Dear Baltic Sea friend,

On 8–9 November, the 7th Strategy Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) will be hosted by Sweden together with the Nordic Council of Ministers and in close cooperation with the European Commission. The overall thematic focus this year lies on the future of the Baltic Sea Region and a desired vision for 2030.

The Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat as co-coordinator of the EUSBSR Policy Area Secure, Horizontal Action Neighbours, and as the coordinator of Horizontal Action Climate, is involved in several workshops and sessions during the two days of the Strategy Forum. 

The workshops and seminars will focus on the themes of counter-trafficking, science & research policy, innovation, financing climate action, Agenda 2030 goals & cross-border cooperation. We invite you to read about all the CBSS activities at the Annual Forum below.


8 November 2016, 9.30 - 10.30:

Workshop “Myth-busting trafficking in human beings“

The workshop addresses various challenges and myths posed by trafficking in human beings in the BSR. These diverse challenges evoke a strong need for a macro-regional cooperation and an application of a multifaceted and multi-sectoral approach. The workshop will explore the reasons for the low rate of convictions against traffickers and will reflect on why only extreme cases are recognized as trafficking and how adults, young people and children end up in situations of exploitation. How are we to protect the most vulnerable groups? In an interactive manner the audience will be involved in demystifying common misconceptions about trafficking in human beings. 

Organised by the CBSS Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings, the CBSS Expert Group on Children at Risk, the Nordic Council of Ministers and the County Administrative Board of Stockholm.

Read more about the workshop here.


8 November 2016, 15.00 - 16.20:

Seminar "How do cultural and creative sectors encourage cooperation, innovation and inclusion in a culturally diverse Baltic Sea Region?"

The seminar discusses how the cultural and creative sectors (CCS) in the Baltic Sea Region encourage cooperation, social innovation and inclusion between the people in culturally diverse societies in the region. The Policy Area Culture session - bringing together brings together cultural, academic and political actors - will demonstrate the value of the CCS for cooperation, social innovation and inclusion, by showcasing innovative cultural projects, representing the diversity in the region. It will also discuss, in an open format, how such projects encourage cultural cooperation and social innovation between and within the culturally diverse societies in the BSR.

Organised by PA Culture and ARS BALTICA. CBSS Secretariat Deputy Director General Bernd Hemingway will be a panellist at this seminar.

Read more about the seminar here.


8 November 2016, 16.30 - 17.30:

Workshop “Financing climate action”     

The climates is changing and together with global warming the natural disasters with cascading effects are growing by magnitude and number in all regions of the globe. An important part of BSR cooperation related to climate change is the development of preparedness for handling increased risks related to extreme events, e.g. induced by heat waves, floods or storms. The workshop will address the complexity of challenges in the Baltic Sea Region caused by the climate changes, the existing cooperation and benefits of preventive actions to adapt to changing climate and to increase the resilience of the society as well as give insight to some funding opportunities for preventive climate actions like the European Structural & Investment Funds (ESIF) 2014-2020 and multilateral development banks.

Organised by the CBSS Baltic 2030 Unit - as main coordinator of HA Climate - and PA Secure within the EUSBSR in cooperation with the Swedish Civil Contingency Agency (MSB).

Read more about the workshop here.



9 November 2016, 10.40 – 12.00:

High-level Political Session “Walk the Talk - Implementing Sustainable Development Goals in the Baltic Sea Region”    

The Baltic Sea Region has a great potential to become a pilot region to realise the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Goals (SDGs) as a cooperative effort. With the adoption of the CBSS Declaration “Baltic 2030: Renewing the Commitment to Sustainable Development in the BSR” the countries reaffirmed their commitment to increase the speed in regards to achieving sustainability for the Baltic Sea Region and agreed to elaborate an Action Plan on sustainable development contributing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. This high-level session will try to answer questions like how to enhance policy coherence for sustainable development and successfully integrate economic, ecological and social dimensions for policy coherence; and focus amongst others on the youth perspective - today’s youth as grown-ups in 2030.

Organised by the CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Development – Baltic 2030 in cooperation with the Prime Minister’s Office of Sweden and the Swedish Ministry of the Environment and Energy.

Read more about the session here.


9 November 2016, 10.40 – 12.00: 

Workshop "Perspectives for EU-Russia cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region"   

The purpose of this workshop is to exchange opinions on opportunities and particular areas for mutual beneficial strategic interaction in implementation of both the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the Strategy for North-western Russia by joining forces; creating synergies thematically and geographically; using the EU - RUSSIA regional cooperation instruments and partnerships. The workshop will highlight the current issues of these two strategies and aims at finding out mutual development subjects that could benefit the whole Baltic Sea Region now and towards 2030. What can we learn from both strategies? What are the hot topics in the Baltic Sea Region right now and in the future?

Organised by the City of Turku and the Council of the Baltic Sea States as coordinators of HA Neighbours within the EUSBSR in cooperation with the Leontief Centre and the Association for Cooperation with Baltic Sea Countries ‘Norden’ (Russia).

Read more about the workshop here.


9 November 2016, 14.00 – 14.50:

Seminar “Achieving knowledge-driven innovation and growth in the Baltic Sea Region”

Investments in innovative capacity boost competitiveness and growth in the Baltic Sea Region. This seminar explores how public and private sectors can pool together for joint innovation and regional prosperity, and examines the structures and funding needed for stimulating a knowledge-driven economy.

Organised by the Baltic Development Forum (BDF) in cooperation with Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Region Skåne and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (GEMS). The Interreg project Baltic TRAM belongs to the EUSBSR flagship “Baltic Science Link” under the EUSBSR Policy Area Innovation and is embedded in the CBSS Science, Research, and Innovation Agenda.

Read more about the seminar here.


9 November 2016, 14.00 - 14.50:

Workshop “How to ensure that Agenda 2030 goals for the Baltic Sea Region are reached in the light of a changing climate?”

Action plans for climate adaptation, including monitoring of their impact, are of crucial importance in order to reach the goals of the Agenda 2030. This workshop brings together EU, macro-regional, national and local actors. This workshop will assess if common approaches with regard to how to define goals and indicators for monitoring and evaluation of adaptation actions, can assist in making the BSR resilient to climate change. One issue which will be addressed is in what way the evaluation in 2017, based on the EU Scoreboard should include components related to regional cooperation within the BSR.

Organised by the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), in conjunction with the joint workshop of HA Climate and PA Secure on financing climate action.

Read more about the workshop here.


9 November 2016, 15.00 – 15.50:

Panel “Do we need a macro-regional dimension in higher education, science & research policy in the Baltic Sea Region?”

Science policy in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) is organised and pursued mainly from a regional, national or European angle. Directorate-General for Research and Innovation points out that “there is a mismatch between the need to address common challenges and the disjointed way science is funded: 88 % of European research is planned and funded through national research programmes scattered across Member States”. Consequently, in the Baltic Sea Region a macro-regional dimension of science policy is missing. In a moderated panel key decision-makers will discuss with BSR stakeholders the importance, benefits and obstacles of closer collaboration in science policy within the BSR. The panel is organised in order to facilitate exchange on the following matters: Which deliverable of the Baltic Science Network holds most weight in case of the particular country or region? How the outlined policy instruments (to be jointly developed by the Project Partners) will help to tackle challenges faced by the specific country or region?

Organised by the Hamburg Ministry of Science, Research and Equalities and the Baltic Science Network - a flagship of the EUSBSR Policy Area Education and embedded in the CBSS Science, Research, and Innovation Agenda.

Read more about the panel here.


For more information and registration see the EUSBSR Annual Forum website at