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Synthesis report: towards a new spatial agenda for the North Sea region
Myers, C. (2006). Synthesis report: towards a new spatial agenda for the North Sea region. Interreg IIIB North Sea Programme Secretariat: Viborg. 87 pp.

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  • Myers, C.
  • Smit, M., illustrator

Abstract
    The Synthesis Report is an advisory document intended to help inform those considering future cooperation activities in the North Sea Region (NSR). The seven countries around the North Sea are currently working together in the EU funded INTERREG IIIB NSR Programme to solve shared problems related to spatial development. These include protecting the environment, improving transport, encouraging innovation, developing more competitive cities and towns, creating new opportunities for rural areas and dealing with the risks of natural disasters. Anew European funded cooperation programme for this area is expected to operate from 2007 to 2013. Selection of activities to be funded under the INTERREG IIIB NSR Programme was assisted by the NorVision document which provided a policy framework for sustainable development of the Region over twenty years to 2020. Whilst NorVision is still relevant, the seven countries launched a process in 2004 to help compile a more focused spatial agenda of issues which might form the basis of future transnational cooperation projects to 2010, the first few years of the likely new cooperation programme. Under this spatial agenda process, five topics were chosen as being relevant to achieving key EU competitiveness and sustainable development policies and where urgent transnational, integrated, cross sectoral and sustainable action was needed in the short term. They included: Coastal Water Management; Transport and Accessibility; Facilitating Innovation and the transfer of Knowledge and Technology; Energy; and Demographic Change. Each was the subject of a study carried out by experts who reviewed literature, held workshops and conducted interviews with stakeholders, including those involved in relevant INTERREG IIIB projects. The Synthesis Report summaries the results of the five studies. All of the studies identified a number of key spatial challenges for the NSR to 2010. To tackle these challenges transnationally, the studies emphasised the need to engage all interested stakeholders including those located in the NSR at different geographic levels and sectors, currently participating in existing INTERREG IIIB projects, and those located outside the NSR. Possible themes and studies, and related transnational projects, which might be supported in a future-funding programme include: Four dedicated themes on coastal waters management, transport, innovation and energy; The topics of innovation and demographic change to form two cross cutting dimensions to dedicated themes; and studies on demographic change to support the programme The results of the spatial agenda process, although not intending to provide a comprehensive picture, give valuable guidance for future transnational cooperation on key spatial challenges. Further development of the spatial agenda for the NSR will be taken forward as part of a separate process to develop the new NSR cooperation programme. When completed the new programme will sit alongside the NorVision to guide future cooperation activities.

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