How the Council operates
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The CBSS meets every other year at foreign minister level. At their ministerial sessions, the foreign ministers determine the priorities for the following two years. The foreign ministers met for their most recent ordinary session in Oslo, Norway, in June 2011, where Minister of State Pieper outlined the priorities of Germany’s Presidency of the Council.
On 5 February 2012, Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle hosted an extraordinary session at Plön Castle in Schleswig-Holstein, to mark the 20th anniversary of the CBSS being founded. Alongside the foreign ministers, the founding fathers of the CBSS, former foreign ministers Hans-Dietrich Genscher and Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, also attended.
Summits of the CBSS heads of government have also been held every two years since 1996. They take stock of regional cooperation and put forward priorities for future Council work. The latest summit, held in Stralsund in 2012, focused on the challenges of energy security and energy supplies, demographic change and the Baltic Sea states’ contributions to increased competitiveness and growth.
Between the foreign ministers sessions, the Committee of Senior Officials coordinates and steers CBSS activities. In addition, there are Working Groups dealing with the long-term priorities as well as meetings of relevant ministers. The CBSS Secretariat is based in Stockholm and has a staff of 17.
Last updated 02.07.2012