EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region
The 4th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region
Join us on 11-12 November 2013 in the charming city of Vilnius (Lithuania) for the 4th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region!
The event, which is hosted by the European Commission jointly with the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in collaboration with the Secretariat of Council of the Baltic Sea States and INTERACT Point Turku, will bring together the main stakeholders of the Strategy from all countries around the Baltic Sea, representing the governmental sector, business, civil society and regional organisations.
The 2013 Annual Forum, entitled ‘Baltic Sea, Baltic Growth, Baltic Environment’, will focus on the environmental challenges faced by the Baltic Sea region, and the potential to turn these challenges into opportunities for economic growth, competitiveness and job creation.
Register for the event NOW and be a PART of it! The deadline for registration is 17 October 2013 and the number of places is limited.
A draft agenda, as well as practical information might be found here: http://www.balticsea-region-strategy.eu/pages/4th-annual-forum
We look forward to welcoming you in Vilnius!
Europe's Macroregional Experiment: the first Evaluation
Today the European Commission has published the first study to weigh up the success of the EU's two macro-regional strategies and to provide recommendations for the future.
The EU's Danube and Baltic Strategies, involving over 20 EU and non EU countries, have pioneered a unique kind of cooperation, based on the idea that common challenges faced by specific regions –whether environmental, economic or security related – are best tackled collectively, and that it makes sense to plan together for the most effective deployment of the funds available.
The report delivers a broadly positive verdict on the existing strategies so far. It highlights how they have created hundreds of new projects and helped to formulate joint policy objectives in areas of vital importance for the regions involved. The macroregional approach has also led to numerous joint initiatives and networks, as well as political decisions at collective level.
The report says cooperation between the participating EU countries and neighbouring non-EU countries has been significantly strengthened and that has resulted in more efficient use of the resources available.
But the report reminds governments of the need for political commitment and for making the strategies a priority across all relevant policy areas, ensuring they are embedded in future European Structural and Investment Funds programmes, as well as other relevant EU, regional and national policy frameworks. It also underlines the importance of administrative resources to deliver the objectives.
Concerning future macro-regional strategies, the report stresses that new initiatives should only be launched to address particular needs for improved and high-level cooperation. There must be readiness to translate political commitment into administrative support, and new strategies should clearly demonstrate the particular added-value at EU level.
Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - concerning the added value of macro-regional strategies
EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region : seed money information day
The Seed Money Facility is a new grant scheme for the Baltic Sea Region. The main goal of the seed money is to support preparation of flagship projects and other strategic initiatives (for EU Structural Funds, national funding agencies or other funding programmes in 2014 and beyond) contributing to the implementation of the Action Plan to the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.
Register for the information day by 14 February 2013.
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.