The North Sea under pressure: is regional marine co-operation the answer? - European Union Committee Contents


107.  Co-operation in the North Sea basin is not new. Both the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive (MSPD) require co-operation between Member States, whether through existing structures or through new efforts.

Catalysts for marine co-operation

108.  Two shipping incidents in the late 1960s and early 1970s were instrumental in energising the political will to agree binding rules to protect the marine environment. The Torrey Canyon oil spill in 1967 required a joint clean-up operation involving both the UK and France. Over 117,000 tonnes of crude oil were spilt, resulting in a slick covering over 700km². The accident, which was the worst in UK history, triggered global action and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. At a regional level, the Bonn Agreement was adopted (Agreement for Co-operation in dealing with Pollution of the North Sea by Oil and Other Harmful Substances).

109.  The Dutch ship Stella Maris sailed from Rotterdam in 1971 to dump chlorinated waste at sea, but because of overwhelming local protests and political pressure, returned to port unsuccessful. This widely-publicised incident led to the adoption of the 1972 Oslo Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping from Ships and Aircraft.

110.  Subsequent Conventions led to the creation of the North East Atlantic Regional Sea Convention, commonly known as OSPAR. The UK Government said "OSPAR is the key organisation promoting regional co-operation for the North East Atlantic marine environment."[194] Further information can be found in Box 5.

The Directives

111.  In 2010, Ministers attending OSPAR affirmed its role in facilitating the co-ordinated and coherent implementation of the MSFD,[195] setting out a 'road map' for a regional implementation framework for the Directive. This was further expanded in a North-East Atlantic Environment Strategy.[196] Other forms of co-operation to implement the MSFD include a 'Common Implementation Strategy' across all Member States and regular meetings of senior Member State officials responsible for the marine environment.[197] While these are positive examples of Member State co-operation, the European Commission acknowledged that more could be done to bring these efforts together.[198]

112.  There is also evidence of co-operation with regard to the MSPD. The European Commission told us about the EU Member State Expert Sub-Group on marine planning:

    "It meets on a regular basis and has taken on, as its task, the development of further guidance with regard to the concrete implementation of the Directive following its adoption. In particular, what we expect from that group is that it will provide at least the first elements for guidance to Member States on things such as, for example, co­operation across borders, but also on more technical things such as how to work together on the collection and use of data you need for [marine planning]."[199]

113.  It is notable that OSPAR has convened a working group on marine planning, though it has no power to force Member States to co-operate with one another. Moreover, we heard that resource constraints can impact on the work they undertake:

    "Resources are a major issue for us in terms of our Contracting parties, because national Administrations have had their numbers of officials cut heavily, and their scientific budgets might be under pressure. The Marine Strategy Framework Directive has also created a lot of administrative burden for those national Administrations, so it is a huge challenge for us."[200]

114.  The ecosystem approach to marine planning places environmental considerations at the heart of decision making. OSPAR described it as an "iterative process",[201] and the European Environment Agency (EEA) told us that marine planning must take ecosystems into account:

    "Ecosystem-based management has to be directly related to the [MSPD], where clearly you look at the overall context as a system with different components intervening in a very interactive manner. Interconnectedness is part of an ecosystem-based management."[202]

115.  Under the UK Marine Policy Statement, all UK Administrations have undertaken to develop plans based on this ecosystem approach. Such an approach:

·  ensures that the collective pressure of human activities is kept within the levels compatible with the achievement of good environmental status;

·  does not compromise the capacity of marine ecosystems to respond to human-induced changes;

·  enables the sustainable use of marine goods and services.[203]

116.  The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) (see Box 9), the body responsible for preparing the English Marine Plans (see Appendix 5), assured us that it engaged with The Netherlands, Belgium, and France over the recently published East Marine Plans. The Dutch government was reportedly very complimentary about the level of consultation.[204]

117.  We observe that co-operation between countries concerning the marine environment has often been prompted by some form of crisis or disaster. The ensuing efforts in the North Sea region have resulted in some effective tools and useful mechanisms for co-operation which take account of environmental considerations.


