EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region
Growing closer to confront common challenges: 5th Annual Forum of the EU Baltic Sea Strategy
Tackling challenges from competitiveness to climate change and from energy to education, countries around the Baltic Sea are stepping up their cooperation as the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) moves into its fifth year.
EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn will attend the Annual Forum on the EUSBSR and the 16th Baltic Development Forum Summit, which take place in Turku, Finland on 3-4 June. Many leaders, high-level politicians and experts, as well as key business figures are set to participate.
The Forum will be attended by over 1,000 representatives from the private sector, regional businesses, civil society, academia and media in the Baltic Sea Region, including from Russia, Norway and Iceland. The Forum will look to further improve co-operation within the Macro-Region under the theme “Growing Together - For a prosperous, inclusive and connected Baltic Sea Region.”
Commission launches discussion on governance of Macro-Regional Strategies
The European Commission has today published a report on the governance of the EU's Macro-Regional Strategies. The cooperation method of these Strategies has gained impetus and support across Europe since the first for the Baltic Sea Region was adopted in 2009. Common challenges are tackled by a number of countries - both EU and non EU members- working together, streamlining their resources to ensure an effective and joined -up response.
But today's report shows that while the results of individual projects and initiatives in the Baltic Sea and Danube regions are positive – even more political leadership and clearer decision-making is needed to build on the progress so far.
The report recommends changes to improve the impact, results and the sustainability of existing, and particularly future strategies – such as that of the Adriatic-Ionian and Alpine Regions which European Countries have asked for and should be adopted formally later this. This concerns primarily national and regional administrations, but also a wider range of stakeholders, and the European Commission itself.
Next month Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn will attend the Forum on the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (3-4 June in Turku) and Forum on the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (26-27. June in Vienna). Also a Communication and Action Plan for the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) will be adopted by the Commission in June 2014.
Joint 16th Baltic Development Forum Summit and 5th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR - Turku, 3-4 June - REGISTER NOW
Growing together - for a prosperous, inclusive and connected Baltic Sea Region
The joint 16th Baltic Development Forum Summit and 5th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR, themed “Growing together”, will explore how cooperation can help strengthen economic growth, contribute to sustainable development, and create a strong and integrated Baltic Sea Region.
Bringing together decision-makers from business, politics, international organisations and academia from across the Baltic Sea Region, the event will provide a platform to exchange opinions and experiences, discuss key issues and chart the way forward.
Key areas to be addressed include outlooks on governance, the digital economy, regional cooperation, smart urban solutions, blue growth, innovation and competitiveness.
The event is organised by the Baltic Development Forum and the European Commission and is hosted in partnership with the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States and the City of Turku. High-level representatives of the Baltic Sea Region countries will join the event, thus enabling constructive discussions on political leadership.
The 16th Baltic Development Forum Summit and 5th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR will be part of the Turku Baltic Sea Days 1-5 June 2014.
The European Commission coordinates the efforts of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. For news and information on the activities and progress of the Strategy as curated by the various stakeholders, please visit the EUSBSR's dedicated website at www.balticsea-region-strategy.eu.
The EUSBSR is the first comprehensive EU strategy to target a ‘macro-region’.
The eight EU countries that make up the Baltic Sea Region (Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland) face several common challenges which are reflected in the jointly-agreed Action Plan for the Strategy. It includes a number of priority areas to save the sea, connect the region and increase prosperity – each accompanied by concrete flagship projects as well as by clearly identified targets and indicators. The Strategy helps to mobilise all relevant EU funding and policies and coordinate the actions of the European Union, EU countries, regions, pan-Baltic organisations, financing institutions and non-governmental bodies to promote a more balanced development of the Baltic Sea Region.
The Commission publishes regular reports on the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.
Achievements so far include:
- Support for new projects, including cooperation between farmers to reduce eutrophication and improved planning for transport infrastructure;
- Greater involvement of Russian partners in areas like environmental protection, water quality and innovation;
- Improved cooperation between regions and other partners, including the private sector
Although the Strategy does not come with extra EU financing, a considerable amount of funding is already available to the region through EU regional policy, other EU programmes and financial instruments, and various international financial institutions. More information on funding may be found at the EUSBSR website.
To get in contact with the EUSBSR team in DG REGIO, please email REGIO-EU-BALTIC-SEA-STRATEGY@ec.europa.eu.
For more information on how to get in contact with EUSBSR stakeholders, please visit the EUSBSR website.