Principles of Assistance

Below you can find a description of the six Principles of Assistance that should be central to any project activity. Project applicants are expected to take these following elements into account when developing their projects.

Transnational Co-operation and Partnership

Working between different levels of government, embracing different sectors of policy, across national boundaries in a large territory (transnational macro-region), developing, preparing and implementing joint solutions, is essential to exploit what transnational co-operation is uniquely equipped to achieve.


Actions are supported to promote innovation and assist the transition to a knowledge-based economy in the North Sea Region. Developing a positive innovation-orientated culture towards e.g. standard-setting approaches will encourage innovative responses in a transnational regional development context.

Sustainable Development

Endorsing the principles of sustainable development as a catalyst for policy-making and raising public awareness is a fundamental precondition for Programme actions. Defining clear, stable, long-term objectives for transnational partnerships will shape expectations and create the conditions in which businesses have the confidence to invest in innovative solutions, and to create new, high-quality jobs.

Territorial cohesion

Valuing the diversity of the European territory and supporting the European social model will enable people to continue to live in their home regions. The purpose is to better use territorial potentials, to strengthen the regional profiles and to promote the coherence of policies with a territorial impact.

Equal opportunities

By considering the wider economic benefits that emerge from ensured gender equality and non-discrimination, e.g. in terms of tackling skills shortages, increasing employment levels, higher income levels and increasing levels of entrepreneurship within the economy, activities under the Programme promote to making full use of the productive potential of the North Sea Region’s work force.


Only projects, which provide additional outputs – i.e. which would not have been achievable without support from the North Sea Region Programme – will be considered at the application stage. This is to ensure that funds from the North Sea Region Programme do not replace public or equivalent structural expenditure by a beneficiary.

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