Werner Hoyer, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, is taking part in the 20th Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference in Helsinki on 29 August.
Held in the Finnish Parliament, the Conference is about Green Growth for a Bluer Baltic Sea. Within that theme, the discussions will focus on cooperation in the Baltic Sea region, maritime policy, civil safety and security, and green growth and energy efficiency.
On behalf of Germany, which took over the Presidency of the Council of Baltic Sea States on 1 July, Minister of State Hoyer will outline which areas Germany intends to focus on during its twelve-month term. The core issues include modernizing the south-eastern corner of the Baltic Sea region, particularly the Kaliningrad region and its surroundings; promoting renewable energy; mitigating climate change and protecting the environment; and strengthening regional identity.
The Council of the Baltic Sea States was founded in 1992 on the initiative of the German and Danish Foreign Ministers. It has since evolved into a broad network of international cooperation in many spheres affecting the Baltic. Its membership comprises all nine countries which border the Baltic, as well as the European Commission, Norway and Iceland.
While the Council of the Baltic Sea States accommodates representatives of the Baltic Governments, the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference is the parliamentary-level locus of cooperation in the region. Eleven national and eleven regional parliaments as well as five parliamentary organizations from the Baltic Sea region are represented there, including the German Bundestag and the Land Parliaments of Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Hamburg and Bremen.