118.  Co-operation is taking place within many individual sectors, the energy industry being just one example. The North Sea is an area traditionally rich in oil and gas, and boasts a growing renewables industry. Political developments within the energy sector are also becoming increasingly important. The European Commission published a Strategy for an Energy Union on 25 February 2015.[205] This built on the Conclusions adopted by the European Council in October 2014, which emphasised the need to enhance energy security, complete the internal energy market and improve governance. To achieve these goals, greater co-ordination of national energy policies and regional co-operation were recommended.[206] In 2013, we concluded that stronger regional co-operation on energy network planning "could be very beneficial in the transition to a more renewable-based and secure system."[207]

119.  The development of a 'meshed' North Sea grid was advocated by most witnesses as more economically sound than the current radial 'point to point' approach (see Figure 2).[208] Currently, offshore renewable generators are individually connected to national transmission onshore grids via a radial connection, and interconnectors generally link together two onshore grids. Hybrid structures combining interconnectors and renewable energy sources could, in some situations, be a more efficient alternative, representing the first step towards an offshore 'meshed' grid. Witnesses told us that, although the technology to support such a development (voltage-source conversion technology) was currently in place, there was regulatory resistance.[209]

Figure 2: Approaches to offshore energy grids

Source: North Seas Countries Offshore Grid Initiative

120.  It is in this context that the North Seas Countries' Offshore Grid Initiative (NSCOGI) has been established, to consider how a meshed energy grid could be developed. It was generally felt that, while helpful, it had not achieved the required step change. For example, the 2014 NSCOGI progress report highlighted remaining barriers to allocating the costs of hybrid assets among interconnector and wind farm developers, and to trading options for simple hybrid infrastructure (one wind farm linking to one interconnector), and for more complex infrastructure (a number of wind farms linked to an offshore hub).[210] The North Sea Region Programme (NSRP) told us that the development of such a grid would form part of the internal energy market and would include renewable energy installations.[211] Ofgem, on the other hand, spoke of the uncertainty surrounding the project's future:

    "We agree with the view that there is still further work to be done to establish the full details of the regulatory arrangements for projects that integrate offshore generation with market-to-market interconnection. We will continue to work as part of the NSCOGI group to make progress on these issues, but also believe that there is a limit to how much can be done in advance of greater visibility about the nature of projects that are likely to be developed."[212]

121.  The Minister, Matthew Hancock MP, echoed this point, but emphasised the work that was being carried out to overcome the regulatory barriers to fully realise the grid.[213] The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) told us, however, that NSCOGI was "lacking teeth."[214] This view was shared by Wildlife and Countryside Link, which pointed out that ACER, the European energy regulator, possessed little power to bring about greater regulatory integration.[215] RenewableUK made the point more bluntly:

    "All of the technology … is there. We can roll out DC[216] connectors. We could connect Norway; we could connect Iceland. However, the regulatory aspects are lagging behind, and that is a unique situation. Usually, the big vision is there but the technology is lagging, but here it is the paperwork."[217]

122.  Oil and Gas UK assured us that "the representative bodies or trade associations for the oil and gas producers around the North Sea meet formally on a regular basis and informally as common issues arise."[218] On a UK level, we were told that the Seabed Users and Developers Group (SUDG), which is sponsored by the Crown Estate, "meets regularly to discuss common issues around the sustainable use of the marine environment, particularly within the context of marine plans and marine protected areas."[219]

123.  The European Commission explained that it was undertaking a "preparatory action" for energy co-operation and marine planning in the North Sea. It said that this would take the form of a "discussion forum" that would tackle the two issues of a smart grid and the wider implementation of the MSPD, and that it would be a first step "to see what ambition, what potential and what interest there is for developing co-operation further in the North Sea on these issues in particular."[220] Following this assurance, the European Commission and the North Sea Commission (NSC) held a stakeholder conference in Edinburgh on 29 January 2015.[221] Speakers at the conference made the point that energy co-operation could bring about cost-savings to the consumer and that the energy industry should work on a flagship project as a first step.

124.  Regulatory barriers to greater cross-border energy co-operation remain. Member States should prioritise efforts to overcome technical obstacles associated with trading options and asset costs. In particular, we urge the UK Government to continue its work in overcoming the regulatory barriers involved in the North Seas Countries Offshore Grid Initiative. (Recommendation 12)


125.  The involvement of fisheries stakeholders and environmental organisations in the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has been evolving for some time. Ann Bell, an independent North Sea expert, highlighted the NSC's 1998 fisheries partnership,[222] which eventually led to the Regional Advisory Councils' (RACs) introduction under the 2002 CFP reform. The RACs were given a statutory advisory function in 2013 and re-named as Advisory Councils (ACs).[223] Two thirds of the seats are allocated to representatives of the fisheries sector and one third to representatives of the other interest groups affected by the CFP, such as environmental organisations.[224]

