Thursday, 19 September 2019 08:48

Regions as the engine for thriving cooperation around the Baltic Sea

Written by  Marta Czarnecka-Gallas

The 27th BSSSC Annual Conference in Klaipeda will tackle several important issues underlined by the EUSBSR. It’s going to be a vital meeting of representatives from central, local and regional governments, NGOs and academia.

Regions are very important in development all around Europe

The meeting will serve as an example of the fact that there are so many different parts in the Baltic sea region which are destined to become a “single family’.

Current BSSSC President, Roger Ryberg, underlined on the eve of the conference that regions are very important in development all around Europe: they are getting more and more involved in economic development, democratic transition and youth issues, to name a few. BSSSC is among the first organisations that take youth challenges very serious.

Regional cooperation is particularly valuable at times, when the EU’s sub-regional cooperation within the EUSBSR is under revision and when some of traditional Baltic cooperation frameworks have lost momentum.

There are a lot of networks in the regional cooperation; however, sometimes the work done is not well coordinated, and the undertakings, even if very needed and innovative, do not have the expected impact. The BSSSC’s authorities question the need of so many networks and too many strategies. Besides, multiplicity doesn’t add anything specific to the EUSBSR.

Roger Ryberg admitted that when he started the chairmanship, he used almost six months to understand the roles and functions of numerous cooperative networks in Baltic Sea Region, as there are many organisations with their goals, structures, etc.

And it is still not quite clear, he added, how many national regions are taking part in these organizational structures. Without a clear picture, we cannot reduce bureaucracy and put more money into solving the real issues.

However, the most important thing is that there are more good professional people working in this system on the regional side.


Having youth aboard is very important

Certainly, one of the things that BSSSC mastered and could export as its best practice to other cooperation networks (not only in the Baltic Sea Region) is getting a profound youth involvement. Within the BSSSC, young people from all regions are given the platform to discuss the things the representatives are talking about, and they are given the opportunities to have an impact on the discussions, resolutions, etc.

"Looking into the elections across the regions we see two trends: that there are those voting for right-wing parties, generally because they feel not included in the society; and the other trend, those who see the importance of the green solutions, screaming out loud about climate change and looking for fast actions. When we speak to youth, we see that similar discussions happen in every Baltic Sea country. Besides, young people around Europe want to take part, they propose solutions, so politicians have to take the youth engagement seriously. This is why we put quite a lot of money to support the youth initiatives, for example the Baltic Youth Camp (organized just before the 10th Annual Forum of EUSBSR in Gdańsk in June 2019).  Modern youth is very active: young people are motivated and full of potential for actions; so having youth aboard is very important," concludes Mr Ryberg.


The Annual conference of Baltic Sea States sub-regional co-operation (BSSSC, 18-20 September in Klaipeda) is devoted to sustainable maritime economy. Representatives of all Baltic States will exchange knowledge and develop joint trans-regional initiatives in order to contribute to the goals of EU Strategy for Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR).

Read 1566 times Last modified on Friday, 20 September 2019 12:02