Press release: EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region - 7th Strategy Forum to discuss the future of the region and a desired vision for 2030

The 7th Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) starts on Tuesday 8th November in Stockholm.
Corina Creţu, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Stefan Löfven Prime Minister of Sweden, Juha Sipilä, Prime Minister of Finland who holds the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers, and representatives from the eight countries participating in EUSBSR will discuss during the 2 days how best to drive the region forward.

Corina Creţu, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy said: "For seven years now, the EU Baltic Strategy, the first macro-regional strategy ever, has enabled cooperation on challenges which cannot be addressed at national level: clean and safe shipping, climate change adaptation and improved transport networks, to name a few, but more needs to be done. In particular, renewed and constant political commitment, efficient pooling of resources and communication efforts to show the value added of the Strategy".

Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden added: "The Strategy Forum in Stockholm will focus on the future with a vision 2030 for the Baltic Sea Region. I believe that our region can provide an encouraging example to others of how to co-operate around the UN Agenda 2030. By cooperating we make sure that our region stays competitive, environmentally friendly and creates jobs for the future.”

Juha Sipilä, Prime Minister of Finland said: “The Nordic Council of Ministers supports a transition away from the fossil fuel dependency of our societies and towards a sustainable bio-based economy in the Baltic Sea Region. In my vision of the Baltic Sea Region in 2030, the region will be a world leader in the circular economy and the bioeconomy, and this will have led to a much cleaner Baltic Sea and helped in mitigating climate change.”

The discussions will focus on future challenges and opportunities for the Baltic Sea Region and a vision for 2030. In more than 40 sessions and seminars over 1,200 participants will discuss how the Strategy can contribute to development within its three objectives: Save the Sea, Connect the Region, and Increase Prosperity.

The Strategy Forum is the most important yearly event for the EUSBSR, and is hosted by Sweden together with the Nordic Council of Ministers and in close cooperation with the European Commission. Stakeholders from the private sector, national and regional governments, civil society, academia and media are expected to participate.

This is the 7th edition, after those organised in Estonia (2010), Poland (2011), Denmark (2012), Lithuania (2013), Finland (2014) and Latvia (2015). The 8th Strategy Forum will be held in Germany on 13-14 June 2017.

General Background
The EUSBSR is the first EU macro-regional strategy launched in 2009. The Strategy unites eight EU Member States (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden) representing 80 million inhabitants or nearly 16% of the EU population.Inspired by the Baltic Sea Region model, other EU macro-regional strategies have emerged since then, in the Danube region (2011), the Adriatic Ionian region (2014) and the Alpine region (2015). Today 19 out of 28 EU Member States are covered by EU macro-regional strategies.
Examples of actions and projects under the EUSBSR:
DiveSMART Baltic, created following the Costa Concordia accident in 2012, attempts to prepare divers for cooperation across the Baltic Sea Region in  case of accidents. With coordination and a common understanding of procedures and diving competences, solid and endurable search and rescue operations can be established in the Baltic Sea, making it a safer place to travel, live and work.
PRESTO tackled eutrophication which is the main environmental problem of the Baltic Sea. It contributed to improvement of quality of local waters and the Baltic Sea by reducing nutrient load through transnational investments, education and awareness rising.
TENTacle aims to foster clean, multimodal transport through the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Core Network Corridor regions to increase connectivity and competitiveness, while at the same time minimising the negative environmental impact caused by transport activities.
SUBMARINER Network promotes cooperation and innovative approaches to the sustainable use of marine resources in the Baltic Sea region.
Baltic Training Programme stimulates business development and integration in the Baltic Sea region through promotion of closer cooperation between companies and students. 
For more examples of ongoing and completed flagships projects:

Further information
EU Macro-Regional Strategies
@eusbsr @EU_regional #EUSBSR