126.  This co-operation between the European Commission and fisheries stakeholders was welcomed by some witnesses: the MCS told us that "co-operation amongst the members of … the various Advisory Councils seems to work well."[225] The National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations (NFFO) told us:

    "Advisory Councils have been a big step forward. In terms of the industry groupings, they provide a very strong platform for mutual understanding. In the past it was all too easy to blame somebody else for whatever was happening. It is not quite so easy when you have to sit and listen, and understand the nature of their fisheries. So, in terms of the industry, it has been a very big step forward."[226]

127.  Moreover, under the 2013 reform of the CFP, groups of Member States surrounding a regional sea may agree on a package of management measures which, provided that they conform to the general principles of the Policy, are subsequently ratified by the Commission.

128.  The Government expressed strong support for the new arrangements, based on its initial experience of applying them in practice to detailed plans for initial implementation of the landings obligation ('discard ban'):[227]

    "The development of the pelagic discard plans was the first formal application of the regional approach to fisheries management under the new CFP and I have been extremely pleased with how the process has worked. The appetite shown by the other Member States in both the North Sea and North Western Waters to employ the new processes was heartening and exceeded my initial expectations … [we] have agreed Memoranda of Understanding for how the groups operate, developed clear work programmes, dividing tasks to share the workloads effectively and set out a very clear process of engagement with the relevant Advisory Councils to ensure they work to a clear timetable and scope … [officials] have been able to work directly with their counterparts from other regional Member States towards a clear set of outcomes from day one."[228]

129.  The Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF) confirmed that "the Advisory Councils … now have a part to play and are being consulted [on the development of discard plans]."[229] Despite this recent engagement, the fishing industry and environmental NGOs were not able to coalesce around a single position on the original proposal to introduce the controversial landings obligation. The AC was not therefore in a position to influence discussions. In contrast, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) commented that the NGOs "threw the kitchen sink at it in a surgical strike."[230]

130.  The North Sea Advisory Council's position paper in 2012 on the reform of the CFP highlighted funding as a particular concern.[231] Currently, ACs are funded by their members, by the Member States and by an annual grant of €250,000 from the Commission, an amount which has not changed since 2007. In 2008, we urged the Commission to review the funding of RACs and we argued that this "should factor in the pace at which their activities are developing."[232]

131.  We note the successes that have resulted from the work of the fisheries Advisory Councils and support their enhanced role in Commission-level consultations. In the light of their enhanced role, we recommend an urgent review of their funding by the Commission. We also recommend that the UK Government consider how it may be able to contribute additional resources to enable Advisory Councils to fulfil their obligations. (Recommendation 13)

Co-operation in practice

132.  Numerous practical examples of co-operation were drawn to our attention. Some specific examples, varying in scope and scale, are summarised below.


133.  Co-operation around the Baltic Sea has been particularly notable. The intensity of co-operation in the Baltic was due, in large part, to serious issues of pollution and eutrophication. BaltSeaPlan,[233] a €3.7m project, was established in 2009 and was strongly supported by Baltic Sea Member States. This led to a political commitment to achieve a comprehensive level of marine planning by 2030 (BaltSea Vision 2030).[234] An EU Baltic Sea Strategy was launched in the same year, solely on the initiative of the Member States concerned, and the German government told us that this Plan influenced the subsequent approach of the MSPD.[235] The European Commission told us:

    "[This] is the most ambitious example I can give you of where we have been able, as a Commission globally, to support work on developing [marine planning] co-operatively."[236]

The Baltic Sea Strategy has now been followed by other macro-regional strategies such as that in the Adriatic and Ionian region.


