Results of public consultation on the future programme

25 November 2020 - Published by Anne Sofie Forfang

In the period 10 July – 30 September, we asked our stakeholders to provide their opinions and ideas for the future programme in an online survey.  

We have now analysed the responses, revealing lots of valuable inputs for our Programme Preparation Group. The group takes all key decisions about the future programme, including on themes and the main administrative framework.

Opinions about possible themes  

The analysis shows overwhelming support for the broader theme of “a greener Europe” - Policy Objective 2 set out by the European Commission. Addressing climate change is clearly seen as a top priority in the North Sea Region.  Other prominent topics within this theme are biodiversity, the circular economy, green energy, and sustainable water management.     

There is also strong support for Policy Objective 1, “a smarter Europe”. Within this theme, digital transformation is seen as very important. Stakeholders also emphasise skills development and smart ways of addressing the green transition.

In addition, topics like transport, mobility and liveability are close to the hearts of many stakeholders. 

Ideas for project scope and set-up

A wish for increased flexibility was prominent, including project set-up and procedures as well as project methodologies, scope, duration, budget rearrangements, project extensions, types of partners, and geographic coverage. Some point out that increased flexibility can help projects cope with unexpected situations such as the current Covid-19 crisis. 

Many other points emerge, such as:

  • The current two-step application procedure appears popular, however there is a pronounced wish for a shorter and simpler process. 
  • Many respondents stress the role of the National Contact Points and would like to engage with them more often.
  • The current co-financing rate of 50% is being questioned by several stakeholders.
  • A majority prefer smaller partnerships and project budgets of between €3 million and 15 million.

In addition to the online consultation, the secretariat organised thematic breakout sessions on the contents and scope of the future programme during the virtual North Sea Conference on 10 November. All inputs received have been presented to the Programme Preparation Group.

We wish to extend our sincere thanks to all who put in time to share their thoughts and ideas! At the secretariat, we are really grateful for this level of engagement from the North Sea community and all the valuable inputs received.

The PPG will determine whether and how all these inputs may fit into the new programme, alongside other inputs such as studies and reports. 

Download the report

Click here to view and download our report on the stakeholder inputs for the future programme. 

Stakeholders with speech bubbles voicing their opinions