The House of Lords EU Committee has produced a report “The North Sea under pressure: is regional marine co-operation the answer?” The answer seems largely to be ‘yes.’ The Committee is concerned that the North Sea is the under severe pressure from human activity and the Committee Chair, Baroness Scott, said that “if the North Sea is left uncoordinated, the conflict between environmental sustainability and economic growth will intensify. To avoid that, and to strike the right balance, we will need a coordinated and strategic approach.” The Report calls for the UK Government to take the initiative and convene a Ministerial Conference of North Sea States to deliver the strategic and political vision that the North Sea needs. The Committee looked at the challenges to the effective management of the North Sea and concluded that:-
A number of other observers share the view that there needs to be much more cooperation in the North Sea. Indeed cooperation was the word of the day coming from speakers at a European Commission organised workshop on Marine Spatial Planning and Energy held in Edinburgh in January 2015. At this workshop, the European Commission stressed that a meshed grid was the most cost effective way of developing the North Sea Offshore Grid.
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