EUSBSR Horizontal Action Sustainable Development 2013 – 2015



EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region – Horizontal Action Sustainable Development (and Bioeconomy) 2013-2015

The concept and political leading principle of sustainable development reconciles economic, environmental and social objectives. Many of the challenges for sustainability today worldwide are also at stake in the Baltic Sea region. These include growing demand for energy, climate change, and insufficient sustainable use of natural resources both in the sea and on land.

UN Rio+20 acknowledged the need to further mainstream sustainable development at all levels, integrating economic, social and environmental aspects and recognizing their inter-linkages, so as to achieve sustainable development in all its dimensions.


With the latest revision of the EUSBSR Action Plan in 2015, Horizontal Action Sustainable Development has been transformed into Horizontal Action Climate. Read about the updated horizontal action here.

The aim of the Horizontal Action Sustainable Development 2013 – 2015 was to:

  • to support the transition of the Baltic Sea region into a sustainable and prosperous macro-region
  • to communicate best practices
  • to assist in the development of innovative practices in the implementation of the themes of the horizontal action in cooperation with relevant priority areas within the EUSBSR in line with Europe 2020 Strategy, its resource efficiency flagships, the proposed 7th Environmental Action Programme and the EU Sustainable Development Strategy, EU SDS

The horizontal action takes a transnational, integrated and cross-sectoral approach to the global challenge of sustainable development by linking existing transnational public, sectorial and NGO-based cooperation, regional development and research projects and other activities within the EUSBSR as well as defining and filling potential gaps and developing new potentials.

The Horizontal Action was co-coordinated by CBSS-Baltic 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Nordic Council of Ministers for Bioeconomy. Please view the animated video below from the European Commission explaining the bioeconomy; 

More information on the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region Action Plan can be obtained from its official website.

Other PAC’s and HAL’s contact information are available at the following link.



Ms Krista Kampus

Senior Advisor and Head of Unit Sustainable Development

Council of the Baltic Sea States, CBSS Baltic 21 Unit


Tel: +46 8 440 19 30


Actions and flagship projects

The activities in the horizontal action are based on the overarching theme of sustainable development, focussing on Climate Change and Green Economy. 

Action: ‘Climate change adaptation’

Climate change is one of the most pressing environmental issues today. The Baltic Sea with its coastal zones is a specific eco-region, where impacts from climate change can also be expected to be specific. The riparian BSR countries thus share a vulnerability to climate change with possible impacts on human security, environment and competiveness. It is important to work not only on mitigation measures, but also on strategies to adapt to changes. Several national, regional and local initiatives to adapt to climate change are under way, but further actions need to be taken. The establishment and implementation of a macro-regional climate change adaptation strategy and action plan will strengthen efforts to such cooperation, based on understanding and coping with specific impacts within the BSR. It is necessary for national, regional and local actors to cooperate on joint efforts on adaptation, including exchange of experiences, sharing of common knowledge and data bases, development and implementation of national climate adaptation strategies and action plans as well as sharing of ‘best practices’ for specific sectors within the BSR that are proven to be economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.

The consistency of the climate change adaptation strategy with actions at EU level further to the White paper from the European Commission on adaptation needs to be ensured. A regional strategy should focus on issues of cross border interest in the region such as: developing a more robust evidence base on the impacts and consequences of climate change, raising awareness of the need for action; ensuring and measuring progress and recommending early action to ensure that adaptation is integrated in key policy areas. This also includes reviewing policies in the light of the risks of climate change and considering options for adaptive action. Further, the involvement of Russia in operational activities related to a climate change adaptation strategy for the whole Baltic Sea region could be considered.

For additional insight and perspectives, please visit this blog on collaboration in the Baltic Sea Region.

Flagship projects


Main results

BSR Adaptation Strategy to Climate Change

BSR Adaptation Action Plan to Climate Change


Action: ‘Green economy’

The Baltic Sea region has a great potential to be a model region for green economy and to be world leading when it comes to the development of knowledge-intensive products and services, eco-innovations, as well as environmental technology, which can increase competitiveness and create new business opportunities that at the same time reduce negative environmental impacts. A greener economy will furthermore lead to a diversification of services and products and allow for new employment opportunities while protecting and conserving biodiversity and natural resources, promoting human well-being and equality.

During the last decade, many Baltic Sea region countries acquired considerable experience in the development of sustainable energy solutions and environmentally friendly technologies in various fields, including agriculture, forest management, water management, waste management, healthy lifestyles. However, great diversity remains with respect to both socio-economic developments and the implementation of sustainable practices. In order to make the BSR more resilient to future environmental, societal and economic challenges, macro-regional approaches to these issues need to be developed. The action aims at supporting the transition of the Baltic Sea region into a green region that results in ‘improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities’

Flagship projects

Baltic Green Public Procurement, in cooperation with PA SME (Link1 & Link2)

EFFECT – BSR Dialogue Platform on Energy and Resource Efficiency


EU Seed Money Facility

The EU Seed Money Facility is also supporting a number of projects that are closely linked with objectives and actions under Sustainable Development that were provided by the Horizontal Action Leader with a letter support for the application process:

Smart Cities
BSP Science Skills
ClimUrban (in close cooperation with PA Secure)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]