The first meeting of the CBSS Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) took place on 7 – 8 September 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden, to elaborate on the Swedish Presidency’s priorities – Sustainability, Continuity, Adaptability – and to plan the next steps to be taken in the Secretariat’s work and the various ongoing projects.
Senior Adviser Daria Akhutina briefed the chair and CSO members on the Labour Ministries Meeting and Annual Round Table of the Baltic Sea Labour Forum (BSLF) which took place in June 2017 under the auspices of the Icelandic Presidency of the CBSS. In addition, the Declaration adopted by labour and social ministers and high representatives at this meeting in in Berlin, Germany, was discussed, also considering the possibility to establish an Ad-hoc Working/Expert Group on Labour and Employment in the framework of the CBSS Secretariat linked to BSLF as well as t amongst others the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference, Northern Dimension Partnership on Health and Social Well-being.
Furthermore, Programme Coordinator of the Children at Risk Unit Shawnna von Blixen informed about the final conference of the PROMISE project (14 June 2017) at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels, Belgium, and the follow-up project PROMISE II which will be officially launched in November 2017.
A special focus during this first CSO Meeting lied on the establishment of an independent group of wise men and women, which the Foreign Ministers and high level representatives at the Ministerial in Reykjavík, Iceland, invited the CBSS to appoint. The official name of this group will be CBSS Vision Group and shall be convened by 1 November 2017 until 1 June 2018. The Group was tasked to elaborate a report with recommendations for a vision for the Baltic Sea Region beyond 2020 and on the future role of the CBSS. Moreover, it was stressed that the composition of the CBSS Vision Group, consisting of 12 members from the CBSS Member States and the EU, should reflect diversity, including professional background and gender.