regions in the six Member States and Norway that border the North Sea. The areas in the region share many of the same problems and challenges. By working together and sharing knowledge and experiences it is hoped that a sustainable and balanced future will be secured for the whole region. A principal aim of the Programme is to expand the scope of territorial cooperation and focus on high quality projects in innovation, the environment, accessibility, and sustainable and competitive communities.
The aim of the Programme is to make the North Sea Region a better place to live, work and invest in.
By this we mean that the North Sea Region Programme has a role in enhancing the overall quality of life for residents of the North Sea Region by ensuring that there is access to more and better jobs, by sustaining and enhancing the acknowledged environmental qualities of the region, by improving accessibility to places and ensuring that our communities are viable, vibrant and attractive places to live and work.
This endeavour translates into four Programme priorities, which are to promote transnational co-operation that:
- Priority 1 – Building on our Capacity for Innovation
The development and introduction of new and improved products and services is crucial for the long-term competitiveness of an economy. Innovation can offer new economic opportunities for areas that are experiencing the challenges of economic restructuring. The North Sea Region has a strong reputation for R&D and innovation, although this is not uniformly distributed. It is crucial that we build on this base if we are to confront the challenges of the future and make the North Sea Region a better place in which to live, work and invest.
- Priority 2 – Promote the Sustainable Management of our Environment
The North Sea Region has a reputation as an area with a high quality environment. This is protected through the application of environmental standards and a culture, which places great store by this resource. Our environment is under pressure though from social and economic uses, as well as the implications of changing environmental conditions. We seek to manage these pressures in order to maintain the value of our environment for the benefit of future generations, and to achieve our aim of making the North Sea Region a better place in which to live, work and invest.
- Priority 3 – Improving the Accessibility of Places in the NSR
Promoting better levels of accessibility and connectivity is crucial to achieving the wider objectives of this Programme. This includes the access of places for people and for the movement of goods. In speaking of accessibility we are not only thinking of physical infrastructure but also of the logistics technologies and procedures that are so important in enabling, and maximising, the efficient movement of goods and people. Through transnational cooperation actions we aim to improve the access
The Programme contributes strongly to the aims of the revised Lisbon and Gothenburg strategies and the shared objectives of the national partners. It draws on the Community Strategic Guidelines on Cohesion and the National Strategic Reference Frameworks of the Member States involved in the programme to ensure a strong strategic consistency.
The Steering Committee is responsible for approving or rejecting projects.
It is composed of representatives from each of the countries involved in the Programme, including representatives from the national and regional levels to ensure efficiency and broad representation.
The chairmanship and co-chairmanship of the committee alternate between all of the countries involved in the Programme. Decisions are reached by consensus.
The Monitoring Committee supervises the Programme and is responsible for ensuring the quality and effectiveness of implementation and the accountability of Programme operations.
The Monitoring Committee is composed of representatives from each of countries involved in the Programme, the chair and co-chair of the Steering Committee and an advisor from the European Commission.
The chairmanship and co-chairmanship of the Committee alternate between the Member States.