Posted: 26 Aug 2016

The prime minister of Flanders, Geert Bourgeois, has proposed a radical North Sea Union to cushion the shock of Britain leaving the EU.

The idea for the North Sea Union has first proposed six years ago, but the recent EU referendum vote in the UK has pushed the idea to the forefront once again. The most likely nations to form this union would be Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, and Norway. 

The idea for the union is that it would promote an integrated sphere for offshore energy and marine research, create a better grid network with interconnectors in order to drive down costs, and boost back-up power. It would also come with a defense and security component. 

“I am not proposing a new ‘EU’. My idea is a light structure on an intergovernmental basis, like the Mediterranean Union. There are so many areas in which we can work together on the enormous potential of ‘blue industry’ in the oceans, whether it is pharmaceutical sector, health, or food production,” Mr. Bourgeois said.

There is already a North Sea Commission comprising of nations with a stake in the marine economy, current under a Swedish president, which would be a logical building block for the proposal made by Mr. Bourgeois.