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Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region

The three pillars of cooperation in the Baltic Sea region in which Germany plays an active role are the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the Northern Dimension. The Federal Foreign Office and other federal ministries, as well as the German Länder Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein, are all involved in Baltic Sea cooperation.

Council of the Baltic Sea States

The Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) was established in 1992 at the initiative of the foreign ministers of Germany and Denmark, in order to stabilise and support the political and economic transition of the Baltic Sea region. Its membership comprises the nine states actually on the Baltic Sea – Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden – as well as Norway, Iceland and the EU. Since its inception, the Council of the Baltic Sea States has developed a broad network of inter‑state cooperation in numerous sectors spanning the Baltic Sea and north‑western Russia. In 2014, the Council of the Baltic Sea States agreed on three new long‑term priorities: 

  • Fostering regional identity
  • Developing a sustainable and prosperous region
  • Creating a safe and secure region 

The CBSS Secretariat is based in Stockholm. The Council Presidency rotates between the members on an annual basis. Iceland took over from Poland in July 2016.

Further information is available at www.cbss.org.

EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region

Logo of the 8th annual forum of the EU stategy for the Baltic sea region

Logo of the 8th annual forum of the EU stategy for the Baltic sea region
© Auswärtiges Amt

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Logo of the 8th annual forum of the EU stategy for the Baltic sea region

Logo of the 8th annual forum of the EU stategy for the Baltic sea region

Logo of the 8th annual forum of the EU stategy for the Baltic sea region

The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) is the first of the EU’s four macro-regional strategies, and as such is a pilot project for a new form of cooperation within the EU. Its remit is regional strategic planning for the Baltic Sea states, coordinated through the EU. Overall direction is supplied by the Council of the European Union; in addition, the Strategy and Action Plan are evaluated every two years. The Action Plan focuses on three objectives:

  • Saving the sea
  • Connecting the region
  • Increasing prosperity.

Annual forums are held to present EUSBSR projects. The 8th Annual Forum will be hosted by the Federal Foreign Office in June 2017 and will centre on the theme of connectivity.

Further information is available at www.balticsea-region-strategy.eu.

Northern Dimension

The Northern Dimension is a joint regional policy of four partners: the EU, Russia, Norway and Iceland. It provides a joint framework for dialogue and cooperation with a view to fostering integration, competitiveness and sustainable development. The Northern Dimension covers a broad geographical area in northern Europe, including the far north (and the Barents Sea region), the Baltic Sea region and north‑western Russia. Since the Northern Dimension was renewed in 2006, it has operated through four sectoral partnerships: the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP), the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDCP), the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well‑being (NDPHS) and the Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics (NDPTL). The science and business communities are involved in the work of the Northern Dimension through the Northern Dimension Institute (NDI) and the Northern Dimension Business Council (NDBC). 

Further information is available at www.northerndimension.info.


Last updated 13.02.2017

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