North Sea Consultation

The North Sea Consultation is a consultative body of stakeholders, including the national government, and conducts consultations based on consensus about the implementation of the North Sea Agreement (NZA). The NZA contains agreements about the interpretation of the three major transitions in the North Sea: energy, nature and food and the relationship between them. The North Sea Consultation is independent and is a unique collaboration based on equality, trust and understanding of each other's interests. Former Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, Sybilla Dekker  chairs the North Sea Consultation.

Who participates in the NZO?

The parties that started working as initiators in the North Sea consultations from the beginning of 2019 are: Greenpeace, TenneT, NWEA, Visned, Nederlandse Vissersbond, Port of Rotterdam, EBN, WWF, Vogelbescherming Nederland, NOGEPA, Natuur & Milieu, Stichting De Noordzee, KNAW, and the ministries of EZK, LNV and IenW.

The representatives of the fisheries organizations have agreed to the North Sea Agreement. The public consultation on the negotiator's agreement in the fisheries sector revealed great divisions. In the end, the fisheries did not sign, given the division in the grassroots. It is in the interest of the sector that their representation is fully represented and with sufficient mandate at the North Sea Consultation.

Starting in 2021, representatives of the national government (IenW, LNV and EZK), the energy sector, green NGOs and the maritime sector will participate in the consultation. There are three places available in the NZO for representatives of the fisheries, as for the other groups.

How is the North Sea Agreement being implemented?

The OFL Governance advice NZO has been drawn up for cooperation in the NZO and the implementation of the North Sea Agreement. The NZO has decided to work in accordance with the advice. This means that the parties work together and conduct consensus-oriented consultations to implement the North Sea Agreement. The clusters government, NGOs, energy, maritime sector and fisheries are each represented by three members in the NZO. The NZO chairman and the NZO secretariat have been placed with the OFL for a period of two years, pending further decision-making.

Relationship NZO with other policy processes

The NZO was established so that the national government, together with the main stakeholders, can arrive at supported choices and directional agreements regarding the most complex spatial issues for the future of the North Sea. The NZO should lead to a North Sea Agreement with firm ownership by the most involved social parties. In doing so, it lays a strong foundation for the Strategic Agenda 2030, which serves as a prelude to the decision-making process towards the National North Sea Program 2022-2027.