The North Sea policy illustrates the government’s view of the course that should be steered in the development of the North Sea. It provides a framework for the use and management of the area.

Noordzee brandingPolicies and regulations

Attention for the economic importance of the North Sea is rising. In addition to the existing and sometimes centuries old uses such as shipping and fishing, innovative new uses are emerging, e.g. energy generation and marine aquaculture. At the same time, the need to further improve the environment of the North Sea and to maintain and recover the ecological system increases.

European Marine Strategy Framework Directive

The European Marine Strategy Framework Directive obliges every European Member State to define a marine strategy for the protection, preservation and recovery of the marine environment (good environmental condition of the North Sea), where sustainable use of the North Sea is also guaranteed.

North Sea Policy in the National Water Plan

The National Water Plan describes the measures to be taken to guarantee a safe and liveable Netherlands for future generations and to take advantage of the opportunities that water offers. The integrated North Sea policy forms part of the draft National Water Plan. The North Sea policy defines the general frameworks for (spatial) coordination between the users of the sea themselves and in relation to the marine ecosystem.

North Sea Natura 2000

The North Sea Natura 2000 project is managed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in cooperation with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, the Worldwide Fund for Nature, the North Sea Foundation (Stichting de Noordzee) and Imares.

North Sea 2050 Spatial Agenda

On 28 July 2014 minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen (coordinating the integrated maritime policy and in charge of maritime spatial planning) sent the new North Sea 2050 Spatial Agenda to parliament. The vision and points for action are guiding the upcoming 'maritime spatial plan' for 2016-2021, which will be an integrated part of the second National Water plan. The North Sea 2050 spatial agenda identifies blue growth opportunities and topics for cooperation on sea basin level.

Interdepartmental Directors North Sea Consultative Body (IDON)

All Ministries with tasks and responsibilities on the North Sea work together in the Interdepartmental Directors North Sea Consultative Body (IDON). This organisation coordinates the development of policy and prepares decisions about the management of the North Sea.

Maritime Strategy

The Dutch maritime cluster operates on every continent and is beyond doubt a world player. The maritime cluster consists of 12 sectors that are vital to the Netherlands, and are respected world-wide. These sectors are: ports, offshore, maritime suppliers, shipbuilding, ship operating, dredging, maritime services, maritime knowledge and education institutes, inland shipping, Royal Netherlands Navy, water sport industry and fisheries. The maritime cluster is of significant value to the Dutch economy and offers vast potential for developing new products for new markets and creating work opportunities.
However, the prime position of the Dutch maritime cluster cannot be taken for granted. A shift in emphasis is occurring through the world. These changes call for flexibility and adaptability. This is why it’s so important for the Netherlands not only to retain – but to reinforce – the position of this cluster.
The maritime strategy aims to secure an international sustainable leading maritime position for the Netherlands. Realizing this ambition requires strong collaboration between the government and parties in the maritime cluster. To achieve this, integral cooperation between the national government and the maritime cluster on a basis of a shared maritime strategy is essential. The policy agenda of the maritime strategy states the necessary measures for the realisation of the ambitions of the government-wide policy per policy area.

Maritieme Strategie (video)

Maritime Strategy (video)

Outline of the policy