External Cooperation

External Cooperation

Currently the Council of the Baltic Sea States has designated ten countries with Observer Status. These are Belarus, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, the Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The Council further cooperates with sixteen Strategic Partners so that regional cooperation in and with the Baltic Sea area can continue to advance and intensify. You can read the principles and guidelines for 3rd party participation in CBSS activities by clicking the link below:

Principles and Guidelines for 3rd Party Participation in CBSS Activities and Meetings

cbss member states map

As of the 18. November 2009 the Baltic University Programme (BUP) was officially accepted as the seventeen Strategic Partner of the CBSS. The programme is a network of about 225 universities and other institutes of higher learning throughout the Baltic Sea region. The network is coordinated by the Baltic University Programme Secretariat a part of the Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development (Uppsala CSD) at Uppsala University, Sweden. Since the 10th Ministerial Session of the CBSS in 2001, the Council has intensified efforts to coordinate CBSS activities with other organisations actively working to advance regional cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region. The CBSS has taken the initiative to organise annual coordination meetings, (organised and presided over by the CSO Chair), with the participation of Baltic Sea regional organisations, thus providing a more structured channel for involving the strategic partners to voice their concerns and coordinate their efforts with the CBSS and other organisations.


Strategic partners of the CBSS (click to read more):
B7 Baltic Seven Islands
Baltic Development Forum
Baltic Sea Forum
Business Advisory Council
NGO Forum

CBSS Observer States

In 1999, the Council adopted its Principles and Guidelines for Third Party Participation which permits the designation of Observer status. The 1999 Principles and Guidelines were further elaborated in decisions taken by the CSO in March and December of 2002. In line with these decisions, Observer States are encouraged to actively participate in the work of CBSS structures and working bodies as appropriate, on an ad-hoc basis and according to their expressed interests. The following states enjoy official status as Observer in the CBSS:

  • Belarus
  • France,
  • Hungary,
  • Italy,
  • Netherlands,
  • Romania,
  • Slovakia,
  • Spain,
  • Ukraine,
  • United Kingdom
  • the United States of America.

Since 2002, Observer States are invited on an annual basis to a CSO meeting, (normally held in Stockholm, as several Observer States cover the CBSS from their Stockholm embassies), at which they are expected to inform the CSO about their activities, both planned and completed, in the CBSS framework in particular and in the Baltic Sea Region in general. Some examples of past participation by Observer States include the following: support for projects initiated by the EGNRS; support for the EuroFaculty projects in the Baltic countries, and in the Kaliningrad and Pskov regions of the Russian Federation.

Further information regarding the Observer States ministries: