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North Sea consultation body committed to implementing the North Sea Agreement

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With the broad support of the Dutch House of Representatives, the parties to the North Sea consultations will continue to work together to implement the arrangements in the North Sea Agreement. Ms Sybilla Dekker has been appointed as an independent chairman of the Consultative Body for the Physical Environment to supervise the North Sea consultation body.

Towards a healthy Dutch sector of the North Sea
In the North Sea Agreement, the energy sector (gas, oil and wind), nature and environmental organisations, seaports and some fisheries have reached agreements to advance the tasks that will help smooth the energy transition. These come from the Climate Agreement and concern nature restoration and aim to achieve a healthy future for fisheries. The North Sea Agreement aims to ensure the healthy development of the Dutch sector of the North Sea.

Balance of interests
The North Sea Agreement is a compromise because space in the North Sea is scarce. In an intensive and lengthy process, each of the parties involved in the North Sea consultation body had to make concessions, yet it was possible to strike a balance in the interests of all parties.

Sybilla Dekker, chair of the body, said about this unique cooperation: “It is precisely because we listen to each other within the North Sea consultations and understand each other's interests that we can find common solutions and seize opportunities.”
Support for the fisheries sector
In early February 2020, all parties in the North Sea consultation body reached a negotiated settlement. The North Sea Agreement was formally adopted in June 2020. Seven of nine relevant administrative organisations in the fisheries sector also signed up to the North Sea Agreement. Although a majority of fisheries representatives supported the agreement, this does not represent a majority of the members of the constituency. These seven organisations are therefore unable to sign on behalf of the entire fisheries sector, given the division within their constituencies.

Sybilla Dekker: “We are convinced that more has been achieved in this Agreement together than would have been possible in negotiations with the individual sectors. The door is always open for the fishing industry to come to the table with a single and constructive voice.”


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