There are many hard working people involved in the projects and many deserve an award! In Aviemore this year, there were nine awards presented. For those who missed it, here are the details.
There is one in this crowd who has been involved in the production of all three North Sea Programmes, has willingly acted as a facilitator at countless seminars, represented his country on the Steering Committee and has done a fantastic job encouraging project development.
Unfailing support for the Maritime Umbrella Safety Operation is also among his fine qualities.
In addition, he has been the secretariat's Mr Fix-it for many years. For his unfailing support and outstanding contribution to the programme. The award goes to Sverre Mauritzen.
There is another one among the North Sea Programme enthusiasts who began his career in Norway but took the Viking trail to Ireland and then somehow ended up on the north east coast of England.
Rumour has it that he is about to retrace his steps. He is a visionary and sometimes controversial figure who the secretariat is always pleased to welcome to the working groups as we know for sure that it will be lively!
The award goes to Magne Haugseng, regional representative for the UK on the Steering Committee, Monitoring Committee and Programme Preparation Group.
Hard work and dedication to the cause is of course also important to embrace. We do so with this starfish. As a member of the Steering Committee and the Monitoring Committee, he has shown unfailing support to the programme and the MSUO. An explosive and memorable introduction in Terschelling back in September 2000 secures that he is forever engraved in our collective memory. This award goes to Yvo Peeters.
You are all part of projects that work on important issues in one way or another. But among the many projects there are of course some that are smarter than others... This project is recognised for key contributions to the initiative of UK and Swedish Prime Ministers regarding sustainable construction and integration of environmental technology.
Also recognised are the contributions to improved building design and promoting energy efficiency. For their great work in travelling the globe to spread the news - sometimes even with permission! They also anticipated the winds of change and acted as a vanguard in the transnational programmes.
The award goes to Liz Blackshaw on behalf of SmartLIFE and the team.
This person has been involved with the work of the North Sea Programme since the very first draft of the Operational Programme for the IIC programme, back in the days when the wheel still was to be invented.
He is recognised for his work in raising the quality of work of the projects and the programme the whole time. He is also an excellent interpreter of trends within the transnational programmes.
This is a person who delivers not only ideas, but also the important back room support - at one point when there was a risk of decommitment, he came up with the Big Spender Award.
The award goes to Hans van Meerendonk and his team of auditors on behalf of their work with Water City International.
This award goes to a project manager who is thorough and responsible to the point that the secretariat wishes they could clone her. The work of the secretariat would be so much easier, and also less eventful, if everyone involved was like her.
Through small research oriented projects she has, together with her team, achieved good projects with results reaching as far as DG Environment. The project has reached best-case status.
The award goes to Christina Folmand on behalf of the Water 4 all project.
We need to embrace and encourage the brave, in every cause of course, but very much so within the North Sea Programme. One of those brave and pioneering municipalities can be found in the mainland of Sweden, namely Skövde Kommun.
In a project doing work to separate waste water from sewage, they have taken on a difficult but important issue. Their work is in line with the Lisbon agenda and the approach represents what we will be looking at for the new programme period. To the brave and pioneering! The award goes to Jonas German on behalf of the Noris project.
Now onto one of the local heroes of the programme. He has done so much to raise awareness of the North Sea Programme over the years. Competition between regions in our geographical sphere is an age old tradition, going back to Hanseatic times and the North Sea Programme has been in competition with the Baltic Programme. This person has done a great job promoting the North Sea Programme and paving the way for the programme in Germany especially. One has to ask the question: where would the secretariat be without him? The award goes to Walter Leal.
This award goes to one of the many successful projects that have reached important results in their field. It is one of those projects that had potential from the very beginning and came through to the degree that the second term of funding was approved in order to further develop and deepen certain aspects of the project.
Most recently they where involved in masterminding a Letter of Intention signed between municipalities in Norway and Russia at the NMC conference in Aberdeen. The initiative marks an important step towards better cooperation in several areas, including the important field of oil and gas transportation.
The award goes to Gunnar Eiterjord, on behalf of the NMC team.