This report comprises the ex ante evaluation of the North Sea Region Programme (NSRP) undertaken by the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC) for the NSRP Managing Authority. The ex ante evaluation was conducted in accordance with DG REGIO Guidelines on Evaluation Methods. The purpose of the ex ante evaluation was to improve and strengthen the quality of the programme under preparation and to optimise the allocation of resources. The evaluation team provided inputs throughout the Programming process on an iterative and interactive basis. This process allowed the evaluation to be carried out in a supportive and constructive way. It is the conclusion of the ex ante evaluation that the 2014-2020 North Sea Region Programme has been developed in line with relevant regulations and requirements. The Programme has developed a robust rationale and ‘logic’ for its proposed interventions and has focused strongly on delivering outputs and results which address needs in the Programme area and contribute to Europe 2020 goals.