At the 23rd General Assembly of the CPMR Baltic Sea Commission, held on 16 May in Oulu, member regions adopted a political declaration in light of the negotiations on the future of the EU budget and policies, and ahead of the revision of the Action Plan of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR).

The political declaration conveys messages aimed at EU decisions-makers and stakeholders, with a particular focus on a strong post-2020 EU budget delivering sustainable regional growth and a more resilient EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

The Oulu declaration calls for:

  • Reinforcement of the multilevel governance of the EUSBSR
  • Stronger synergies between the EUSBSR and Cohesion Policy
  • Interregional cooperation to be fostered in Smart Specialisation Strategies
  • A stronger maritime dimension in EU policies
  • Reinforcement of connectivity and accessibility in the Baltic Sea Region

CPMR news


Jari Nahkanen, member of the board in the Regional Council of Oulu and newly elected President of the CPMR Baltic Sea Commission, stressed the further commitment to the EUSBSR and transnational cooperation in his final speech of the General Assembly. He also stressed that if local and regional stakeholders are to take further ownership of the strategy, multi-level governance and adequate funding programmes are a nescessity:

“According to preliminary information, existing internal cross border programmes could be merged which is very worrying. Regions are part of the governing structure and the projects funded are enabling local and regional stakeholders to link their own regional development with stakeholders from other countries. A necessity in the fields of transport, innovation and environment.

If we want to achieve a stronger ownership and more action on local and regional level for the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, these programmes are important. The transnational programmes are different in nature. At its worst a merger could leave subregional level cooperation without funding”.

Read the Oulu Declaration here.


40380073110 582d4e53a1 zPhoto by CPMR Baltic Sea Commission

More photos from the General Assembly available on Flickr.


On 18th May the European Commission published the results of the 2018 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). The Baltic Sea region is the leading area in digitalisation as Denmark, Sweden and Finland form the top three followed by Estonia on the 9th place.


DESI aims to monitor the performance of Member States in digital connectivity, digital skills online activity, the digitisation of businesses and digital public services. It also helps EU countries to discuss their economic and budget plans and oversee progress at specific times throughout the year.

Increasing number of the Europeans use the internet to communicate. The highest increase in the use of internet services is related to telephone and video calls. Almost half of Europeans use the internet to make calls and it is almost a 20% increase compared to last year.

By the Digital Economy and Society Index, the EU is getting more digital, but progress remains unequal between different Member States even though EU has tried especially to improve digital growth. Europe’s development is insufficient and it has a major challenge to catch up the global leader. This calls for new investments in digital economy and society and a quick realization of the Digital Single Market.

Read the whole article at the Commission's website.


The 9th Annual Forum of European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region will take place on 4–5 June in Tallinn Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel), which will host nearly 700 participants from Estonia and Europe. The main topic to be discussed is the Baltic Sea region after the year 2020.

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At the Forum the study "EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region after 2020" commissioned by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be introduced. The study analyses the activity of networks and projects of the EUSBSR and the effectiveness of fulfilling the goals of the Strategy.

Additionally, the Forum will discuss the contribution of the Strategy to improving the condition of the Baltic Sea ecosystem and will be looking for possibilities to develop the region as a global digital centre. 21 thematic seminars will be held at the Forum in the key areas of the strategy, for example the protection of the sea environment, safety, energy and transportation sector and digital development of the region.

"The EUSBSR Annual Forum will look for solutions to the three goals of the Strategy: how to improve the living environment of the Baltic Sea, unite the Baltic Sea region and increase its well-being. I can personally assure that the governments of the Baltic Sea countries are co-operating in order to promote a sustainable, inclusive and environment-preserving economy“ states Sven Mikser, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia.

Preceding the EUSBSR Annual Forum, co-organisers Baltic Development Forum will host their 20th Annual Summit – Time for a BSR 2.0? Join leading experts, politicians and researchers from 09:15 on 4th June to discuss the latest political and economic analysis of the Baltic Sea Region, and gain an insight into what’s next for the Region. View the programme here.

You can register for BDF Annual Summit by marking your attendance on the Annual Forum registration form.

Registration available at the event website.


The Annual Forum is organized by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Baltic Development Forum and other partners in co-operation with the European Commission. The Annual Forum is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund programme Interreg Baltic Sea Region.


The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and its work with innovation and smart specialisation are discussed in a seminar in Oslo, Norway on 25 April 2018.

The seminar aims at giving input to the regional reform process in Norway and highlighting smart specialisation and the experiences with S3-strategies in the Baltic Sea region. One purpose is also to inform Norwegian actors’ possibilities for more active engagement and participation on the arenas and in concrete project activities in the Baltic Sea Region.

The seminar is targeted to representatives from Norwegian regions working with regional planning and development, international cooperation and actors involved in innovation, digitalisation and smart specialisation from national and regional level in Norway. However, participants from the whole Baltic Sea Region are welcome to join.

Find more information about the programme and registration link available here.


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The seminar is organised in the framework of the "Let's communicate!" project. One of the tasks of the project is to promote the EUSBSR in Norway. 

Is your organisation participating in an EU project or a flagship within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region? Would you like to cooperate with Russia or the EU Eastern Partnership countries? Organisations based in Sweden can apply for funding from the Swedish Institute.

The Swedish Institute has opened a call to offer Swedish actors support for the inclusion of actors from Russia or the countries of the EU Eastern Partnership in a current EU project or a flagship within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

The funding aims at creating conditions for mutual and long-term cooperation between actors in Sweden and other EU countries in the Baltic Sea Region as well as Russia and the countries of the EU's Eastern Partnership. The goal is also that the programme countries will receive increased knowledge about and access to EU structures and networks. This will strengthen the opportunities for long-term international cooperation as well as give ongoing EU projects / flagships a broader approach and a new dimension.


Basic facts:

  • The call closes 17 April 2018.
  • The main applicant has to be based in Sweden.
  • The application must include at least two actors in two different countries eligible for support, one of which is Sweden (as main applicant).
  • The application must be linked to a current EU project where one of the parties involved is the Swedish applicant. Alternatively, the application may be linked to a flagship under the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region where the Swedish applicant is involved.
  • A project may run for no longer than 2 years.
  • A project can apply for up to SEK 350.000 for a 1-year project and up to SEK 700.000 for a 2-year project.
  • The funding is available for actors from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russian Federation, Sweden and Ukraine.


More information in Swedish / in English


Contacts at the Swedish Institute:

Annika Claesson, +46 8 453 78 58, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Katrine Larsen, +46 8 453 79 62, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Camilla Wristel, +46 8 453 79 67, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Vilnius Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, organized a seminar on the issues of implementation and communication of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) and its importance. This macro-regional strategy addresses the challenges of the prosperity, transport, ecology and security of the region.


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 The seminar "Baltic Sea Region Strategy in Lithuania: Own or Foreign" was organised on March 9 2018 in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania. In the seminar, it was emphasised that cooperation between different actors is necessary for succesful implementation of the EUSBSR. It is also important to spread information and share examples of good practices and succes stories. International cooperation was recognised as a mean to achieve more and better results for the region.


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During the seminar, there was active discussion on possibilites of different actors to contribute to the implementation and promotion of the EUSBSR. In addtion, some issues and difficulties were highlighted, for example, how to improve the involvement of municipalities in the implementation of the Strategy.

In conclusion, all participants generally agreed that it is necessary to publicize achieved results and raise awareness of the EUSBSR in Lithuania, both in public and private sectors.


Read more about the seminar in the press release attached.

Download this file (Press release VCCIC.docx)Press release VCCIC.docx[Vilnius Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts Press release]34 kB