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Baltic Annual Forum: picking up the pace in Europe's first macro region

(11 November 2013)

Baltic Annual Forum: picking up the pace in Europe's first macro region

Four years after its launch as the EU's first macro region, representatives from the 8 EU countries involved, are gathering in Vilnius today alongside Regional Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn for the Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). Also joining them will be representatives from Russia and Norway.

Key players will discuss how to take the strategy forward and build on what has already been achieved. In particular the focus will be on how tackling the environmental challenges in the region can deliver benefits in terms of growth and jobs.

Speaking ahead of the event, Commissioner Hahn said, "The Baltic Strategy has pioneered an approach to cooperation as Europe's first macro region which others are watching closely both in and out of Europe. We are already achieving a great deal through countries and regions working together to identify common interests, problems and solutions that cannot be so effectively dealt with purely at national or local level."

He added, "But we need to speed up the tempo of our cooperation. It is time for members of the Strategy to act more like captains not passengers of this strategy - and for the countries and regions bordering the Baltic Sea to step up and mobilise available European Funds as well as national, regional, and private resources to influence the direction of the macro region. "

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