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Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region

25.10.2021 - Article

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.

Council of the Baltic Sea States

At the Baltic Sea close to Wustrow
At the Baltic Sea close to Wustrow© picture alliance

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 the Baltic Sea region and support its political and economic transition. Its membership comprises the nine states actually on the Baltic Sea – Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden – as well as Iceland, Norway 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. The CBSS has three 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 annually. Germany will hold the presidency from July 2022 to June 2023.

Further information about the Council of the Baltic Sea States and its activities can be found at www.cbss.org

EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region

The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) was launched in 2009 as a pilot project for a new form of cross‑border regional cooperation within the EU. It is now one of four macroregional strategies. 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; the Strategy and its Action Plan are evaluated every two years. The Action Plan on implementation places a strategic focus on three objectives:

  • saving the sea
  • connecting the region
  • increasing prosperity

As part of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, an annual forum is held to provide a platform for exchange for the stakeholders involved in implementing the Strategy. Further information about the Strategy, its implementation and the annual forums can be found at www.balticsea-region-strategy.eu

Northern Dimension

The Northern Dimension (ND) is a joint regional policy of four partners: the EU, Iceland, Norway and Russia. 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, the Barents Sea region, the Baltic Sea region and north‑western Russia.

The Northern Dimension is based on four partnerships: the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP), the Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics (NDPTL), the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well‑being (NDPHS) and the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC). Other thematic focuses are “youth in the region” and “combating climate change”.

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

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