The aim and objectives of the European Territorial Co-operation programme will be delivered through four Priorities. The emphasis is on stimulating transnational cooperation in ways that will provide tangible benefits to the areas concerned and the Region as a whole.
The development and introduction of new and improved products and services is crucial for the long-term competitiveness of an economy. Innovation can offer new economic opportunities for areas that are experiencing the challenges of economic restructuring. The North Sea Region has a strong reputation for R&D and innovation, although this is not uniformly distributed. It is crucial that we build on this base if we are to confront the challenges of the future and make the North Sea Region a better place in which to live, work and invest.
The North Sea Region has a reputation as an area with a high quality environment. This is protected through the application of environmental standards and a culture, which places great store by this resource. Our environment is under pressure though from social and economic uses, as well as the implications of changing environmental conditions. We seek to manage these pressures in order to maintain the value of our environment for the benefit of future generations, and to achieve our aim of making the North Sea Region a better place in which to live, work and invest.
Promoting better levels of accessibility and connectivity is crucial to achieving the wider objectives of this Programme. This includes the access of places for people and for the movement of goods. In speaking of accessibility we are not only thinking of physical infrastructure but also of the logistics technologies and procedures that are so important in enabling, and maximising, the efficient movement of goods and people. Through transnational cooperation actions we aim to improve the accessibility of places in the North Sea Region in order that this delivers tangible benefits to the residents and firms based in the region, and makes the Region a better place in which to live, work and invest.
The communities that make up the North Sea Region are all experiencing pressures of change. This takes different forms depending upon the particular mix of demographic, economic and environmental drivers in each case. Issues of inclusion, congestion and demand for land, rise to the fore in places that are attracting new populations, whilst for those that are losing jobs, services and population the challenge is one of finding mechanisms that stem this tide. Many of these issues are best tackled at the local and regional level, yet the commonality of these issues and the functional interconnections of communities in the region present a strong argument for supplementary efforts built upon transnational cooperation. In this respect this priority seeks to create more sustainable communities through developing radical approaches to the pressures that they face. In the light of the divers patterns of structural change it is vital for the NSR to apply a holistic approach to the sustainable development of regions and ensure vibrant communities that are attractive places in which to live and work.