The Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region was held on 4‑5 June 2018 in Tallinn, Estonia, with about 800 participants from the political and cultural sector as well as scientific experts and business representatives. The main theme of the Forum was the “Baltic Sea Region After 2020”. The participants came together to discuss how to improve the implementation of the EUSBSR in the framework of the future EU Cohesion Policy. The Forum also touched on the current state of the ecosystem in the Baltic Sea as well as how to further develop the region as a global digital hub.
The opening statements reflected the themes of the Forum. For example, Prime Minister Ratas suggested that the Baltic Sea Region could become a best practice example in digital governance: “The Baltic Sea Region can be a forerunner in developing digital governance for sustainable development”. He also highlighted that the common issues we face can only be solved together, encouraging cooperation and exchange of knowledge through ongoing and future projects.
The CBSS Secretariat was involved in many of the sessions held during the two days in Tallinn. Director General Amb Maira Mora participated in the seminar ”A sustainable future for the Baltic Sea – updating the Baltic Sea Action Plan beyond 2021” focusing on the upcoming renewal of the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP). The panel discussion was organised by HELCOM and brought together representatives from WWF, the Estonian Ministry of the Environment, the European Commission as well as a rapporteur from the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference.
The CBSS Baltic 2030 Unit co-organised the sessions on “EUSBSR post-2020: Defining joint challenges as drivers for change” and moderated “Transport sector responses to emerging climate risks” bringing forward the 2030 Agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goals as subjects of discussion.
In close connection to these, Policy Area Secure coordinated by the CBSS Civil Security Team and MSB contributed to the panel “Exercises as tools for building a resilient BSR post-2020” round-table discussion focusing on risk reduction and different aspects of cooperation through various exercises. As a follow up to the discussion, a live demonstration of a rescue exercise with vessels and divers was organised. The exercise was broadcasted on the Policy Area Secure’s Facebook page and is available to watch here. The live demonstration took place at the Seaplane Harbour of Tallinn.
Additionally, several back-to-back meetings took place in the Estonian capital, including a joint meeting of the CBSS Senior Officials Group for Culture, a Horizontal Action Neighbours Coordination Group Meeting, a meeting of the Baltic Science Network Welfare State Expert Group as well as the 8th Round-table Meeting of the Baltic Sea Region Climate Change Dialogue Platform.