On 12–13 June 2019, the 10th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) was held in Gdansk, Poland. The Forum aimed at gathering actors from the Baltic Sea area to discuss the current state of the Region, challenges and the future of the Strategy which is currently being revised.
The two-day long Forum gave the possibility for a productive exchange of views on the EUSBSR and to conclude on the achievements of the Strategy 10 years in. However, challenges related to demographic changes as well as circular and sharing economy were discussed in order to better align efforts to tackle these issues in the upcoming and revised EUSBSR.
The Forum was structured around three plenary sessions. The first session focused on the benefits that the establishment of a circular economy can provide to the Region in terms of growth and prosperity, but nevertheless, whether and how a circular economy can solve environmental issues which are pressuring the Baltic Sea. The second plenary session was directed at businesses and knowledge-sharing on best practices for the implementation of a circular economy. The last session added a demographic dimension of circular and sharing economy to the debate.
In connection to the three plenary sessions, parallel seminars were held. One of these, “Enhancing business-driven circular economy”, was co-organised by the CPMR Baltic Sea Commission’s Energy Working Group. The aim of the seminar was to enable stakeholders working with circular economy to present their perspectives on the fortunes and challenges that they have encountered. These perspectives showcase how entrepreneurial discoveries within the field of circular economy can be realised by undertaking certain measures concerned with value-chain, gap-analysis and stakeholder analysis. These experiences are important guidelines in the implementation of circular economy in the Baltic Sea Region.
As expressed by Richard Sjölund, Chair of the BSC Climate and Energy Working Group, who monitored the seminar, “I see the seminar as a perfect illustration of how the smart specialisation processes function in the field of circular economy with transnational learning, as foreseen in the Lars-project. The quadruple-helix, with in particular interaction between the public sector and consumers’ organisations, is of vital importance when enhancing circular economy”.