Cooperation with other regions, entities and other regional strategies
The CBSS through the Secretariat has always had strong ties to other regional organisations across different formats. This last year the cooperation has strengthened in light of the experience the CBSS has gathered with strategy coordination and in the lead up to the adoption of the third macro-regional strategy – this time building on the lessons learnt and experience from the two current macro-regional strategies (EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EU Strategy for the Danube Region). On 17 June 2014 the European Commission adopted a Communication on the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian region, accompanied by an Action Plan . The new Strategy incorporates the Maritime Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, adopted by the Commission on 30 November 2012.
The Communication and Action Plan have been transmitted to the other EU institutions and bodies, and will be discussed in the Council during the second semester of 2014 with a view of its endorsement by the European Council before the end of the year. This is the first EU ‘macro-regional strategy’ with such a large proportion of non-EU countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia) cooperating with EU members (Croatia, Greece, Italy, and Slovenia). The Strategy mainly revolves around the opportunities of the maritime economy – ‘blue growth’, land-sea transport, energy connectivity, protecting the environment and sustainable tourism – sectors that are bound to play a crucial role in creating jobs and boosting economic growth in the region so therefore has a strong correlation with the interests of the Baltic Sea Region – especially blue growth. The Deputy Director made two visits to Bosnia and Herzegovina the first in September 2013 when he participated in a workshop on regional strategies at the Regional Cooperation Council in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina. The second when the Deputy Director General participated in the South Eastern European Strategy 2020 Final Conference organized by the Central European Initiative and the Regional Cooperation Council Secretariats on 17-19 March again in Sarajevo. On the 13 May 2014 the Director General took part in the XVII Adriatic Ionian Council Meeting upon invitation of the H.E. Mr Ditmar Bushati, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania which took place in Brussels.
The dialogue continued when the Director General attended the meeting of the National Coordinators of the Central European Initiative entitled CEI as bridge between European Macro Regions / Synergies with International Organisations and met with the CEI Secretariat officials in Vienna on 24 January 2014. This was followed up by the Meeting of Regional Organisations discussing priority development and project orientation hosted by the Black Sea Economic Cooperation took place in Istanbul, Turkey in March and was attended by both the Director General and the Deputy Director General.
The developing partnership with the Union for the Mediterranean continued when the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean Ambassador Fathallah Sijilmassi visited the Secretariat in Stockholm on the 8 October. Secretariat staff had visited Stockholm twice before and staff from Stockholm have also visited Barcelona on three separate occasions.
Further afield, the Director General took part in a panel on the role of regional organizations in a global context at the Summit on the Global Agenda, Abu Dhabi, United Arab EmiratesWorld Economic Forum on 18-20 November 2013.
In addition to these meetings on May 26-27 2014 the Director General and Deputy Director visited the International Visegrad Fund in Bratislava to discuss regional cooperation and explore ground for cooperation. Ms. Karla Wursterova, Executive Director of the International Visegrad Fund had informed about the Fund’s activities, funding scheme and projects earlier in the Finnish Presidency year at the Annual Consultations of the CBSS Committee of Senior Officials with CBSS Observer States in Stockholm, 3 December 2013.
To read more about the way the CBSS interacts with regional strategies please see the Strategies menu on the right hand side.