North Sea Conference 2020, from Rotterdam to Aalborg

19 November 2020 - Published by Femke Boersma

Excited as we were to host this year’s conference on a ship in Rotterdam’s harbour, we had to change our plans. The Joint Secretariat stayed put in its host country, where Sarah Holsen, the programme and project coordinator, welcomed 280 guests online from an empty football stadium in Aalborg.  Although we experienced some technical issues, we look back at a successful event during which we received valuable input to develop our 2021-2027 programme.

North Sea Region Programme

Christian Byrith, Head of Secretariat, provided the delegates with a sneak preview of the new programme. The details are still being finalised, but he explained that “many of the transnational programmes are focussing on a smarter and greener Europe, and with this overlap between programmes we can make a real impact in Europe.”

North Sea Strategy 2030

The conference marked the launch of the North Sea Commissions’ North Sea Strategy 2030. Kerstin Brunnström, president of the North Sea Commission, presented the priorities of a productive & sustainable, climate-neutral, connected, and smart region. She added, “There are immediate challenges for the region with the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit, but it is important to have a long-term perspective.”

Next year

A live word cloud showed that participants from every corner of the region joined the conference. Hamburg and Groningen seemed to be the hotspots, but many other cities around the North Sea were also represented.

The North Sea Commission and the North Sea Region Programme hope to be able to hold a physical conference next year and would like to thank those that joined us online and contributed to the development of the next programme. 

More about the conference