“No new funding” is one of the founding principles of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. Instead, the existing funding schemes and programmes should be used more effectively.

As cooperating transnationally is crucial for the implementation of the EUSBSR objective, the EU structural funds should better enable transnational components in the projects funded. To answer this need a network of ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) Managing Authorities has been established. The ERDF MA-network is aiming at increasing the geographical flexibility of ERDF structural funds, to better contribute to the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

The network was established in Warsaw on 19 May 2016. Only a year later it has already initiated a pilot project called “Cleaner Growth”. The objective of the pilot is to develop transnational collaboration proposals to help regions implementing smart specialisation strategies focusing on cleantech. The pilot project and the work of the ERDF MA-network was communicated widely for the first time in the 8th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR on 13-14 June 2017.

The pioneering project collaboration between existing ERDF-funded projects should begin during the autumn 2017. PA Innovation and the ERDF MA-network will inform about the process.

Find more information on the topic on the presentation of Niclas Forsling in the Annual Forum session “Macro-regional Strategies – What’s in it for Cohesion Policy?”

Policy Area Innovation of the EUSBSR is strongly involved in the process of the ERDF MA-network and the pilot project initiative. A blog on the ERDF MA-network can be read on PA Innovation’s website.

Contact PA Innovation Coordinators for more information.

Photos from the 8th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region are available on the EUSBSR Flickr account. Photos can be used in non-commercial contexts as long as the photographer is accredited.

AFPhotos by Bernd Fiehöfer

Find the photos here.

The EUSBSR Flickr account serves as a photo stock for EUSBSR related contexts. It is administered by Let's communicate project.

During the 8th EUSBSR Annual Forum many new and interesting publications concerning the developments in the Baltic Sea region came out.

Political state of the region report was published by Baltic Development Forum with the title "External earthquakes, internal adaptation? Brexit, Trump and the Baltic Sea region". In the report six young researchers have written about the impact of Brexit and Trump in thier field of research. It is concluded in the report that

" [...] multilateral cooperation around the Baltic Sea remains important for the region’s development and prosperity. Regional cooperation however, needs to adapt and adjust constantly to external circumstances. Hard security cooperation has become more important, but it falls outside the traditional formats of regional cooperation. Traditional formats and themes of regional cooperation should not be neglected, which could provide a certain sense of regional stability in unstable and uncertain times."

Read the Political State of the Region report on BDF's website.

Future 2030

Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth together with Baltic Development Forum published a report "The Future of Europe and Globalization: Where is the Voice of the Baltic Sea Region?" The report is a follow-up for the "Vision 2030" report published in the Annual Forum in November 2016. A lot has happened in six months and thus the Baltic Sea region should take stock of the latest developments in discussing how to prepare to the future. The authors of the report, Dr. Christian Ketels and Dr. David Skilling, conclude that 

"[t]he Baltic Sea Region is facing changing circumstances in Europe and the global economy that have the potential to negatively impact its future prosperity. We see in this difficult situation an opportunity for the Region and the countries within it to act rather than only adapt. It can influence the future of European Integration, and has an important contribution to make to the discussions happening right now across Europe. It can prepare for changes in the global economy, and maybe even influence the choices that are being made shaping it. In both of these areas much of the action required is national in nature. But collaboration in the Region can accompany these efforts, by providing a platform to learn from each other and by joint action that can affect the context in which the countries from the Region operate."

Read the report here.

The European Commission took the 2017 Annual Forum as an opportinity to publish a report "Towards an implementation strategy for the Sustainable Blue Growth Agenda for the Baltic Sea Region". The report presents the results of a systematic stakeholder dialogue in the region. Initiated by the European Commission in September 2016, the aim of the dialogue was to identify and discuss in greater depth the processes necessary to realise the Baltic Blue Growth Agenda in the coming years. The Sustainable Blue Growth Agenda for the Baltic Sea Region itself was adopted by the Commission already in 2014.

"This stakeholder dialogue process has raised attention and interest in the Baltic Blue Growth Agenda among many stakeholders throughout the BSR. The process has created four positive and realistic visions for where the BSR could be in 13 years time in each of the four selected thematic areas."

Read more about the visions and the drivers and next steps to reach them by downloading the report on the Commission's website.

The 8th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region was organised in Berlin on 13-14 June 2017 by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany. The theme of the Forum wasconnectivity.

Read more: Connectivity of the Baltic Sea region discussed in the 8th EUSBSR Annual Forum

After opening the Smart Regions 2.0 Conference on 1st June in Helsinki, Commissioners Corina Cretu and Jyrki Katainen visited a Flagship project of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) in Helsinki.

The project "ChemSAR", funded by the transnational Interreg Baltic Sea Region programme, aims at creating uniform operational plans and standard operational procedures across the Baltic Sea Region to save human lives in maritime incidents.

ChemSAR visited by Commissioners

Read more: EU Commissioners Corina Cretu and Jyrki Katainen visit EUSBSR flagship

Let's communicate! project is the communication point of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. The project is strongly involved in the programme and communications of the 8th Annual Forum in Berlin on 13-14 June.

Read more: Get funded! Join a session on funding in the Annual Forum

In Interreg Programmes new transnational projects have been granted with funding. Most of the projects strongly support the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). 

Read more: Projects supporting the EUSBSR approved in Interreg programmes


PolandOn 25th May 2017 in Warsaw, the seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, the 12th Meeting of Poland’s Working Team on EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea region was held.

The meeting was attended by over 40 people related to the Strategy, representing resorts, governmental institutions, academic entities, international and non-governmental organisations and other institutions.

It was also attended by the Co-ordinators of EUSBSR Policy Areas Safe, Secure and Health, who presented their ambitions and plans, exemplary Flagship projects, opportunities for Polish institutions and the support they offer.

During the meeting, the most important issues related to the implementation of the Strategy were mentioned, among others, the Conclusions of the Council on the implementation of macroregional strategies, the adoption of the new Action Plan of the EUSBSR and the upcoming EUSBSR Forum in Berlin.

The meeting was organised by the EUSBSR National Co-ordinator Joanna Wojtkowska, as well as Kamila Wojsznis and Grzegorz Szopiński, all representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.


Good news for all interested parties, who want to participate in the 8th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR and the 19th BDF Summit on 13 - 14 June 2017 in the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin!

The registration time period has been extended by one week. Registration will be available until 2nd June 2017. You may register under the following link: https://eusbsrforum.de/ostsee/guest/

The Federal Foreign Office is looking forward to welcoming you in Berlin!

More information about the Annual Forum Programme on the event website.

On April 27, around eighty participants attended a seminar in Oslo about value creation in culture, cultural heritage and creative industries through Baltic Sea Region cooperation.

The seminar “Value creation focusing on culture, cultural heritage and creative industries” was held in Oslo as part of the "Let's Communicate!" project. The seminar was organized by Eastern Norway County Network and BSSSC in close cooperation with the Norwegian Arts Council and the Directorate for Cultural Heritage.

Read more: Increasing prosperity in the Baltic Sea region through culture?