EU ministers will be discussing the EU’s Baltic Sea Strategy in a 2-day conference held in Stockholm on 18-19 September 2009, ahead of the October 2009 EU Summit in Brussels, where the Strategy should be adopted by EU Heads of state or government. The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea region covers eight EU countries : Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany. In recent years, Europe’s largest inland sea has been badly affected by increased euthrophication, poiseonous algae bloom and overfishing. The rapid increase in maritime traffic overall poses a security and environmental threat.
On 10/06/2009, the European Commission presented its proposal for a Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, which promotes cooperation in 15 priority areas. The Strategy aims to reduce environmental pollution of the Baltic Sea, to promote maritime safety, and to improve the region’s economic attractiveness and accessibility, by better transport and energy links. EU institutions have been working with the Baltic countries, and relevant interest groups, on developing the strategy, which is the first programme to promote macro-regional cooperation in the EU.It is a priority for the Swedish Presidency of the EU. The Strategy will be financed by existing EU funds in the area, such as the Baltic Sea Region Programme.