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From Words to Action - Commissioner Hahn on the EU's Baltic Strategy

(04 June 2014)

From Words to Action - Commissioner Hahn on the EU's Baltic Strategy

On the second day of the 5th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region in the Finnish City of Turku, Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn has been addressing leaders, senior business figures and key players. The Commissioner called for greater focus and ownership from the region itself in particular to tackle key issues like transport and energy. He said the Commission's recent "governance report " on macro-regional strategies "is a call to every one of you – from individuals to cities and regions right up to ministerial level - to play your part in moving from words to action – and ensure that the Baltic continues to be a model for others as a Macro-Region. At the heart of this is ownership. The strategy achieves its potential when we work on priorities where member states have made a clear choice to co-operate together. The recent election results of the European Parliament demonstrate how much work is still to be done to make clear the connection between the everyday life of EU citizens and European Policy. I believe that the macro-regional approach can help us to bring Europe closer to the regions and the people who live in them.

Take energy. You don't need me to tell you how important it is to develop our energy security.

And, as the Commission's Energy Security Strategy published last week says, a regional approach will be decisive for the integration of the European energy market and for our security of supply. The Macro-Regional Strategies can provide a framework to identify coherent solutions. But we need more strategic political thinking and decision-making...

The Macro-Region is not an obligation. It is a choice."

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