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Baltic Sea Region Strategy: priority areas

Priority areas

The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region focuses on fifteen priority areas.

An administrative body from at least one of the partner countries acts as a coordinator for each priority area.

1. Nutrient inputs to the sea

Priority Area 1 aims to reduce nutrient inputs to the sea to acceptable levels.
There are four flagship projects under this Priority Area:

  • 1.1 Remove phosphates in detergents
  • 1.2 Cleaner waste water (see the website of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency for further information)
    • 1.2.1 Strengthen the implementation of the HELCOM Recommendation for Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP) around the Baltic Sea by e.g. identifying gaps and obstacles in achieving the Recommendation, coordination of actions and exchange of experiences.
    • 1.2.2 PRESTO
  • 1.4 Put best practices in agriculture to work (see the Baltic Deal website for further information)
  • 1.5 Reduce nutrient inputs from Belarus to the Baltic Sea

For further information about Priority Area 1, please see the Baltic Sea Portal.

2.Natural zones and biodiversity

Priority Area 2 seeks to preserve natural zones and biodiversity, including fisheries. The strategic action is to implement the "HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan”.
There are three flagship projects under this Priority Area:

3. Hazardous substances

Priority Area 3 aims to reduce the use and impact of hazardous substances.
There are eight flagship projects under this Priority Area:

For further information about Priority Area 3, please see the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.

4. Model region for clean shipping

Priority Area 4 aims for the Baltic Sea Region to become a model region for clean shipping.
There are six flagship projects under this Priority Area:

  • 4.1 Promote measures to collect ship generated waste
  • 4.2 Promote measures to reduce emissions from ships and enhance the development for shore side electricity facilities or for emission treatment in all major ports around the Baltic Sea
    • Clean Baltic Sea Shipping PDFDEEN
    • CLEANSHIP PDFEN
  • 4.3 Introduce differentiated port dues depending on the environmental impact of ships
  • 4.4 Eliminate the discharge of sewage from ships
  • 4.6 Conduct a feasibility study on LNG (liquefied natural gas) infrastructure for short sea shipping

For more information about Priority Area 4, please see the Danish Maritime Authority.

5. Climate change

Priority Area 5 focuses on mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
There are three flagship projects under this Priority Area:

6.Internal market and cooperation in the customs and tax areas

Priority Area 6 aims to remove hindrances to the internal market in the Baltic Sea Region, including improving cooperation in the customs and tax area.
There are seven flagship projects under this Priority Area:

  • 6.1 Remove remaining single market barriers
  • 6.2 Implement European space for maritime transport without borders in the Baltic Sea Region
  • 6.3 Increase the use of electronic signatures/e-identification
  • 6.4 Encourage sharing of competences between accreditation bodies
  • 6.5 Monitor implementation of the priorities of the EU-Russia strategy
  • 6.6 Monitor border situations
  • 6.7 Coordinate the use of the digital dividend

7. Research and innovation

Priority Area 7 seeks to exploit the full potential of the region in research and innovation.
There are five flagship projects under this Priority Area:

8. Entrepreneurship, SMEs and human resources

Priority Area 8 implements the Small Business Act in order to promote entrepreneurship, strengthen SMEs and increase the efficient use of human resources.
There are eight flagship projects under this Priority Area:

9. Agriculture, forestry and fisheries

Priority Area 9 focuses on reinforcing sustainability of agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
There are 10 flagship projects under this Priority Area:

  • 9.1 Develop and improve coordination and cooperation among Member States and stakeholders
  • 9.2 Eradicating discards
  • 9.3 Sustainable rural development
  • 9.4 Ensure sustainable fishing
  • 9.5 Encourage sustainable aquaculture production methods
  • 9.7 Sustainable forest management in the Baltic Sea Region - EFINORD
  • 9.8 Network of institutions of management and conservation of plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Baltic Sea Region under changing climate conditions
  • 9.9 Establish a Forum for Inventive and Sustainable Manure Processing
  • 9.10 Recycling of phosphorus
  • 9.11 Reinforcement of animal health and disease control

For more information about Priority Area 9, please see Finish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Baltic Compass Newsletter.

10. Energy markets

Priority Area 10 aims to improve the access to, and the efficiency and security of the energy markets.
There are four flagship projects under this Priority Area:

11. Transport links

Priority Area 11 seeks to improve internal and external transport links.
There are five flagship projects under this Priority Area:

12. Education and youth, tourism, culture and health

Priority Area 12 aims to maintain and reinforce attractiveness of the Baltic Sea Region, in particular through education and youth, tourism, culture and health.
There are 14 flagship projects under this Priority Area.

  • 12.1 Education: Enhance cooperation - on a voluntary basis - between the regional Universities of the Baltic Sea Region
  • 12.2 Education: BSR - Quick
  • 12.3 Education: Identify barriers hampering mobility of researchers and students in the Baltic Sea Region and enhance cooperation in the Region in the area of mobility
  • 12.4 Education: Promote school exchanges and develop a ring of partner schools around the Baltic Sea
  • 12.5 Education: Baltic Training Programme (BTP)
  • 12.6 Education and Youth: Establish a youth resource centre EU STRATEGY FOR BALTIC SEA REGION - TOURISM
  • 12.7 Tourism: Attract tourists to rural areas especially the coastal ones
  • 12.8 Tourism: Facilitate environmentally sustainable land excursions of cruise ship operators in the Baltic Sea
  • 12.9 Tourism and culture: Promote the cultural and natural heritage
  • 12.10 Tourism: Develop strategies for sustainable tourism

  • 12.11 Health: Alcohol and drug prevention among youth
  • 12.12 Health: Improvement of public health by promotion of equitably distributed high quality primary health care systems
  • 12.13 Health: ICT for Health – Strengthening social capacities for the utilisation of eHealth technologies in the framework of the ageing population
  • 12.14 Health: PrimCare IT – Counteracting brain drai and professional isolation of health professionals in remote primary health care through tele-consultation and tele-mentoring to strengthen social conditions in remote parts of the Baltic Sea Region

For more information on Priority Area 12, please see the links above and the NDPHS e-Newsletter.

13. Maritime safety and security

Priority Area 13 aims for the Baltic Sea Region to become a leading region in maritime safety and security.
There are eight flagship projects under this Priority Area:

For more information about Priority Area 13, please see Danish Maritime Authority

14. Maritime accident response capacity

Priority Area 14 seeks to reinforce maritime accident response capacity protection from major emergencies.
There are three flagship projects under this Priority Area.

15. Cross border crime

Priority Area 15 aims to decrease the volume of, and harm done by, cross border crime.
There are five flagship projects under this Priority Area.

    • 15.1 Conduct a threat assessment for the Baltic Sea Region
    • 15.2 Create a single national co-ordination centre
    • 15.3 Implementation of the Baltic Sea Task Force on Organized Crime Regional Strategy 2010-2014
    • 15.4 Pool resources for the posting of liaison officers to third countries and international organisations
    • 15.5 Take preventive measures against trafficking in human beings
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