The Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW) is initiator of this consultation, which concluded on 23 April. Now, an in-depth meeting will take place with the representatives on 8 May.

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The North Sea Consultation needs to establish a North Sea Agreement with strong ownership for the most involved social parties. This will create a sound basis for the 2030 Strategic Agenda, which is planned for this autumn. This creates the prelude to the decision-making process for the 2022-2027 North Sea National Programme, which will begin after this.

The Sea Port sector association is also participating in the North Sea Consultation along with the involved ministries and other stakeholders.

For the ports it is important that several port interests continue to be safeguarded. This includes the preservation of sufficient space for safe and smooth marine shipping at sea (in terms of space as well as in terms of a timely planning process)

the Port of Rotterdam said.

For the energy transition in the Port of Rotterdam, the North Sea provides important potential for sustainable energy and sufficient space for CO2 storage as temporary instrument in the growth towards a fully-sustainable energy supply.

Other interests regard:

  • Bundling cables and pipelines as far as possible for efficient use of space;
  • Limiting pollution and disruption in an international context.

Ronald Paul, COO at the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Chair of the Sea Port sector association, stated:

The North Sea is not only our front yard, it is an essential element of the Port of Rotterdam and of all the Dutch sea ports. For Rotterdam, this starts 57 kilometres outside the coast, at the entrance of the Eurogeul. Smooth and safe handling of shipping depends on the space available for shipping on the North Sea. The North Sea is also vital for the energy transition in the ports. Recent research by Erasmus University indicated that 6.2 per cent of the Netherlands’ national income is due to the Port of Rotterdam