Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013

Co-operation programme under the European Territorial Co-operation Objective co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI)


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On 21 December 2007, the European Commission approved a co-operation programme between Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland and Sweden, with the participation of Belarus, Norway and the Russian Federation. The Programme covers the period 2007-2013 and is entitled "Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013".

The Programme involves EU support from two sources: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for EU Member State participation; and the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) for Belarus and the Russian Federation. Norway is providing its own funding. The total budget of the Programme (including Norway’s funding of €12 million) is €293 million, with EU assistance amounting to some €231 million (€208 million through the ERDF and €23 million through the ENPI).

1. Aim and purpose of the programme

The overarching strategic objective of the Baltic Sea Region Programme is to strengthen the development towards a sustainable, competitive and territorially integrated Baltic Sea Region (BSR) by connecting potentials across borders. The BSR is expected to become a better place for investing, working and living in. The Programme will thus incorporate the EU’s Lisbon and Gothenburg strategies in an effort to boost knowledge-based socio-economic competitiveness of the region and continue enhancing territorial cohesion. The Programme also addresses the strategic objectives of the EU’s external relations in view of multilateral co-operation with EU neighbours.

The Programme looks to facilitate investments and actions aimed at improving the territorial potential of the region, to close the existing wide gaps in the level of socio-economic development between different areas in the region, and to resolve issues of common concern for all countries around the Baltic Sea.

2. Expected impact of investments

A series of indicators will be used to measure the Programme’s achievements. The following are a few examples:

  • the number of politicians directly involved in project activities;
  • the amount of public/private investments made with Programme funding within the project lifetime;
  • the number of tools, methods and model solutions developed and tested in order to achieve the results;
  • the number of approved projects focusing on challenges related to different areas, e.g. 10 projects for climate change by 2013;
  • the number of established transnational co-operative structures based on official agreements (networks, platforms, fora, councils).

3. Priorities

The Programme is based on five priority axes (the funding percentages below are based on ERDF + ENPI amounts, i.e. excluding Norway’s own contribution):

Priority 1: Fostering innovations across the Baltic Sea Region [approximately 27.4% of total funding]

This priority is focused on core innovations in the field of natural and technical science and on non-technical innovations. Actions will target the performance of innovation sources and their links with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), transnational transfers of technology and knowledge, and the ability of different population groups to generate and acquire knowledge. The priority will also support actions aimed at broader socio-economic development at regional level, notably in relation to co-operation with Belarus and the Russian Federation.

Priority 2: Improving internal and external accessibility [approximately 18.5% of total funding]

The focus here is on promoting and providing joint transnational solutions in the field of transport and information & communication technology (ICT). Further integration of existing strategic development zones along transnational transport corridors in the BSR will also be promoted. The creation of new transnational links is another goal under this priority.

Priority 3: Management of the Baltic Sea as a common resource [approximately 27.0% of total funding]

This priority addresses environmental pollution in the Baltic Sea. It supports operations aimed at limiting pollution inputs and impacts in the marine environment area. Special emphasis is being placed on maritime safety. The priority also promotes the economic management of open sea areas by means of best available technologies and practices. Attention will focus on the integrated development of offshore and coastal areas in the BSR in the context of climate change.

Priority 4: Promoting attractive and competitive cities and regions [approximately 20.0% of total funding]

This priority promotes co-operation among metropolitan regions, cities and rural areas in an effort to enhance their attractiveness for citizens and investors. It features action programmes and policies which aim to make cities and regions more competitive engines for economic development, to strengthen urban-rural partnerships, and to support the viable economic transformation of smaller and less densely populated settlements. A special ENPI feature under this priority is joint actions on social issues within regional and city development, as well as governance and capacity building in the public sector, exclusively promoted in co-operation projects with Belarus and the Russian Federation.

Priority 5: Technical assistance [approximately 7.1% of total funding]

There is provision for technical assistance for implementation of the Programme. Financial support is also available and covers administration, monitoring and control, as well as information and communication activities.

Financial and Technical information

Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

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Final approval date


Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Fostering innovations across the Baltic Sea Region 63 665 728 13 433 398 77 099 126
Improving internal and external accessibility 43 110 486 9 029 673 52 140 159
Management of the Baltic Sea as a common resource 62 665 729 13 332 287 75 998 016
Promoting attractive and competitive cities and regions 46 457 875 9 401 606 55 859 481
Technical assistance 14 742 891 5 349 459 20 092 350
Total 230 642 709 50 546 423 281 189 132