Successful 9th Baltic Sea Tourism Forum (BSTF) was closed on 20th October with the adoption of the participants Forum Declaration and greetings of the 2017 BSTF host region Turku, Finland.

On 19-20 October 2016 around 160 tourism stakeholders gathered in Pärnu, Estonia to discuss the many aspects of seasonality and sustainability and to meet with their peers. The Forum was organized by the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Tourist Board, EUSBSR Policy Area Tourism, Tartu University | Pärnu College and the City of Pärnu. Keynotes, panel discussions and interactive workshops were used to meet the needs of the various stakeholders groups, including private businesses interested in transnational cooperation and exchange.

Moreover, the Forum attracted back-to-back meetings of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference Working Group on “Sustainable Tourism” and the Steering Group of Policy Area Tourism. In addition, the Forum organizers seized the opportunity to meet with representatives from the Council of the Baltic Sea States to discuss further options of Baltic Sea cooperation.

During the discussions it was suggested to not define sustainable tourism as a distinct field of tourism, but to rather think of all tourism in a more sustainable manner. In addition, the participants were advised to seize the UNWTO’s 2017 Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development as an opportunity to jointly further sustainable tourism development in the Baltic Sea region, also against the background of the Baltic 2030 process, a process of renewed commitment to sustainable development initiated by the member states of the Council of the Baltic Sea States in June 2016. Reinvigorating the Strategy for Sustainable Tourism in the Baltic Sea region would be a first step to take.

Find the Forum Declaration below.

For more information and Forum material, see the event website.

Download this file (9_BSTF_Declaration_final.pdf)Baltic Sea Tourism Forum Declaration[ ]311 kB

The Newsletter for the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region has been revived!

Subscribe to the Newsletter on the front page of the EUSBSR website.

The newsletter of October 2016 launches the new project "Let's communicate!" as the communication point of the EUSBSR. The project continues the work done previously by Interact Office Turku. Read more about the project objectives and partnership in the new blog section, Highlights, on our website.

In the newsletter also information about the EUSBSR Strategy Forum in November and Macroregional Matchmaking sessions organized during the Forum.

Read the newsletter here.




EUSBSR Policy Area Innovation has launched a strategy guide, 2016–2020, which aims to put the EUSBSR Action Plan into practice within the policy area of innovation.

As defined by the Action Plan of the EUSBSR, Policy Area Innovation is essentially about intelligently combining the regional strengths, competences, research and development (R&D) and players of the entire Baltic Sea Region. The aim of this strategy guide is to provide policymakers and innovation actors with guidance and inspiration for how to best utilize the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region so as to effectively achieve EU and joint national goals.

You can download and get more information about the strategy guide here

Forside Strategy Guide


EUSBSR Policy Area Tourism has initiated a discussion paper series. It aims at improving the dialogue and exchange between tourism stakeholders in the Baltic Sea region, particularly those who are actively engaged or interested in transnational cooperation in tourism matters.

The first paper “Transnational Destination Branding for the BSR – Political Aspiration and Practical Application” is the first tangible result of strategic discussions within the Steering Group concerning the potential for joint actions. The paper discusses the reasons for transnational branding of the Baltic Sea Region and analyses the preconditions for such activities.

Read the discussion paper in the attachment below.

Ulf Wikström WP 000052Picture by Ulf Wikström

More information on Policy Area Tourism on its website.


”Let’s communicate!” project presents:


Meet your EUSBSR-match in Creative Lounge of the Strategy Forum 2016!


Feedback from previous EUSBSR Annual Forums suggests that participants wish more networking and meeting new people. Macroregional matchmaking allows you to “speed network” with many people to find out whether you have a future in cooperation.


-          3 thematical sessions – participate in one or all of them!

-          2 minutes for each pair to introduce themselves to each other.

-          1 goal: the more familiar faces, the more cooperation opportunities!

So grab your business cards and come to meet your match for future cooperation!

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See Strategy Forum and Creative Lounge programme on

More information about Macroregional Matchmaking sessions from "Let's communicate!" project coordinator miitta.eronen(a)


In 2016 Interact launched the study ‘Added value of macro-regional cooperation: collecting practice examples (cases)’. One of the steps within the study is to call upon a small focus group to test preliminary conclusions and recommendations made.

Thus the aim of the focus group is to debate draft results of the Study and recommendations of how programmes and projects can make better use of the added value that macro-regional strategies offer to them.

The focus group is scheduled for Thursday, 27 October 2016 to be held in Brussels.

More information and the registration form are available if you click here.

In case of any questions, please contact Dr This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Dr This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Commission has taken the initiative to push the strategic transnational cooperation in order to implement the Baltic Blue Growth Agenda.

The first step will be an online survey that will be launched soon. Based on the outcome there will be four interactive workshops in early 2017. All these activities are aiming at developing an implementation strategy for the Blue Growth in The Baltic Sea area. The strategy should be finalised during 2017.

More information about the planned processes is described in the attached document.

The first call for the Interreg Baltic Sea Region seed money opened 21 September 2016. Interested applicants are welcome to submit their applications until the 28 October 2016.

Seed money is funding provided by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme to support the preparation of projects in line with the Action Plan of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). With seed money support projects can be prepared for any funding source available in the region.

The seed money project applications are first evaluated by the EUSBSR Policy Area and Horizontal Action Coordinators after which applications can be submitted to the Interreg BSR Programme. Final selection of seed money projects is done by the Monitoring Committee of the Programme by May 2017.

More information on Interreg BSR Programme's website.


The Russian Federation has made some EUR 4 million available to finance the participation of Russian organisations in the current second call for applications of Interreg Baltic Sea Region.

At the same time, negotiations on EU financing for Russian organisations are still ongoing. Ideally, Russian national funds and EU funds will be combined. If the Financing Agreement comes late for the current call, project partners can count on Russian national funding administered by the Managing Authority.

More information on Interreg BSR Programme's website.


A new and extended version of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Clean Shipping Guide has been released in both electronic and print form. The publication, aimed at all mariners at sea, gives a concise and easily understandable overview of the regional environmental and safety of navigation measures applied in the Baltic Sea to maritime traffic.
The focus of the Baltic Sea Clean Shipping Guide is on commercial shipping which have to comply with the rules of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). However, some of the material are also relevant for smaller ships such as fishing boats, working vessels and pleasure craft. Even if specific coastal countries or ports may have deviating practices, the content should represent the regional best practice.
The guide can be downloaded if you click here.