The 10th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) on 12‑13 June 2019 brought all those passionate about the Baltic Sea Region together in sunny Gdańsk, Poland to commemorate a decade of the strategy’s achievements and focus on the future of the Baltic Sea Region. The “Reuse, reduce, rethink” theme of this year’s forum put the spotlight on circular and sharing economy in the Baltic Sea Region and its wider implications to environmental and demographic challenges. Over 700 participants from governmental, international organisations and NGOs, academia and businesses weighed in on the issue.
The Forum’s sessions and workshops were a great opportunity to assess the current progress towards circularity in the Baltic Sea Region, learn from different experiences from all over the region and explore the possibilities that macroregional cooperation allows to ease the transition to an even more sustainable model. We at the CBSS Secretariat were, of course, actively involved in the Forum, running two workshops, contributing to the plenary sessions and participating in many other related activities.
Our Director General Ambassador Maira Mora shared her insights on demographic challenges in a plenary session “Demography and circularity in the Baltic Sea Region: interdependent or disconnected?”, alongside other experts, such as the Director of Nordregio Kjell Nilsson, Professor Marju Lauristin of University of Tartu and Baltic Sea States Sub-Regional Cooperation (BSSSC) Youth Board Member Martin Rummelein.
The demographic change was also discussed in a seminar “Sustainable Working Life in the Baltic Sea Region”, led by our Senior Adviser for Sustainable and Prosperous Region, Daria Akhutina. Daria shared her extensive knowledge on the topic even before the Forum itself as she led the “Competence supply in a changing labour market” workshop at the EUSBSR Horizontal Action Capacity led Participation Day.
A parallel seminar by CBSS’ Baltic 2030 Programme Coordinator Olga Zuin looked at how creativity can bring about innovative solutions to today’s issues in “Localising Circular Economy”. Copies of the freshly launched “Circular Baltic 2030” publication (by BSSSC, Swedish think tank Global Utmaning and CBSS) dealing with the same topic was also available for those attending. Our EUSBSR Policy Area Secure was represented throughout the Forum in the Networking Village.
CBSS was also participating in several back-to-back meetings, including a joint meeting of the Baltic Sea Region Cultural and Creative Sector representatives, CASCADE Steering Group meeting, the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) Baltic Sea Commission, EUSBSR Regional Stakeholder meeting and HA Neighbours Committee meeting.
Our in-house EUSBSR Policy Areas (PA) and Horizontal Actions (HA) were also featured in the 10th Anniversary Publication “Better Together”. Find what our PA Secure, HA Neighbours and HA Climate accomplished on pages 50-58!
More pictures of our time at the EUSBSR Forum are on our Flickr page.