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IIIB North Sea Programme

Forankring: EU - The European Union > Regional Policy > Interreg IIIB > IIIB North Sea Programme
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IIIB North Sea Programme
IIIB North Sea Programme (Nordsjøprogrammet)

Bakgrunn og utfordringar
Nordsjøprogrammet er en utvidelse av INTERREG II C og omfatter de åtte landene som ligger rundt Nordsjøen. I Norge er alle fylkene fra og med Sør-Trøndelag og sørover med. Hele Danmark er med og dessuten deler av Sverige, Tyskland, Nederland, Belgia, England og Skottland. Det totale budsjettet for programmet er satt til å ligge rundt to milliarder kroner, som er betydelig mer enn i foregående periode.

Internettlink(er): www.interregnorthsea.org
Kontakt: Sverre Mauritzen - tlf.: 51 51 69 27 - Mob: 913 16 560 - <!-- Inject Script Filtered --> sverre.mauritzen@vestlandsradet.no

About the Programme

The Interreg III programmes are a European Community Initiative to stimulate transnational cooperation in the EU between 2000 and 2006. Interreg IIIB programmes cover larger transnational areas and the North Sea Region comprises areas of Sweden, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, The Flemish Region of Belgium, UK and Norway. The areas in the region share many of the same problems and challenges and by working together and sharing knowledge and experiences it is hoped that a sustainable and balanced future will be secured for the whole region.

The programme is financed through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), a Norwegian equivalent and contributions from all of the countries involved. Decisions are taken by committees made up of national and regional representatives from all seven countries and the day-to-day running of the programme is taken care of by the international staff at the secretariat in Denmark. The Programme finances a wide range of projects concerned with spatial development. All projects involve the cooperation of two or more countries and every country in the North Sea region is participating.

Use the menus or the site map to find your way around. The pages in this section will give you all the basics. You can read more about how the projects funded are spread across different priorities and measures. Under 'Four Basic Principles' you will also find brief descriptions of spatial development, cross-sectorality, transnationality and sustainability, which are the key themes all projects have to address.


Spatial Development, Transnationality, Sustainability and Cross-sectorality


Spatial development is fundamentally concerned with where (in what area) development happens. It seeks to integrate work done in sectors such as transport, energy, research and development, environmental protection and many others in order to achieve sustainable development. When outlining your project idea you should consider the wider spatial and regional development implications of your work. It is important that you are aware of what sort of area your project will focus on (for example peripheral regions or rural towns) and how it will affect the areas/regions involved, in both the short and long term (i.e. what spatial impact it will have). When formulating your spatial approach you should use the spatial development strategies for the North Sea region presented in the NorVision document (available for download here) and the strategies for the EU presented in the European Spatial Development Perspective (available here)


If international cooperation is between the governments of different countries then transnational cooperation is between different levels of government (e.g. local and regional), NGOs, research institutes etc. in different countries. Cooperation on this level should allow partners to identify and implement joint solutions to the problems they have in common.The results that they achieve should also be transferable to other areas in the North Sea Region. All project work has to be transnational: it has to be shared between partners from different countries and it must be shown that it would be impossible for one of the partners working alone to achieve the same quality of results. For more information please see the Fact Sheet on Transnationality.


Sustainable development is concerned with the integration of environmental, economic and social issues. For example, the economic objectives of any project must be balanced against the environmental and social objectives of spatial development. Project work should preferably contribute to environmental, social and economic goals and should not have a detrimental effect on any of these aspects. In this way balanced and sustainable spatial development can be achieved.


This is most easily illustrated by an example. A project involving educational institutions decides that it wants to develop a distance learning course for people in rural areas. If nobody but the educational institutions is involved in the project, the effectiveness of the course with regard to its contribution to spatial development will be severely limited. It is necessary to involve other sectors such as: local businesses and chambers of commerce who can say which skills are needed in the areas involved, local and regional administrations who can say which skill-building initiatives are already in place or planned, ICT companies who can give advice about the most suitable technologies, people living in the area who can contribute opinions about the content of, and access to, the course etc. In order for a project to be truly effective, it has to involve a wide range of sectors in decision-making at every stage.


