Working paper explores potential & challenges for establishing a common societal security culture in the Baltic Sea Region

The final output from a series of research activities commissioned and organized by the CBSS Secretariat, as the coordinator of Policy Area Secure in the EU Strategy of the Baltic Sea Region together with the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), has recently been finalized. The result is the working paper “Common Societal Security Culture in the Baltic Sea Region: Basics and the Way Forward”. It presents a theoretical framework along with a comprehensive set of recommendations regarding the implementation of a common societal security paradigm and a common societal security culture, as a base for facilitating collaboration on civil security issues in the Baltic Sea Region.

The CBSS Secretariat has contributed to the development and promotion of the societal security concept in the last decade. The transnational cooperation in the field of societal security in the Baltic Sea Region has shown a growing tendency to become deeper embedded in organizations responsible for civil protection matters in the countries in the region; as well as more institutionalized, concrete and result-oriented. With the aim to further this positive development, a series of research activities had been undertaken, made possible through financial support from the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme and the Swedish Institute (Si). The research was based on challenges identified by practitioners in the region, expressed during the Si-funded Baltic Leadership Programme in Civil Protection in Warsaw in November 2015. The objective of the research activities was to present a theoretical base, as well as a practical roadmap, for developing a common societal security culture in the region.

The first output of the research activities was the formulation of a ‘Joint Position on Enhancing Cooperation in the Civil Protection Area’, adopted by the 15th Meeting of Directors General in Civil Protection in the Baltic Sea Region on 12 May 2017 in Keflavík, Iceland. The second is the Action Plan defining concrete areas for enhanced cooperation. The theoretically grounded report on the common societal security culture should be interpreted in a context of the more practically oriented Joint Position, and its Action Plan.

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