EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region

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    The 2018 Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region will focus mainly on EU cohesion policy after 2020 and the future of EU macro-regional strategies ("After 2020"). Other key topics: 'Environmental state of the Baltic Sea' and 'Digitalisation'.

    Watch a short welcome video

    On 13/14 June 2017, the 8th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) was held in Berlin, Germany. The Forum was hosted by the German Federal Foreign Office together with the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) - Baltic Sea Commission and in close cooperation with the European Commission.

    More than 800 participants from governments, international organisations, NGOs, universities, local and regional administrations, business and media discussed in more than 30 sessions and seminars a wide range of topics including cooperation with neighbouring countries, environmental and climate challenges, sustainable blue growth, inclusive digitalisation and cooperation in the transport sector.

    The EUSBSR Annual Forum in Berlin was opened by Sigmar Gabriel, German Vice-Chancellor and Federal Foreign Minister, Martti Ahtisaari, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former Finnish President, and Sara Mazur, Vice President and Head of Research at Ericsson. Minister Gabriel stated that the European Union has brought the region’s countries together and considered the region as a pioneer of regional cooperation: "This region enables us to feel the EU’s peacebuilding capacity very clearly. Where once we had the Iron Curtain, which also divided the Baltic Sea, eight EU member states now work together as Baltic Sea countries." Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, former President of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari, talked about strong trust in the region which has resulted in a variety of networks and organisations working across borders. He also emphasized the essential roles of both people and institutions in the region by quoting Jean Monnet: “Nothing is possible without man, but nothing lasts without institutions. In the Baltic Sea region we have both”. Vice President and Head of Research at Ericsson, Sara Mazur considered connectivity in the Baltic Sea region in terms of new technological solutions. As “innovation happens when you work across borders”, Mazur strongly supports increased cooperation in the region.

    In a dedicated seminar on "Macro-regional strategies - what's in it for Cohesion Policy?", participants, including Director General for Regional and urban policy Marc Lemaitre, discussed to what extent macro-regional cooperation structures can facilitate collaborative solutions and encourage the alignment of activities and investment across territories. First experiences and results of the 'pilot' ERDF network of Managing Authorities in the Baltic Sea region, initially focussing on smart specialisation, were presented and discussed. Based on a study from the Interact programme, participants also discussed the added value of macro-regional strategies from the perspective of projects and programmes.

    Further background information:

    • Opening speech of German Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Gabriel (in DE). 

    800 participants from governments, international organisations, NGOs, universities, local and regional administrations and business will meet in Berlin on 13 and 14 June for the 8th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region entitled 'Connectivity'

    Stakeholders from all around the Baltic Sea region will gather to discuss the development and cooperation region on a wide range of themes ranging from regional development, smart specialisation, sustainable blue growth, the environmental state of the Baltic Sea, digitalization, transport connectivity , and cooperation with neighbours.

    Programme of the event: http://www.balticsea-region-strategy.eu/8th-annual-forum

    Follow the debate on Twitter: #EUSBSR

    The registration for the 8th Strategy Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) is launched. The event, under the main theme 'Connectivity', will be hosted by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany together with the CPMR - Baltic Sea Commission and in close cooperation with the European Commission on 13-14 June 2017 in Berlin.

    800 stakeholders from all around the Baltic Sea region will gather to discuss the development and cooperation in the Baltic Sea region on a wide range of themes ranging from regional development, smart specialisation, sustainable blue growth, the environmental state of the Baltic Sea, digitalization, and transport connectivity to cooperation with neighbours.

    The deadline for registration is the 26nd May and the number of seats is limited!

    More information, including the programme and practical information, can be found here

More news

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 policy areas/horizontal actions to save the sea, connect the region and increase prosperity – each accompanied by concrete flagships 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.

Contacts

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.