134.  This is an independent platform of stakeholders from Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands contributing to an advanced and sustainable development of the trilateral Wadden Sea Region. It was established in 2002, following a decision by the 9th Governmental Conference of The Trilateral Co-operation on the Protection of the Wadden Sea.[237] They have used a website with tools for integrated coastal zone management, and the stakeholder group consists of representatives from the agriculture, energy, and fisheries industries as well as harbour, nature protection and tourism sectors. Local and regional governments are part of the same group and national governments are supportive and are represented as observers.[238]


135.  This is led by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and engages stakeholders across the Celtic Seas countries and territories[239] in project-based activities. They have secured a €4m budget over four years and the main marine sectors, NGOs, academics and governments are all involved, either as core stakeholders or, in the case of governments, the European Commission and OSPAR, as observers. The focus of the Partnership is the delivery of the MSFD in the Celtic Seas. WWF called for this model to be extended to the North Sea.[240]


136.  MASPNOSE[241] (Maritime Spatial Planning in the North Sea) was a study carried out by a number of knowledge institutes (Centre for Marine Policy, Deltares, vTI, University of Ghent and DTU-Aqua) at the request of the European Commission. The consortium initiated discussions with governmental parties and stakeholders (fisheries, NGOs and other industry bodies). Two case studies in the North Sea were taken up: developing an international fisheries management plan for the Dogger Bank in the central North Sea and an exploration of the potential for collaboration on the Thornton Bank in the southern part of the North Sea. The challenges associated with the Dogger Bank are described above, in paragraph 59, and the project attempted to develop an international management plan for the area taking into account those constraints. The Thornton Bank is managed by The Netherlands and Belgium. Here the focus was on potential areas of collaboration for wind energy and the harmonisation of marine planning practices. The project concluded that cross-border co-operation efforts often lacked commitment and did not lead to a unified marine spatial plan for the area. The project concluded that cross-border situations required a pre-agreed process with a clear mandate and responsibilities.


137.  This is an EU-funded project through the North Sea Region Programme, under which research organisations have come together in order to pilot different mechanisms to disinfect ballast water in a cost-effective, non-environmentally harmful way, before the water is discharged into the sea. We were told that the results of research could be commercialised and marketed internationally.[242]


138.  Involving both the NRSP and the NSC, this project brought together research organisations, local government and specialists in shipping and ports. Large ports such as Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg were also involved. The aim of the project was to consider how to approach the Sulphur Directive and the Emission Control Area for the North Sea region, in preparation for the sulphur restrictions which will come into force in 2015. The project ended with a set of recommendations which will be circulated throughout the member regions for consideration.[243]

Factors and challenges in successful co-operation


139.  The projects and partnerships described above demonstrate the potential for effective collaborative working. The Commission emphasised that Member States' commitment to greater co-operation was absolutely crucial in order to deliver results.[244] At the same time there was a clear view that the lack of strong signals from national governments, and in some cases the European Commission, may have impeded progress with regional co-operation thus far. In the example of the Dogger Bank (see paragraph 59), we heard that a stronger political steer would have been helpful,[245] a conclusion echoed by the MASPNOSE project. Dr Jones told us:

    "With the Dogger Bank, we had a trilateral decision-making process between representatives from different industries and the three Member States. They could not agree on a single zonation plan; they ended up with two zonation plans that they could not quite agree on, and then those went to the Commission. That was three years ago, and, since then, there has been zero progress. Where we see some laudable examples of good co­operation between Member States, we also need to see a commitment from the Commission to implement the decisions that are taken as a result of that co­operation."[246]

140.  The respective roles of the Commission and the EU Member States, though, reflect the fact that competence for marine planning and for the associated policy areas is spread over all levels of governance. Concerns over competence mean, as the Commission observed, that the issue of marine planning "is not an entirely insensitive subject."[247]

141.  Competence over town and country planning and over national energy supply is shared between the EU and its Member States. Legislation is subject to unanimous agreement by the Member States.[248] The EU and its Member States also share competence over aspects of energy policy relating to the internal market and over environmental policy, but legislation is adopted jointly by the European Parliament and a qualified majority of Member States.[249] Competence for fisheries policy lies almost exclusively with the EU.[250] Overall responsibility for shipping falls to the IMO, operating at the international level. The tension inherent in competence relating to EU policies affecting the marine environment is clear in the wording of the MSPD:

    "This Directive shall not interfere with Member States' competence to design and determine, within their marine waters, the extent and coverage of their maritime spatial plans. It shall not apply to town and country planning."[251]

142.  The North Sea region includes Norway, which is not a member of the European Union but is a member of the European Economic Area. Membership of the European Economic Area applies EU internal energy market legislation to Norway. EU fisheries policy does not apply to Norway, but the EU and Norway are obliged under international law[252] to agree on the management of shared stocks. Norway is a member of OSPAR, which co-ordinates action on environmental protection in the North Sea.

