The CPMR’s Baltic Sea Commission (BSC), together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and in close cooperation with the European Commission, is organising the 8th EUSBSR Annual Forum in Berlin on 13 – 14 June.

More than 850 participants are registered to attend this high profile event, with a wide range of speakers discussing key issues for the area. 


The Baltic Sea Commission is organising three seminars during the forum:

Policy as a driver for Regional Development?’

The purpose of the seminar is to highlight the link between regional development and transnational cooperation, in the framework of the EUSBSR, Cohesion Policy, Sustainable Development Goals and Smart Specialisation Strategies.

Focus question: How can regions and regional stakeholders benefit from transnational cooperation and use the EUSBSR, SDGs, Cohesion Policy and Smart Specialisation Strategies to drive development?

Time: 13th June, 15.15 – 16.45
Venue: Lesehof/library

‘Macro-regional strategies – what’s in it for Cohesion Policy?’ (co-organised with DG Regio)

The success of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) relies on an optimal use of existing financial sources, a better implementation of existing legislation and better use of existing institutions. In the absence of dedicated funding sources to implement EUSBSR projects and processes, it is essential to mobilise existing European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) for the implementation of the EUSBSR. The Interact programme, providing support services to macro-regional strategies, has recently launched a study on the “Added value of macro-regional strategies: project and programme perspective”.

A year ago, a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Managing Authorities’ (MA) Network was set-up, which aims to work out ways of more efficient financial support to EUSBSR implementation. Similar networks have also emerged – on a voluntary basis – for the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), which underlines the desire for cooperation across regions and programmes in the Baltic Sea region. The ERDF MA network initially focusses on transnational collaboration in the field of innovation. A first ‘pilot’, under the lead of the EUSBSR Policy Area “Innovation” and the region of Västerbotten (SE), has elaborated macro-regional collaboration proposals in the field of Clean-tech.

Time: 13th June, 17.00 – 18.30
Venue: Weltsaal

‘Looking towards 2030: Next Steps for Preparing the Baltic Sea Region for the Future’ (co-organised with Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth and Baltic Development Forum)

In an ever-changing world, what do we really need to do to meet the challenges facing the Baltic Sea Region? This seminar expands the discussion, focusing on the Baltic Sea Region’s main challenges up until 2030, started at the Annual Forum 2016 in Stockholm. The discussions were based on the foresight study “Looking towards 2030: Preparing the Baltic Sea Region for the Future”.

The seminar specifically addresses the issues facing the Baltic Sea Region in a ‘post-globalised’ world of Brexit, Trump and slowing growth (outlined in a paper on ‘post-globalisation’ drafted by Dr Ketels specifically for the seminar). What does this mean for a region dominated by small open economics in terms of regional integration as a means to meet future challenges and influence the future development of Europe. As economies reliant on international trade, how does macro-regional integration further the ability of small open economies to engage in trade and wield influence in a post-globalised world?

During this seminar, we will deepen and develop the discussions on the recommendations of the study by focussing on MUST and SHOULD categories in light of the developments outlined above, add the findings from the post-globalisation paper and focus on the implications for policy development and implementation in relation to concrete action.

Time: 14th June, 13.45 – 15.15
Venue: Weltsaal


Region Norrbotten and Regional council of Oulu are organising:

‘Connect the Baltic with the Arctic! How to unlock potential for sustainable growth’

How can the Baltic Sea Region benefit from the sustainable development of the Arctic? By pinpointing potential for sustainable growth in the northernmost parts of the Baltic Sea Region through innovation and digitalization, we are discussing the need for increased multi-level governance, macro-regional strategies that interlink and create synergies, as well as connecting the two sea basins through both transport- and digital infrastructure.

Time: 14th June, 10.45 – 12.15
Venue: Konrad-Adenauer-Saal


Policy area transport of the EUSBSR, in close cooperation with the three transport flagships projects TENTacle, NSB Core, Scandria®2Act, are organising:

‘Regional cooperation to connect regions to the TEN-T corridors’

The seminar will point out the benefits of the TEN-T CNC implementation in the BSR in terms of connectivity by following three key themes:

  • Urban nodes: interfaces of the CNC and engines for regional growth and innovation
  • Inclusive approach to the CNC dialogue, including the access to the peripheral and remote areas
  • Spatial vision on corridor development as a unifying element of stakeholder cooperation

Time: 14th June, 13.45 – 15.15
Venue: Besucherzentrum 1 + 2


Members of the CPMR Baltic Sea Commission will be speaking at more of the seminars and sessions than the ones featured in this article. Read the whole programme here:

See you in Berlin!