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Working meeting on the implementation of the EUSBSR

The Second Alignment Meeting on Implementation of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region was held in Gdansk, Poland on 16-17 February 2011. More than 160 representatives of the national and regional programmes, the European Commission, Priority Area Coordinators, Horizontal Action Leaders and the National Contact Points of the EUSBSR participated in the meeting. The newly appointed priority area coordinators and national contact points of the Danube Strategy were also invited to take part and learn from the experience gained in the implementation of the Baltic Sea Strategy. The discussions in the different workshops led to many common conclusions. Participants reiterated the need for more commitment on all levels (both political and working), for a better dissemination of information and knowledge to all actors, for a coherent and joint approach in promoting the Strategy, and for designing a more appropriate political framework, as well as a better coordination with programmes in the next programming period.

The EUSBSR and the EU 2020 goals

One aim of the Strategy is to contribute to the region's ability to fulfil the EU 2020 goals of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. To discuss and develop the links between the two strategies, a seminar on Smart Growth will be held in Malmö on April 5/6 (see below for registration). Moreover, the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Baltic Development Forum and INTERACT will organise a seminar on Green Growth in Riga on May 5/6, in cooperation with DG Regional Policy. More information will follow shortly on the Strategy website.

DG Regional Policy to start drafting the 2011 Annual Report

To respond to the Council's request, and to provide a good basis for the discussions during the upcoming Polish EU Presidency, the Commission has requested reports from all the various actors directly involved in the implementation of the Strategy by 15 March. Based on these reports, the Commission intends to publish its first formal report on the implementation of the EUSBSR by 30 June 2011.

Preparations for the 2011 Annual Forum in Gdansk

Together with the Baltic Development Forum (BDF), representatives of the upcoming Polish EU Presidency and the Pomorskie Region, the Commission has started to prepare the 2011 Annual Forum of the Strategy, which will take place in Gdansk on 24-26 October. This year's Forum will be held jointly with the BDF Annual Summit and will be attended by decision-makers from business, politics, international organisations and academia. The event will consist of a mix of plenary sessions and thematic working groups, where the Strategy's Priority Areas, Horizontal Actions and Flagship Projects will have ample opportunities to present their work.

Meeting of Priority Area Coordinators, Horizontal Action Leaders, National Contact Points and

Commission Services

DG REGIO has invited the main actors responsible for the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region as well as experts from various Directorates-General of the Commission to meet in Brussels on 14-15 March.

The principal objectives of this working meeting are:
1) to discuss future evaluation of the Strategy and in particular to consider the adoption and/or elaboration of targets as this is the case for the EU Strategy for the Danube Region;
2) to develop clearer guidelines for the role of the Priority Area Coordinators, Horizontal Action Leaders and National Contact Points as well as to exchange good practice;
3) to reflect on the communication of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region to all the stakeholders;
4) to strenghten cross-sectoral and cross-cutting links between different Priority Areas and Horizotal Actions.

We hope it will be a fruitful meeting, bringing new ideas for the future and solutions to present challenges.



Discussions with Russia on areas of joint interest

Even if the EUSBSR is an internal Strategy for the EU the importance of having the neighbouring countries including Russia involved in a constructive way has always been a key factor in securing a successful implementation. The Northern Dimension has served as the primary framework for the external part of the Strategy, but also other channels such as the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS) have been used. Through this dialogue there has been a number of concrete areas indentified that are of common interest and that could serve as pilot areas to deepen the cooperation. The areas include topics such as safety at sea, youth co-operation, co-operation between Universities, fight against trafficking in human beings etc. The Russian Government and the Commission will now jointly come up with concrete ideas on how to take the co-operation in these areas further in a concrete and hands on way.

This agenda is for the convenience of readers. Events listed here are not necessarily endorsed by the European Commission and are the responsibility of the respective organisers.
5-6 April 2011Smart specialisation and growth in the Baltic Sea Region (Malmö, Sweden) 
5-6 May 2011Green Growth in the Baltic Sea Region, organised by the Nordic Council of Ministers, BDF and INTERACT in cooperation with the Commission - save the date! (Riga, Latvia)