143.  The German government argued that respect for the division of competence on the one hand and regional co-operation were not mutually exclusive:

    "While insisting that the competence for establishing the maritime spatial plans in the Exclusive Economic Areas and the Coastal Zones has to remain a national one, we fully recognise the need for consultation with our neighbour States both in the Baltic and North Seas."[253]

144.  Despite this positive statement by the German government, concerns over loss of national control over marine planning seemed to be evident in many of the discussions about sea basin strategies and macro-regional strategies, such as the Baltic Sea Strategy (see paragraph 133). In some cases it may be that these concerns are acting as barriers to progress. The Commission was careful not to force regions and Member States to take on a macro-regional approach, but more could be done to open up discussions on other possible courses of action.

145.  The experience of co-operation thus far indicates that clear direction from national governments is an essential factor in effective marine co-operation. A lack of leadership in situations where it has not proved possible to align economic interests with environmental protection, has led to paralysis. An example is the Dogger Bank, where we urge the UK Government to show political leadership by intensifying efforts to agree a joint recommendation for fisheries management. Failing any such resolution, we recommend that the European Commission consider the option of adopting urgent measures to manage the area. (Recommendation 14)

146.  Competence over elements of marine policy ranges from the international to the local and it is not therefore appropriate for the European Commission to take a decisive role in leading cross-border co-operation to develop coherent marine plans in the North Sea. The examples of co-operation that we have highlighted demonstrate that it is possible to co-operate effectively, while respecting the boundaries of national competence.


147.  The Commission told us that "the last thing we would want is for yet another institution to be called into life to duplicate frameworks that already exist."[254] Equally, some clarity over the respective roles of individual organisations which already exist would be helpful. Oil and Gas UK called for a new approach:

    "There is a plethora of organisations, initiatives and funding mechanisms operating within the North Sea region which is challenging for individual sectors to engage with. Regional co-operation could benefit from rationalisation to improve transparency and manageability."[255]

148.  We saw a number of complex diagrams during our inquiry, which attempted to map the various bodies and institutions and their interactions with one another. Professor Elliot drew our attention to a diagram known as the 'horrendogram'[256] to illustrate the complex and sectoral nature of the terrain.[257] On the other hand, Dr Jones argued that the complexity was inevitable:

    "If you look at a London A-Z, that is pretty horrendous as well, but what we do is say, 'Where am I and where do I want to go?' Then we can work out our route through it. With horrendograms like this, it is important to remember that, if you take a certain route through this landscape, it becomes much easier to comprehend."[258]

149.  Despite this assurance, we were left with the distinct impression that more could be done to aid stakeholders in engaging with the various bodies in existence and in navigating the complicated legislative web.

150.  We also examined the UK Government's departmental approach to regional marine co-operation. Citing a diagram which showed the various marine environment responsibilities of Government departments,[259] we asked the ministers whether the plethora of policy makers engaged coherently with extra-national bodies. Despite being told that "[The question] is not whether there are lots of government departments but how well they come together,"[260] and that cabinet government was the primary method of policy synthesis, we were unconvinced that the Government was appraising the marine environment in a holistic way.

151.  We recommend that, through a joint effort, national governments and the European Commission map the institutions and frameworks that currently exist, in order to inform decisions about future co-operation and to assist stakeholders. (Recommendation 15)


152.  While failure to co-operate can be costly, effective co-operation can bring about economic, environmental and social gains; investment in such co-operation can be worthwhile. As OSPAR told us, "the more you do things in a regional or even in a sub-regional approach, the more you can then share some of the costs."[261] To be effective, however, co-operation needs to be properly resourced. Indeed, the results of the effective use of funding can be seen in the specific examples of co-operation in practice outlined above in paragraphs 132-138.

153.  The Government indicated that the new co-operation processes under the reformed CFP had not increased the required central resources. Discussions which would previously have taken place centrally in Brussels were now taking place elsewhere on a regional basis,[262] though additional funding would be required to support the ACs' enhanced responsibilities under the reformed CFP (see paragraph 125).

