The process of the North Sea Vision for 2050 was launched on 16 December 2016 in the marine base at Zeebrugge. In the presence of almost 300 participants, the State Secretary for the North Sea gave the starting signal for a vision formation process that was to last a year.
Three core working groups were set up, comprising of a chair and two reporters: Naturalness, Multiple Use of Space and Blue Economy and Innovation. Each of these working groups enjoyed the support of experts in six intersecting subjects (sustainability, research and development, governance, safety & security, land-sea interaction and trans-boundary thinking).
In the course of 2017, the core working groups met on 4 or 5 occasions to reflect on the future of the North Sea within their area of concern. The meetings were attended by over 150 people in total.
The final reports produced by the three core working groups were presented to the participants on 8 July and can be viewed on the web page below.
An overarching view was distilled from the working groups' final reports, and this was then presented by the State Secretary for the North Sea on 20 December 2017 . This vision can be viewed on the web page below web page below.
D Naturalness meetings (44 participants)D Chaired by Steven Degraer (RBINS), Reporters: Kris Hostens (ILVO) and Ellen De Zwart (FPS Environment) -24/01/2017, 21/02/2017, 18/04/2017, and 23/05/2017.
Blue Economy and innovation meetings (60 participants)D Chaired by Gert Verreet (EWI), Reporters: David Cox (BELSPO) and Sarina Motmans (POM West Flanders) -26/01/2017, 21/02/2017, 30/03/2017, 27/04/2017 and 18/05/2017.
Multiple Use of Space meetings (52 participants)D Chaired by Frank Maes (Maritime Institute, UGhent), Reporters: Jeroen Van Overloop (FPS Mobility) and Steven Vandenborre (FPS Environment) -25/01/2017, 22/02/2017, 19/04/2017 and 17/05/2017.
Governance of the Think Tank North Sea
After termination of the North Sea Vision 2050-process in December 2017, the Think Tank North Sea was initiated. It is coordinated by a steering group consisting of the same members which were part of the North Sea Council in the North Sea Vision 2050-initiative. The steering group is co-chaired by RBINS and VLIZ.
Each year, the steering group will launch an open call for working themes related to the North Sea around which will be evaluated based on a number of criteria (common interest, multisectoral, multidisciplinary, expected impact, added value if the theme relates to ongoing processes). The themes that meet these criteria and generate sufficient interest will evolve to working groups with a designated chair and reporters. The thematic working groups will normally run over the period of one year and will have clear rules and deliverables which are stipulated in terms of reference. The results of the think tank will be presented at the end of each working year.
More information: Internal Regulations Think Tank North Sea