20th Anniversary of the CBSS


The year 2012 marks 20 years of cooperation in a new political environment in the Baltic Sea Region. The forms of cooperation are steadily evolving, together with the CBSS.

The Council Conclusions on the review of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region adopted in November 2011 encouraged Member States, under integration with multilateral structures and third party cooperation, to seek synergy effects with the Council of the Baltic Sea States, in order to serve as a cooperation platform and to involve relevant partners, in particular the Russian Federation.

On January 1st 2012 the North-West Russia Socio-Economic Development Strategy was launched in the Russian Federation. The CBSS hopes to add value here as well.

These two strategies and other policy frameworks/organisations such as the Northern Dimension, the Nordic Council of Ministers and HELCOM provide a continued dynamism in partnership and projects in the region. The CBSS wants to add to the coherence of it all. One example of the new way in which the CBSS works is the South Eastern Baltic Area modernization partnership (SEBA), aiming at modernization of Kaliningrad and its neighbourhood through regional cooperation. Another is the CBSS Secretariat in strong roles within civil-security related parts of the EU Baltic Sea Strategy such as civil rescue and trafficking, always trying to make sure all CBSS Members are involved. The CBSS adds value in a number of ways, such as high-level political attention, strong government-affiliated networks, and communication. There are many other thematic areas where this occurs, such as sustainable development and tripartite social dialogue.

The Council will continue to develop, just as the region does.