Today and tomorrow the 11 members of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) along with the European Commission will meet in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, for a meeting at Heads of State and Government level. Germany will be represented by Werner Hoyer, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office.
The meeting of the nine states that border the Baltic Sea along with Iceland and Norway presents an opportunity to discuss economic development in the region, the progress of the reforms introduced at the 2008 summit in Riga and current aspects of regional cooperation. The Lithuanian chair, which will hand over its duties to Norway on 1 July, hopes to reach agreement on a summit declaration that outlines prospects for the development of the Baltic Sea region, especially in the areas of business, social affairs and the environment.
Together with its partners on the CBSS, the German Government wants to take advantage of the diverse opportunities offered by cooperation in the Baltic Sea region by taking a stronger project-oriented approach and improving coordination with other regional bodies such as the Northern Dimension.
The Council of the Baltic Sea States was founded in 1992 as the result of a joint initiative by Germany and Denmark. The Heads of State and Government summits have taken place every two years since the first summit was held in 1996. The long-term priorities of this cooperation in the Baltic Sea region include economic development, a sustainable and secure energy supply, environmental protection, education and culture and civil security.