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Maritime policy in the North Sea region

Application of the cluster approach
: Flitsch, Verena; Herz, Nico; Wolff, Jutta; Baird, Alfred J.


Maritime economics & logistics 16 (2014), No.4, pp.484-500
ISSN: 1479-2931
ISSN: 1388-1973
ISSN: 1479-294X
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IML ()
transport; maritime policy; cluster approach; maritime transport cluster; North Sea region

The aim of maritime policy is to achieve continued trade development and hence economic growth while ensuring seas and coastal areas are adequately protected. Historically, many policy decisions, not least with regard to maritime transport, were arrived at from a top-down approach. However, there are criticisms of the top-down policy-making process. This article presents a new bottom-up policy development methodology as well as the findings of the Maritime Transport Cluster (MTC) project funded by the Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme (NSRP), which applied the cluster idea to the maritime and hinterland transport sector. MTC picked up the two elements of a cluster approach as proposed by Roelandt and den Hertog - (i) cluster analysis and (ii) support to remove cluster imperfections through policy advice. The methodology followed a five-level working structure interlinking European Union programmes, NSRP projects, academic research and maritime transport industry representatives resulting in identification of 10 'hot topics' relating to future maritime policy for the North Sea region (NSR). Recommendations were derived as stimuli for future policy making in order to remove cluster imperfections through policy advice for future maritime policy and programmes in the NSR and beyond.