EUSBSR Policy Area Secure

Policy Area Secure is one of the 13 policy areas of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). PA Secure is co-coordinated by the CBSS and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB). Our team acts in a holistic societal security paradigm that focuses on risk reduction management related to all threats, regardless whether their origins are natural disasters, man-made disasters or organised crime. We believe that the common efforts of the Baltic Sea Region countries within our Policy Area save lives, prevent economic losses and contribute to making the region safer and more prosperous for people to live in. Within PA Secure we organize the activities around two interconnected pillars: civil protection and law enforcement, taking into account that the human dimension of security is as important as the establishment of efficient institutional mechanisms to tackle emergencies. We strive for building long-lasting professional relationships and creating a common security culture in the region.

As coordinators of PA Secure, we facilitate regional, cross-sectorial dialogue between experts, governmental agencies, NGOs, business and research institutions. We help  identifying needs and relevant funding sources for projects, that have macro-regional impact, and participate in some of them as contributing partners. We also make sure that the lessons learned from the projects, research results and expert opinions are shared as widely as possible and conveyed to the policy makers.

Policy Area Secure is governed by a Steering Group which was founded in 2013, and consists of members from all eight EU countries in the Baltic Sea Region, along with the Union of the Baltic Cities – Safe Cities Commission,  the CBSS’ expert group Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings (TF-THB) and the Children at Risk unit at the CBSS Secretariat. The steering group meets twice a year to discuss priorities and strategic actions in the fields of civil protection and law enforcement.

Find more information on the PA Secure website.

What is a flagship?

The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) is implemented, among others, by means of flagships – projects and processes. Flagships demonstrate the process and progress of the EUSBSR, and may serve as pilot examples for desired change. In terms of structure, a flagship is either a single project, a set of projects (a group) contributing to same action or a process (e.g. network, new cooperation platform, etc.). The label of a flagship can be given to a project/process that fulfills the following criteria, it:

  • Has a high macro-regional impact
  • Contributes to meeting the objectives, indicators and targets of the EUSBSR
  • Is related to the implementation of one or more actions of the policy area/horizontal action

During its existence, the EUSBSR resulted in 120 Flagship projects, around every 10th of which – under PA Secure.

Ongoing flagship initiatives:

ResQU2 Project Platform “Enhancing the durability of learning experiences gained in ChemSAR, HAZARD, DiveSmart Baltic and Mirg-Ex projects on guidelines, operational plans and procedures and exercises related to incidents at sea and in ports”. The ResQU2 Project Platform consists of four projects focusing on improving the fire and rescue services capacity to respond to accidents in ports and at sea. The HAZARD project focuses on accidents with harmful chemicals in ports (EUSBSR flagship under PA Secure), ChemSAR – on maritime search and rescue, while DiveSMART Baltic – on passenger ship accidents. The fourth project, MIRG-EX, trains response teams to manage incidents on board of ships. The aim of the ResQU2 project platform is to develop joint guidelines, procedures, and institutionalise frequent joint exercises.


CASCADE – Community Safety Action for Supporting Climate Adaptation and Development is funded by European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid.

The project will seek to improve urban resilience in cities and towns, as well as the overall macro-regional resilience. The expected outcome of CASCADE is to adapt existing risk assessment methodology to the climate change context and tailor it to the local level. This methodology will be used in a training course for city officials, responsible for civil protection. If successful, the training can be replicated by all BSR countries. CASCADE will also strive for initiating a region-wide policy dialogue on the UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction as an effective platform for cross-sectorial cooperation between different levels of governance and for greater policy coherence on climate risk assessments.


The FIRE-IN project is set to improve national and European fire & rescue capability development. FIRE-IN has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme and consists of 16 partners from 8 European countries, representing research, practitioners, governmental agencies and business. Within the next 5 years, the project will identify fire & rescue practitioners’ requirements and needs to connect them with relevant innovative technologies. The results will be shared among hundreds of experts and professional networks from whole Europe through an innovative e-FIRE-IN platform.