154.  OSPAR (see paragraph 113) and the North Sea Advisory Council (see paragraph 130) told us that cross-border co-operation could be resource-intensive. The NSC added that funding was one of the major challenges to co-operation.[263] Similarly, the Scottish government was concerned that increased co-operation "would potentially require additional resource."[264]

155.  The European Commission acknowledged the resource challenges of intensive co-ordination but told us that it was providing further opportunities for EU funding using existing sources:

    "We do have considerable funding means available at European level, through, for example, the European structural and investment funds. These funds have been organised in such a way that they make it possible for those Member States and Member State regions that want to take up these possibilities to find financial support for actions in the context of these strategies. This is the case for the Atlantic strategy,[265] for example."[266]

156.  It went on to explain the importance of those who apply for funding aligning objectives so that they cohered with the wider objectives of the Commission:

    "There are explicit possibilities in the European structural and investment funds for blue growth actions to be taken up in operational programmes proposed by Member States and their region."[267]

157.  We heard about the valuable work of the NSRP in financing a wide range of projects aimed at regional development (see paragraphs 134-135). This small scale project-based funding scheme is part of INTERREG, the European Union's interregional co-operation programme.[268]

158.  EU financial resources can support a co-operative approach to marine research. Such research features in the Commission's Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation:

    "Cross-cutting marine and maritime scientific and technological knowledge will be addressed to unlock the potential of the seas and oceans across the range of marine and maritime industries, while protecting the environment."[269]

159.  The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), however, called for a greater co-ordination of "the plethora of existing policies and funds to make their delivery more effective and efficient."[270] It noted the links between the INTERREG North West Europe Programme[271] and the Atlantic Strategy and its Action Plan, describing them as "a belated effort", and the "result of a lack of any other substantive EU financial resources."[272] This was a rather different picture to the one put forward by the Commission.

160.  Dr Jones expressed concerns about how well research funding was co-ordinated at a macro level:

    "There needs to be much better integration of how the research funding is spent… [we] end up with different projects at the end of different work programmes, all funding the same sort of research."[273]

161.  We also heard of the need for increased communication on the part of research bodies, as well as a more integrated approach at an EU level. Cefas explained that the UK's Marine Science Co-ordination Committee (MSCC) had a role to play on a national level:

    "The MSCC has two main roles. One of them is to deliver the UK marine science strategy … The second part of its role is in communication, bringing together many funding bodies, departments and Devolved Administrations to highlight and co-ordinate what is being done, make sure there is no overlap and fill important gaps as they arise."[274]

162.  Oil and Gas UK suggested that greater Member State co-operation could help fund a successful sea-bed mapping project:

    "The potential must exist for a co-operative approach at Member State level to undertake mapping and consideration could be given to a strategic review of research funding to enable delivery of a regional resource."[275]

163.  Co-operation between stakeholders and Member States can deliver efficiencies and enable limited resources to go further.

164.  Accessing resources can be problematic, and so we recommend that the European Commission prepare and publish guidance on navigating and accessing the existing funding opportunities. (Recommendation 16)

194   Written evidence from DEFRA (RMC0002) Back

195   Written evidence from OSPAR (RMC0005) Back

196   Ibid. Back

197    Q11 Back

198    Q6 Back

199    Q5 Back

200    Q45 (Darius Campbell) Back

201    Q39 (Darius Campbell) Back

202    Q50 Back

203   UK Marine Policy Statement, Para. 2.3.1 Back

204    Q78 (Dr Howell) Back

205   Communication from the Commission: A Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy, COM(2015) 80 Back

206   European Council, Conclusions on 2030 Climate and Energy Policy Framework, SN 79/14, (23 October 2014): [Accessed 6 February 2015]  Back

207   European Union Committee, No Country is an Energy Island: Securing Investment for the EU's Future (14th Report, Session 2012-13, HL Paper 161) Back

208    Q19 (Nick Medic) Back

209    Q23 (Nick Medic) Back

210   The North Seas Countries' Offshore Grid Initiative, NSCOGI 2013/2014 Progress Report, (August 2014): [Accessed 6 February 2015] Back

211   Written evidence from North Sea Region Programme (RMC0007) Back

212   Written evidence from Ofgem (RMC0016) Back

213    Q116 Back

214    Q18 (Jacopo Moccia) Back

215   Written evidence from Wildlife and Countryside Link (RMC0008) Back

216   Direct Current Back

217    Q23 (Nick Medic) Back

218   Written evidence from Oil and Gas UK (RMC0015) Back

219   Ibid. Back

220    Q10 Back

221   European Commission, 'Regional cooperation on energy and maritime spatial planning in the North Sea': [Accessed 5 March 2015] Back

