Developing the Baltic Sea Region is at the core of the EU funding Programme Interreg Baltic Sea Region. Among other things the Programme provides direct support to the coordination of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR).
Strengthening the implementation of the EUSBSR and ensuring cooperation with the neighbouring countries of the Baltic Sea macro region are important aims of Interreg Baltic Sea Region. Support to the coordination of the macro-regional cooperation is one of the Programme’s priorities .
Since 2014, the Programme offers funds to coordinators of the policy areas and horizontal actions defined in the Action Plan of the EUSBSR. These funds are meant to support the coordinator work, i.e. to bring forward policy discussions and to engage policy makers, flagship leaders and others eager to contribute to their region’s development. This week, the Monitoring Committee of Interreg Baltic Sea Region granted EUR 3.54 million for the coordination of all 17 policy areas and horizontal actions.
The Monitoring Committee also supports the partnership “Let’s communicate!” led by the Finnish Centrum Balticum Foundation with some EUR 0.5 million. “Let’s Communicate!” puts the Communication Strategy of the EUSBSR into practice. Throughout the project, coordinators and flagship leaders are equipped with communication tools and encouraged to engage in communication actions. The project applies storytelling techniques to show positive change in the region. One aim is to reach out to those target groups that are not familiar with the EUSBSR.
The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region 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 policy areas. Examples include promoting clean shipping and supporting innovation. The work carried out under each policy area involves stakeholders from various levels (international, national, regional, local) and sectors (public, private, civil society). It is structured around joint actions and can be illustrated by flagships. Each policy area is coordinated by a Policy Area Coordinator (appointed Member State institution or pan-Baltic organisation).
The Strategy also includes horizontal actions which have a more cross-cutting character and are relevant for many objectives and sub-objectives; examples include cooperation on spatial planning or climate change mitigation and adaptation. The aims and approaches of the policy areas and horizontal actions are described in the EUSBSR Action Plan.