The Dutch Government sets frameworks to enable use of space in the North Sea to evolve efficiently, safely and sustainably. Multiple use of space is an important principle in this regard. It offers balanced opportunities for all forms of use of the North Sea. The assessment framework is the mechanism utilised by the Central Government to assess the permissibility of activities at sea.
Activities are projects for which a permit is required. Collections of such activities are referred to as designated uses. The policy pertaining to the designated uses was described in sections 3 and 4. Also mentioned are several activities of national interest to which the Cabinet has given priority. The assessment framework ties together relevant policy and sets out how, within European and international frameworks, new activities are weighed up. It also provides an indication of what to do if various activities of national interest conflict with each other.
The spatial planning repercussions with regard to activities of national interest are shown on the framework vision map for the North Sea. These and other fundamental principles and the scope of the assessment framework are described in section 5.2. The assessment framework comprises five steps, working from broad to fine and completed sequentially, though they are not necessarily all applicable.