Priorities & Measures

Every project that applies to the programme seeks funding for activities addressing one of the programme’s priorities. Four priorities have been identified for the North Sea Region. Each priority is divided into a number of measures that address different, more detailed aspects of the issues covered in the priority. Every project that applies has to state which measure it will work on. You can get a full list of the measures by clicking on the links below.

1. Transnational spatial development strategies and actions for urban, rural and maritime systems in the North Sea Region.

This priority deals, amongst other things, with actions to contribute to the sustainable and balanced development of the whole region, improving the situation of urban and rural areas, the physical environment and quality of life. More specifically it seeks to develop policies and planning strategies for polycentric development, to support urban cooperation and networking and the establishment of urban-rural and inter-rural relationships. The priority also focuses on improving cooperation on, and access to, research and development.
Priority 1 Measures

2. Efficient and sustainable transport and communications and improved access to the information society.

This priority covers a wide range of transport issues from improving transport systems in rural areas and promotion of sustainable transport to the development of inter-modal transportation networks. It also addresses access to the information society and improving the application of information and communication technologies for public services, SMEs and the wider public.
Priority 2 Measures

3. Sustainable management and development of the environment, natural resources and cultural heritage.

This priority covers not just the protection, restoration and promotion of historical, cultural and natural landscapes and heritage in the region, but also management of the coastal zone, the whole of the North Sea and marine resources. Moreover it deals with the development of renewable energies and the sustainable management and reduction of waste.
Priority 3 Measures

4. Water management

This priority addresses the danger of flooding, water shortages and the deterioration of water quality. It also encourages actions that look at how water systems interact with their environment and the changes that we make to the environment. Climate change and risk management in coastal locations and at sea are also covered.
Priority 4 Measures


Thematic Maps

The North Sea Programme is structured into four priorities, covering a range of themes from urban and rural development to transport and flood protection. The following maps illustrate where project partners dealing with some of these themes are located.

The maps are based on an ad-hoc estimation of the secretariat and, due to the wide focus of some of the projects, might not always reflect exactly the full scope of a project. We think, however, that the maps give a fairly accurate impression of where the priorities are being addressed by our projects.

Water Projects

Click here to enlarge

Click on the map to enlarge

The first map shows the location of projects related to water with each symbol representing a partner. These projects, from all priorities, are divided into two categories for this purpose. On the one hand, all projects focusing on water as a resource (e.g. drinking water, sewage) have been identified, and these have 37 partners; on the other, all projects using water as a component of their identity (e.g. seafaring heritage) have been selected, with 36 partners. Both topics show a relatively even spread across the region. Danish partners are relatively active in the field of water as a resource and UK partners in water as identity.
Transport Projects

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Click on the map to enlarge

The second map covers different aspects of transport. Freight and passenger transport have been separated. Freight transport has been further divided into land and sea transport, with 15 and 49 partners each; passenger transport has been divided between public transport (35) and private transport (47). Air transport has been grouped with private transport on this map. Again, all partners are shown; however, some projects deal with more aspects and hence the number of icons is actually somewhat larger than the total number of partners. Denmark (Jutland), Sweden and Norway show a particularly high participation in transport projects.
Risk and Coastal Management Projects

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Click on the map to enlarge

The North Sea Region features many projects dealing with risk and coastal management. The third map shows where partners participating in these projects are located. In total, 29 partners participate in risk management; 38 in coastal management projects, including regional forums. Dutch and Flemish partners are relatively strongly involved in risk management and Västra Götaland partners in coastal management projects.
Tourism Projects

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Click on the map to enlarge

A fourth topic covered by many different projects is tourism. Many of these projects met at the North Sea Tourism Forum, that was held in Lund, Sweden, in September 2004. Two tourism projects strive to connect the whole North Sea Region: the North Sea Cycle Route and the Nave Nortrail project. The partners of these two projects are highlighted on the map with cyclepath and footpath symbols.