Baltic Leadership Programme in Civil Protection seeks to create a network of key civil protection actors in the Baltic Sea region and equip them with the tools and information needed to manage cross-border collaboration and projects between diverse organisations in an intercultural context.  2017 BLP kicks off in November in Sweden. Baltic Sea Region professionals, working with strategic issues within civil protection and law enforcement as well as representatives from the local governments, will get an opportunity to network, exchange knowledge and experiences. 2017 BLP’s focus is critical infrastructure and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Read interviews from the participants of previous programmes


The CBSS Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings (TF-THB) Strategy 2018 – 2020

The overall objective of the Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings is to counteract trafficking in human beings in the Baltic Sea Region through preventive and protective activities. The mandate of the TF-THB is to fight against trafficking in human beings and all of its forms of exploitation. Task Force actions aim at strengthening assistance to victims, promoting cooperation, abolishing gaps in existing approaches and improving legislation. The Task Force is composed of experts from relevant Government ministries in all the CBSS capitals. The work of the Task Force is realised by the Senior Advisor and her staff at the CBSS Secretariat in Stockholm, Sweden. More information.

Comprehensive and sustainable child protection is a series of activities and actions which follow the priorities and activity plan of the CBSS Expert Group on Children at Risk (CAR) and promotes a multi-sectorial approach and cooperation among relevant authorities and other stakeholders both nationally and across borders. The Expert Group on Children at Risk is a platform for regional cooperation on issues relevant to support children at risk. The Expert Group consists of senior officials from the CBSS Member States appointed by the ministries responsible for children’s issues. Together the group shares national developments and discusses ways to address gaps in services, expertise and capacity.

Below is the list of Flagship projects finalized with the CBSS Secretariat as a contributing partner

13.1 (2011-2012)

The Baltic Sea Maritime Functionalities (BSMF) is a Flagship Project of the EUSBSR Priority Area on Maritime Safety and Security. The Flagship Project aims to develop information sharing environment for the maritime domain in the coastal countries of the Baltic Sea Region through:

  • Connecting existing concepts and harmonising them with already functioning EUSBSR flagship label transparentoperations of national entities
  • Presenting good practices in the management of the national surveillance entities and their cooperation.
  • Demonstrating the functionalities of existing systems and expected outcomes in a clear and practical format.
  • Increasing the awareness of the safety, security and defence situation in the Baltic Sea Region

14.3 (2012-2014)

EUSBSR Priority Area 14

The Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat acted on behalf of Priority Area Coordinator (PAC) of PA 14 of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) from November 2011 until the formation of PA Secure. The EUSBSR Action Plan articulated the need for Priority Area 14 as follows:

“Transport by sea is expected to increase significantly in the coming years in the Baltic Sea and with that comes a higher risk of accidents. While fortunately, ship accidents (in particular those causing pollution) have not increased over the last years, in 2007, there were 120 ship accidents in the Baltic Sea. Other major emergencies with cross border effects could result from natural and technological disasters, acts of terrorism including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear terrorism, and technological, radiological or environmental accidents as well as health threats from communicable and non-communicable diseases. The economic impacts of disasters may adversely affect the economic growth and competitiveness of EU regions.”

Three Flagship Projects were identified under the EUSBSR Action Plan Priority Area 14:

14.1 Assess volunteer troops’ capacities regarding maritime pollution response, as well as maritime search and rescue operations.

14.2 BRISK: Sub-regional Risk of Spill of Oil and Hazardous Substances in the Baltic Sea –Mapping existing marine pollution response capacities and making sub-regional plans for cross-border response cooperation, based on assessment of the integrated risk of shipping accidents.

14.3 Macro-Regional Risk Scenarios and Gaps Identification – developing scenarios and identifying gaps for all main hazards in the Baltic Sea Region, in order to anticipate potential disasters.  

The 14.3 project aims to develop scenarios and identify gaps for all main hazards of the Baltic Sea Region, including winter storms and floods. Such an objective was chosen in order to anticipate potential disasters, and thus enabling a rapid and effective EU response through the Community Civil Protection Mechanism. In addition, and drawing on existing possibilities for funding in the Civil Protection Financial Instrument, it aims to strengthen training activities and exercises in cooperation with the countries of the Baltic Sea Region.

The Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat is responsible for the management and reporting to the Commission as coordinating beneficiary and overall lead assisted by the Swedish Institute. The CBSS Secretariat Communication Team is the lead partner and main beneficiary for the publicity of the project. The project has four main task areas which are:

  1. Macro-Regional Risk Scenario/Hazard and Gap AnalysisEUSBSR flagship label transparent
  2. Floods Prevention in Macro-Regional Context
  3. Forest Fire Prevention in Macro-Regional Context
  4. Nuclear Safety Risk Scenarios and Gaps in Macro-Regional Context

The project started in January 2012 and ran for a duration of 18 months.

Click here to visit the 14.3 official website

The 14.3 project was lead by the CBSS Secretariat and endorsed by the CBSS Civil Protection Network. Implementing countries were Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden and North-West Russia (included with separate funding and project plan with the support of the Swedish Institute).

The total project eligible cost of the project was 660 000 €  with a 495 000 € EC contribution.

Project partners
Council of the Baltic Sea States
The Swedish Institute
Frederikssund-Halsnæs Fire & Rescue Service
The Estonian Rescue Board
Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK)
Hamburg Fire and Rescue Service
State Fire and Rescue Service of Latvia, EU and International affairs division
Fire and Rescue Department under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania (FRD)
Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning (DSB)
The Main School for Fire Service in Warsaw (SGSP)


From Gaps to Caps (2015-2017)

iceland image with big logo

From Gaps to Caps (2015 – 2017) , started as a follow-up project of 14.3. Under the coordination of the Fire and Rescue Department under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania (TASK A Leader), FROM GAPS TO CAPS will further contribute to macro-regional capacities for risk assessment and to establishing efficient crisis management schemes to cope with natural and man-made disasters in the BSR. FROM GAPS TO CAPS, co-financed by DG ECHO was a twenty-four month flagship project under the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR).

The project is further split into three more tasks, B, C and D. Task B is dedicated to the publicity of the project and will be conducted by the Communications Unit of the Council of the Baltic Sea States. Task C, led by the University of Iceland, deals with Risk Management Capability Assessment Methodology and Task D consists of the Comparison of Evaluations of Emergencies and Exercises, and lies with the responsibility of the Hamburg Fire & Rescue Service.

More information on the project can be found on the Policy Area Secure Website and on the project’s website.

You can access the final report of Task C and the two supplementing papers below:

(1) From Gaps to Caps_Main Report  (2) From Gaps to Caps_Methodology   (3) From Gaps to Caps_Outlook

Other Partners:

Frederikssund-Halsnæs Brand- & Redningsberedskab (Denmark)EUSBSR flagship label transparent
Estonian Rescue Board
Ministry of the Interior of Finland
Hamburg Fire and Rescue Service (Germany)
University of Iceland
State Fire and Rescue Service of Latvia
Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection and
Emergency Planning (DSB)
Main School of Fire Service in Warsaw
Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB)


STROM II aimed to strengthen the role of municipalities in the work against Trafficking in Human Beings. The project began in 2016 and was finalized in 2017. For more information on the project and its final publication, go here.


EVAPREM – Developing an evaluation model to assess prevention measures, acquired flagship status 9 February 2017. Civil security specialists and academics from five countries are working together in EVAPREM to improve assessment of the prevention measures by rescue services. The results of the project will help to use resources more efficiently and to prevent destruction of property and loss of lives in the Baltic Sea Region. Read more


HAZARD aims to mitigate emergencies and accidents in Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) seaports in the Baltic Sea Region. The project commenced in 2016, and was finalized in spring 2019. More information on the project’s website

BALEX Delta 2018

The BALEX DELTA 2018 oil and chemical spill response exercise was held on 27–30 August in Karlskrona, Southern Sweden.

Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat

Janusz Gąciarz , Senior Adviser on Civil Security,

Nina Jernberg, Policy Officer,

Andriy Martynenko, Project Officer,



Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB)

Julia Fredriksson, Adviser on EU and International Issues,


PA Secure is part-financed by:

IR BSR_logo_EU-supplement_horizontal_297mm  EUSBSR logo - for light backgrounds

Font Resize