How many macro-regional strategies are in Europe?

At the moment there are four macro-regional strategies: EUSBSR (European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region), EUSDR (European Union Strategy for the Danube Region), EUSAIR (European Union Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region and EUSALP (EU Strategy for the Alpine Region). For more information see here.

 

What are the EU member states included in the Strategy?

The EU member states involved in the Strategy are Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. The Strategy is welcoming cooperation also with EU neighbouring countries (Russia, Norway, Belarus).

 

Has an institution been created specifically to manage the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region?

No. The Strategy is implemented by the existing organisations within the concerned regions.

 

Has any new funding been allocated to the Strategy?

No. One of the key points lies on the need to align existing funding to the jointly agreed actions and projects.

 

Has any new regulation been issued for the Strategy?

No. No binding regulations have been created. The "No new legislation" principle is for better linking and coordination of existing policies and also for improving cooperation between different sectors. In general, the Strategy is based on voluntary participation.

 

Are only ETC programmes involved in the Strategy?

No. The Strategy includes programmes under Objectives 1, 2 and 3 of the Cohesion Policy (Convergence, Competitiveness and Employment, Territorial Cooperation)  as well as European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) programmes and other funding instruments e.g. European Investment Bank.

 

What is the role of the programmes in the Strategy?

The programmes can contribute to the overall objectives of the Strategy with their findings and the practical results of the funded projects. All the programmes/funding instruments operating within the macro-region are crucial for an efficient implementation of the Strategy. Based on the experience hitherto, most of the projects within the Strategy are managed by ETC programmes.

 

Is it true that only Flagship Projects can address the challenges of the Strategy?

No. Any project can contribute to the Strategy if it addresses any issue of macro-regional impact.

 

Is the governance system of the Strategy clear enough?

The implementation system of the Strategy is based on a multi-level governance principle where many authority structures interact in the political spectrum. Based on previous experience, there are still issues to be clarified and agreed between the actors of the Strategy. In order to respond to the needs expressed, the Task Force on clarifying the roles and responsibilities for key actors of the Strategy  was set up in June 2011. This was established following the agreement taken by the actors of the Strategy.

 

What stakeholders are important for the success of the Strategy?

The involvement of any stakeholder representing the European Union, national, regional and local levels, different policies and programmes is essential for the success of the Strategy.

 

Is the regional and local level present in the Strategy?

Regional and local level stakeholder representation should be strengthened since they can transfer the macro-regional objectives of the Strategy into regional and local initiatives.

 

Is there a tendency to think that the EU2020 is enough?

Yes. However, the EUSBSR should be seen as a reflection of the EU2020 in the macro-region.