EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region
The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region is the first macro-regional Strategy in Europe, it was approved by the European Council in 2009 following a communication from the European Commission. The Strategy is divided into three objectives, which represent the three key challenges of the Strategy: saving the sea, connecting the region and increasing prosperity. Each objective relates to a wide range of policies and has an impact on the other objectives.
The EU member states involved in the EUSBSR are Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. The EUSBSR implementation is coordinated in close contact with the European Commission and all relevant stakeholders, i.e. other member states, regional and local authorities, inter-governmental and non-governmental bodies. The Strategy is also welcoming cooperation with EU neighbouring countries (Russia, Iceland, Norway and Belarus).
The EUSBSR is implemented in concrete joint projects and processes. Projects and processes named Flagships of the EUSBSR demonstrate especially well the progress of the Strategy. However, no new funding or institutions have been founded to support the implementation of the Strategy. Instead, the EUSBSR, as all Macro-regional Strategies, is based on effective and more coordinated use of existing funding sources, and the promotion of synergies and complementarities.
The Member States and National Coordinators involved in the Strategy are implicated at all levels by having an active political engagement, encouraging participation of stakeholders and ensuring the visibility of the EUSBSR within their countries. The European Council, the European Commission and the High Level Group of Macro-regional Strategies have the main political role. They take the Strategy into account in relevant policy initiatives, promote the dialogue between stakeholders and contribute to reviewing and updating the Action Plan.
The overall coordination of the Strategy lies on the Policy Area Coordinators and Policy Area Focal Points as well as Horizontal Action Coordinators and Horizontal Action Focal Points. They are responsible for the application of the necessary measures to guarantee the success and visibility of the Strategy.
At an operational level, there are different programmes and bodies involved in the Strategy. The Strategy includes Programmes under EU Cohesion Policy as well as European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) programmes and other Financial instruments e.g. European Investment Bank.