EUSBSR History

The 2009 Action Plan presents the first set of priority areas that were identified in the preparation of the EUSBSR.

The 15 priority areas represented the main areas where EUSBSR could contribute to improvements. To ease analysis, the priority areas were further divided into four thematic ‘pillars’.

Coordination of each priority area was allocated to a Member State, and the implementation was to be done in close contact with the Commission, with the involvement of stakeholders, including Regional and Local Authorities, Inter-Governmental and Non-Governmental Bodies (AP 2009, p. 3).

The Action Plan explained the detailed actions, through which the priority areas were to be implemented. It also presented examples of flagship projects with high significance for the implementation of the actions.

In addition to the priority areas, the Action Plan proposed 10 horizontal actions, which were to contribute to the development of territorial cohesion. The Action Plan also highlighted the importance of constructive cooperation with external partners in the region, in particular Russia (AP 2009, p. 3).


Priority areas divided into pillars:

To make the Baltic Sea Region an environmentally sustainable place

1. To reduce nutrient inputs to the sea to acceptable levels

2. To preserve natural zones and biodiversity, including fisheries

3. To reduce the use and impact of hazardous substances

4. To become a model region for clean shipping

5. To mitigate and adapt to climate change


To make the Baltic Sea Region a prosperous place

6. To remove hindrances to the internal market in the Baltic Sea Region including to improve cooperation in the customs and tax area

7. To exploit the full potential of the region in research and innovation

8. Implementing the Small Business Act: to promote entrepreneurship, strengthen SMEs and increase the efficient use of human resources

9. To reinforce sustainability of agriculture, forestry and fisheries 


To make the Baltic Sea Region an accessible and attractive place

10. To improve the access to, and the efficiency and security of the energy markets

11. To improve internal and external transport links

12. To maintain and reinforce attractiveness of the Baltic Sea Region in particular through education, tourism and health


To make the Baltic Sea Region a safe and secure place

13. To become a leading region in maritime safety and security

14. To reinforce protection from major emergencies at sea and on land

15. To decrease the volume of, and harm done by, cross border crime


Horizontal actions

1. Align available funding and policies to the priorities and actions of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region

2. Cooperate on the transposition of EU Directives

3. Develop integrated maritime governance structures in the Baltic Sea region

4. Become a pilot project in implementing the Marine Strategy Framework Directive

5. Encourage the use of Maritime Spatial Planning in all Member States around the Baltic Sea and develop a common approach for cross-border cooperation

6. Develop and complete Land-based Spatial Planning

7. Transform successful pilot and demonstration projects into full-scale actions

8. Use research as a base for policy decisions

9. Define and implement the Baltic Sea basin component of the European Marine Observation Data Network (EMODNET) and improve socio-economic data

10. Build a regional identity