Innbyggjarane, Kulturarven, Naturarven, Næringslivet, Turistane, Ungdom, Miljø
Tidfesting av statusendringar:
År forslag 2000
År godkjent: 2000
År oppstarta: 2000
Internasjonal status:
målgrupper, aktivitetar, finansiering, deltaking
Verkemiddel område:

Nordsjøprogrammet er en utvidelse av INTERREG II C og omfatter de åtte landene som ligger rundt Nordsjøen. I Norge er alle fylkene fra og med Sør-Trøndelag og sørover med. Hele Danmark er med og dessuten deler av Sverige, Tyskland, Nederland, Belgia, England og Skottland. Det totale budsjettet for programmet er satt til å ligge rundt to milliarder kroner, som er betydelig mer enn i foregående periode.

Eligible Area

All of the partners involved in a project and all project activities have to be carried out in the eligible area. The map below shows all of the regional authorities in the programme area. If you are not sure whether a particular place is in the eligible area, you can get more detailed maps from expedia.com - (choose 'maps' and then click on 'Find a Map').














 Highlands and IslandsEastern ScotlandMøre og Romsdal FylkeskommuneSør-Trøndelag FylkeskommuneHedmark FylkeskommuneOppland FylkeskommuneSogn og Fjordane FylkeskommuneBuskerud FylkeskommuneHordaland FylkeskommuneTelemark FylkeskommuneRogaland FylkeskommuneVest-Agder FylkeskommuneAust Agder FylkeskommuneVestfold FylkeskommuneAkershus FylkeskommuneØstfold FylkeskommuneOslo KommuneVärmlands LänVästra Götalands LänHallands LänKronobergs LänSkåne LänNordjyllands AmtViborg AmtRingkjøbing AmtRibe AmtSønderjyllands AmtVejle AmtÅrhus AmtFyns AmtVestsjællands AmtFrederiksborg AmtStorstrøms AmtRoskilde AmtKøbenhavns AmtBornholms AmtSchleswig-HolsteinHamburgLüneburgBremenHannoverBraunschweigWeser-EmsProvincie GroningenProvincie DrentheProvincie FrieslandProvincie OverijsselProvincie FlevolandProvincie Noord-HollandProvincie Zuid-HollandProvincie ZeelandProvincie AntwerpenProvincie Oost-VlaanderenProvincie West-VlaandreenHighlands and IslandsWest YorkshireLincolnshire County CouncilEast AngliaDerbyshire and NottinghamshireNorth YorkshireEssexTees Valley and DurhamLeicestershire, Rutland and NorthhamptonshireSouth YorkshireNorthhumberland and Tyne and WearEast Riding and North LincolnshireNorth-Eastern ScotlandHighlands and Islands



Københavns amt
Frederiksborg amt
Roskilde amt
Vestsjællands amt
Storstrøms amt
Bornholms amt
Fyns amt
Sønderjyllands amt
Ribe amt
Vejle amt
Ringkøbing amt
Århus amt
Viborg amt
Nordjyllands amt

The Netherlands

Sogn og Fjordane
Møre og Romsdal

Region Skåne
Värmlands län
Hallands län
Västra Götalandsregionen
Kronobergs län

United Kingdom
Each UK area is made up of a number of smaller areas. Click on the area to see a list of the institutions involved.

Tees Valley and Durham:
Hartlepool and Stockton
South Teeside: Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear:
North Tyneside and South Tyneside

City of Kingston upon Hull
East Riding of Yorkshire
North and North East Lincolnshire

North Yorkshire
South Yorkshire:
Doncaster and Rotherham

West Yorkshire:
Kirklees and Wakefield

Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire
Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire
East Anglia:
Cambridgeshire CC


North Eastern Scotland:
Aberdeen City
Aberdeenshire and North East Moray

Eastern Scotland:
Angus and Dundee City
Clackmannanshire and Fife
East Lothian and Midlothian
The Scottish Borders
City of Falkirk
Perth and Kinross
West Lothian

Highlands and Islands:
Orkney Isles
Shetland Isles 

Kode og nøkkelord:


CO 2
ICTs for SMEs
Safety at Sea
The Partnership


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Facilitating Sustainable Innovation


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Vest-Norges Brusselkontor Sogn og Fjordane Fylkeskommune Møre og Romsdal fylke Hordaland Fylkeskommune