The priorities of the CBSS Swedish Presidency 2017-2018 are Sustainability, Continuity and Adaptability, which are all under the umbrella of Agenda 2030. Sweden considers it of importance to continue with work and projects that are successful in promoting the CBSS long term strategies, addressing everything from human trafficking and organised crime to the quality of the Baltic Sea, climate change and migration.
Today’s world faces new challenges, where strategies towards a sustainable and prosperous region, safe and secure region and united regional identity require adapting to emerging changes. The Baltic Sea Region has reformed since its establishment and Sweden emphasises the significance of the organisation to continue to deliver and further develop, both on a practical level as in building a stronger regional identity.
With the adoption of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the international community has been given tools for dealing with the challenges the world is facing. On a regional level, the CBSS “Baltic 2030 Action Plan” will serve as a tool for a more systematic implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The further implementation of the SDGs will be something of a beacon for the Swedish Presidency of the CBSS. The goals are quite broad and far-reaching so a selection needs to be made The six priority focus areas and the six activation processes in the baltic 2030 Action Plan will guide our work. Wherever possible, a gender equality perspective will be adopted.
Over the years, the CBSS has achieved considerable results in regional co-operation. In some cases, for example in the fight against trafficking or actions to protect the interests of children, the results have found an echo even outside the Baltic Sea Region.
It is the intention of the Swedish Presidency, together with other Member States and the international Secretariat, to give continued support to the work mentioned and other ongoing activities.
But continuity does not mean a static approach. Together with the CBSS Member States, the Swedish Presidency will explore possibilities to enter into new fields of co-operation in the light of new challenges and problems.
When the CBSS was established in 1992, the political landscape in the Baltic Sea Region was very different. During the twenty-five years of CBSS’ existence, a number of changes have taken place. New fora for regional cooperation, for example the Northern Dimension and its Partnerships, or the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, have been established. New topics, for example migration issues and integration, have become more prominent on the agenda for regional co-operation.
Against this background, the Swedish Presidency 2017-2018 welcomes the Reykjavík Declaration which states that a group of independent wise men and women will be given the task to examine the future role of the CBSS as a forum for political dialogue and regional cooperation beyond 2020. The report of the group will serve as a basis for further discussions within the Council and with the aim of reaching a decision in summer 2019.