The CBSS Civil Protection Network Senior Experts Meeting was held on 21-22 of March 2017 in Stockholm. The chair, Mr. Hjálmar Björgvinsson, Superintendent at the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police, welcomed the delegates and highlighted in his speech the role of CBSS as an effective platform for enhanced cooperation and democratic dialogue in the Baltic Sea Region.
The participants took important steps towards adopting a Joint Position on Enhancing Cooperation in Civil Protection Area and an Action Plan aiming at the implementation of priorities defined in the former document. These policy documents are results of the research and policy discussions. The very first version of these policy documents was devised during the expert seminar in Kraków (May 2016) and then endorsed by the 14th Meeting of Directors General for Civil Protection in Gdańsk in June 2016. The Action Plan, with concrete measures on the implementation of the Joint Position, was also discussed, along with the individual involvement of each country in one of the eight recommended areas, e.g. building a common societal security culture; combining and coordinating national efforts in implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction; strengthening cross-sectorial cooperation in CBRN(E) preparedness; increasing involvement of the local governments and civil society organizations; initiating projects as platforms for innovation and cooperation; making better exploitation and coordination of research and projects; developing demand-driven and well-tailored training and education.
Recent developments in several projects were reported to the meeting, including Balex Delta project by the Swedish Coast Guard, aiming to improve methods for combating oil and chemical spills; CBRNE ( chemical, biological, radiological/nuclear and explosive substances) mapping in BSR to identify roles and responsibilities of relevant institutions in the region; and a new upcoming project CASCADE, which aims to establish cross-sectorial cooperation between civil protection practitioners and climate change assessment professionals in the Baltic Sea Region.
Plans for incoming activities within the Baltic Excellence Programme were presented by the Icelandic Presidency (seminar on capabilities of volunteer organizations and crisis communications) and MSB representative (Baltic Leadership Programme in November 2017).
The 15th Meeting of Directors General for Civil Protection in the BSR will be held on 10 – 12 May 2017 in Reykjavik, where Sweden will take over the presidency in the CPN.