On 16th June, around 40 participants gathered at Norway House in Brussels for a seminar with the title “Baltic Sea Region cooperation in challenging times”. The seminar was an activity within the Let's Communicate project, and the aim was to present Norway's perspective on cooperation in the Baltic Sea region, with a particular focus on the results of the Norwegian Presidency of the CBSS 2021/2022 (please also see the Declaraction from the 19th CBSS Ministerial Session). In addition, a special focus was put on strengthening the strategic and practical cooperation between organisations and networks representing national, local and regional authorities, to better seize the opportunities of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) and its action plan.

Representatives from EU institutions, national delegations as well as regional offices from the Baltic Sea Region in Brussels were invited.

 LC norway meeting 20220616 2

Cooperation is more important than ever

The Norwegian Ambassador to EU, Rolf Einar Fife, opened the seminar. He stated that the Baltic Sea Region is Norway’s closest neighbourhood, with many of the most important political, economic, and military partners. He underlined that close to 40 % of total Norwegian trade in goods and services is conducted with the other nine EU/EEA countries of the region. He also recalled Norway entering its CBSS presidency last July with a programme emphasising cooperation on the green transition, with a focus on innovation and best practice in industry, sustainable transport, clean energy, and the circular economy, - exactly many of the elements of the Green Deal, both land-based activities and in the maritime industries. Mr. Fife pointed to the fact that the handling of Russia in the context of the CBSS has been an important deliverable from the Norwegian Presidency, and that the Kristiansand ministerial session in May was an important milestone.After the Norwegian perspectives, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania presented the status of their year of presidency in the EUSBSR, and Spatial Foresight elaborated on the visions and strategies for the Baltic Sea Region towards 2040.


How can cooperation at different levels in the Baltic Sea Region be enhanced to tackle horizontal challenges, such as climate change?

After the opening interventions a panel debate on increased dialogue and cooperation took place. Opportunities through closer multilevel cooperation in the region considering the war in Ukraine was discussed.
Representatives from BSSSC (Baltic Sea States Subregional Co-operation), UBC (Union of Baltic Cities) and CPMR-Baltic Sea Commission took part together with representatives of the Norwegian and German Foreign Ministries (outgoing and incoming chairmanships of CBSS) and the European Commission DG REGIO.

The seminar was organized by Eastern Norway County Network (ENCN) in close cooperation with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian EU delegation in Brussels. After the seminar, a networking event was arranged for the participants.

Pictures by courtesy of the Mission of Norway to the EU