222    Q59 Back

223   Common Fisheries Policy Regulation 2013 Back

224   Council Decision 2004/585/EC of 19 July 2004 establishing Regional Advisory Councils under the Common Fisheries Policy, (OJ L 256, 3 August 2004, p 17) Back

225   Written evidence from the Marine Conservation Society (RMC0011) Back

226    Q59 Back

227    Q118 Back

228   Letter from George Eustice MP to Lord Boswell on the North Sea pelagic stocks discard plan (14543/14) in Appendix 7 Back

229    Q65 Back

230    Q102 Back

231   NSRAC, The NSRAC perspective of a reform of the Common Fisheries Policy: Framework regulation,(March 2012): [Accessed 6 February 2015] Back

232   European Union Committee, The Progress of the Common Fisheries Policy (21st Report, Session 2007-08, HL Paper 146) Back

233   BaltSeaPlan Homepage: [Accessed 6 February 2015] Back

234   BaltSeaPlan, Vision 2030: Towards the sustainable planning of Baltic SeaSpace: index.php?cmd=download&subcmd=downloads/2_BaltSeaPlan_Vision2030.pdf [Accessed 6 February 2015] Back

235   Written evidence from the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (RMC0009) Back

236    Q5 Back

237   Wadden Sea Forum, 'About the forum': [Accessed 6 February 2015] Back

238    QQ29 (Kate Clarke) and 105 (Dr Dodds) Back

239   England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, France, Isle of Man Back

240   Written evidence from WWF (RMC0010) Back

241   Wageningen UR, 'Maspnose: Maritime Spatial Planning in the North Sea': [Accessed 6 February 2015] Back

242    Q29 (Matt Nichols) Back

243    Q29 (Kate Clarke) Back

244    Q11 Back

245   Written evidence from Wildlife and Countryside Link (RMC0008) and WWF (RMC0010) Back

246    Q132 Back

247    Q5 Back

248   Article 192, TFEU (OJ C 326 26 October 2012, p 133)  Back

249   Articles 4, 192 and 194, TFEU (OJ C 326 26 October 2012, pp 18,133 and 134) Back

250   Articles 3, 4 and 43, TFEU (OJ C 326 26 October 2012, pp 51 and 64) The EU has exclusive competence over the conservation of marine biological resources under the CFP but shares competence with the Member States on the remaining aspects of fisheries policy, such as control and enforcement. Legislation is adopted jointly by the European Parliament and the Member States on all issues except measures on fixing prices, levies, aids and quantitative limitations and on the fixing and allocation of fishing opportunities. Back

251   Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, Article 2 Back

252   United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas, Article 63: convention_agreements/texts/unclos/unclos_e.pdf [Accessed 6 February 2015]  Back

253   Written evidence from the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (RMC0009) Back

254    Q5 Back

255   Written evidence from Oil and Gas UK (RMC0015) Back

256   Suzanne J. Boyes and Michael Elliott, 'Marine legislation: The ultimate 'horrendogram': International law, European directives & national implementation', Marine Pollution Bulletin, 86, (2014), p 43 Back

257    Q129 Back

258    Q132 Back

259   Suzanne J. Boyes and Michael Elliott, 'The excessive complexity of national marine governance systems: Has this decreased in England since the introduction of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009?', Marine Policy, 51, (2015), pp59-60 Back

260    Q118 (Rt Hon Matthew Hancock MP) Back

261    Q45 (Darius Campbell) Back

262   Letter from George Eustice MP to Lord Boswell in Appendix 7. Back

263    Q45 (Kate Clarke) Back

264   Written evidence from The Scottish Government (RMC0014) Back

265   Communication from the Commission: Developing a Maritime Strategy for the Atlantic Ocean Area, COM(2011) 782  Back

266    Q11 Back

267   Ibid. Back

268    Q27 (Matt Nichols) Back

269   European Commission: 'Horizon 2020 Aquatic Resources': en/area/aquatic-resources [Accessed 6 February 2015] Back

270   Written evidence from COSLA (RMC0006) Back

271   INTERREG North-West Europe (NWE) is a Programme of the European Union to promote the economic, environmental, social and territorial future of the North-West Europe area. It funds activities based on the co-operation of partners from eight countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. [Accessed 6 February 2015]  Back

272   Written evidence from COSLA (RMC0006) Back

273    Q134 Back

274    Q97 Back

275   Written evidence from Oil and Gas UK (RMC0015) Back

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