Release 23rd June 2014
Declaration of the Council of the Baltic Sea States on the implementation of the Vilnius Declaration 2010 on A Vision for the Baltic Sea Region by 2020
At the eighth Baltic Sea States Summit held in Vilnius in June 2010, the Heads of Government adopted A Vision for the Baltic Sea Region by 2020. Four years later, as part of an acknowledgment of the achievements and an understanding of the necessity to maintain focus in meeting the ambitious goals laid down in the Vilnius Declaration, the Council of the Baltic Sea States on 20 June 2014, adopted a set of recommendations and calls for action, which serve as a mid-way point of departure for the next six years.
The full Declaration outlining a broader palette of cooperation mechanisms and initiatives in the region can be viewed here –
This abridged version focuses only on the recommendations and the calls for action in the document (italic text is a direct quotation).
The Council makes two calls for increased cooperation among Member States in the field of sustainable development – one on climate change adaptation and one on green economy. The Council also recommends the development of a new sustainable development agenda for the Baltic Sea Region.
The Council calls for increased transnational cooperation and knowledge exchange on the issue of climate change adaptation among member states, and calls on the Expert Group on Sustainable Development – Baltic 21 to facilitate cooperation, coordination and capacity building in this area;
The Council calls on the Baltic Sea Region member states to become front runners in the development and implementation of actions towards green economy and facilitate collaboration in this respect and promote the incorporation of sustainable consumption and production instruments in sectorial policies;
Furthermore the Council recommends that the Expert Group on Sustainable Development – Baltic 21 work on a new sustainable development agenda for the BSR with specific goals post 2015;
In the field of economy and labour market the Council makes four recommendations
In the area of talent management and entrepreneurship the Council recommends continued support for networks which bring together entrepreneurs in the region, mentorship and sponsorship programmes for regional talent and potential leaders such as the Balticlab initiative, facilitation of contacts between innovative initiatives and funding mechanisms, and calls for increased cooperation between regional organisations working in the field of innovation, creative industries and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Furthermore, the Council focuses attention on the 18-25 year old demographic and underlines the importance of continued work on youth unemployment and recommends exploring and pursuing training and apprenticeship initiatives, to aid young adults to enter the labour market including, transitional measures between completion of education and entering the labour market;
In relation to the labour market as such the Council recommends to continue to investigate the needs of cross border commuters and to improve labour mobility in the region – especially in terms of improved cross border information management;
The Council also recognises the need to tackle the exploitative fringe of the labour market and recommends that established working groups in each member state dealing with labour exploitation and trafficking of forced labour be strengthened and solidified over the long term;
In the field of child rights the Council gives two recommendations
The Council recommends to increase focus on social inclusion, social protection and accessibility to services to safeguard human integrity and dignity, including children’s rights to protection against violence;
Furthermore the Council recommends further action to increase cooperation with sectors vital for the protection of children, such as law enforcement and child welfare and health agencies and civil society, within and across countries in the Baltic Sea Region;
In the field of civil protection the Council makes two recommendations
The Council recommends to establish macro-region-wide initiatives to involve the private sector, the media and the public in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) processes and to further strengthen DRR capacity in coping with complex emergencies;
Furthermore the Council recommends enhancing maritime safety and security in the Baltic Sea by establishing a common Baltic Sea maritime awareness picture;
The Council also agrees upon three new long-term priorities outlined in the Decision on the Review of the CBSS long-term priorities – Regional Identity; Sustainable and Prosperous Region, and Safe and Secure Region