October 2012

 

 

BALTICNESS LIGHT

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to the new edition of our digital update on the CBSS activities! The first issue under the Russian Presidency brings you information on its priorities and current actions. It also gives another chance to look back at the Stralsund Summit and some other events such as BalticArtek. We wish you a great reading!

 

CBSS leaders discuss energy security and an ageing society

The climax of the German CBSS Presidency - the 9th Baltic Sea States Summit - took place in the Baltic Sea coastal town of Stralsund, Germany on the 30th and 31st May. German Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel together with her colleagues from all CBSS Member States focused on two issues during its plenary sessions: energy security and the pressing issue of demographic change, and the consequences of an ageing society. The group voted to add to the CBSS 'toolbox' a small project support facility for co-financing regional cooperation. They also agreed to establish a credit line, The PFI (see below), to support sustainable development in the region. The Presidential Communique from the Summit can be downloaded via the CBSS website.
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CBSS welcomes the Russian Presidency

On July 1st the CBSS officially bid the German Presidency adieu and ushered in the Russian Presidency. Summer and early fall has been busy with events ranging from a Russia-Norway-EU cross-border cooperation conference to the first Committee of Senior Officials meeting held in Moscow September 19th and 20th. The Russian Presidency's main focus for 2012-2013 is the development of modernization and innovation cooperation in the region. It also aims to establish a private-public-partnership network, promote tolerance, and promote people-to-people contacts. Check the CBSS calendar for more information on upcoming events!
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The Pilot Financial Initiative (PFI)- credit to support sustainable development in the region

One notable result of the Stralsund Summit is the Memorandum of Understanding to launch the Pilot Financial Initiative (PFI). This three-year credit line for sustainable development projects in parts of Russia close to the Baltic Sea will complement the work of other initiatives, including the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership. With 126 M euros worth of projects already in the pipeline, the funds will be used to support innovative private-public partnerships and small and medium sized enterprises. The CBSS Secretariat, the German State Development Bank KfW and the Russian State Bank for Foreign Economic Relations Vnesheconombank have agreed to fund and administer the credit line, and they invite other finance institutions in the region to consider joining. The potential for new partners will be discussed inter alia at a conference in Kaliningrad 22 November this year, organized under the auspices of the South Eastern Baltic Area Modernization Partnership (SEBA). For more information, visit the Russian Presidency's website.
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The South Eastern Baltic Area modernization partnership (SEBA): regional youth dialogue in Kaliningrad

The Baltic Artek youth camp, a CBSS initiative, brought over 300 active and enterprising young people from all parts of the Baltic Sea together to the beautiful Kaliningrad coast. During the first week of August, the campers made new friends and participated in workshops on sustainable life styles, eco-design and urban (psycho)geography ideas. Teachers were also invited to Baltic Artek to participate in workshops and listen to keynote speakers about creative industries and regional identity. We aim to invite more participants to Baltic Artek 2013. Baltic Artek is a pilot initiative from the CBSS's current focus on the South Eastern Baltic Area and was funded in part by the Swedish Institute. The project also operates within the EU-Russia regional cooperation context, where collaboration between the CBSS, the Northern Dimension and Helcom acts as platform for implementation. For more information, visit www.cbss.org
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Civil Protection in the BSR

Although the seasons have changed, the CBSS remains fully engaged with EUSBSR Priority Area 14 and its flagship project 14.3. The 14.3 Progress Report, submitted in the end of August, outlined the outcomes from the first round of meetings, workshops and experience exchanges among the tasks. Our task experts focused specifically on forest fires, floods, nuclear hazards and over-all risk assessment. They worked informing one another on how civil protection systems work in each country, including which authorities act with which responsibilities. Experts discussed potential communication obstacles for colleagues from across the region when requesting help during emergencies. Moving ahead on macro-regional risk assessment in the Baltic Sea Region is one of the priorities of the current Russian CBSS Presidency.

The CBSS Secretariat is a lead partner and coordinating beneficiary of the 14.3. It thus ensures that the project contributes to the listed priority of the Russian CBSS Presidency with support from partner St. Petersburg University of State Fire Service of EMERCOM of Russia. However, work still continues on the prevention of forest fires outside the 14.3 framework. For example, the Russian Presidency of the CBSS Civil Protection Network facilitated a joint Finnish-Russian seminar on forest fire prevention and supervisory activities on 17-18 October 2012 in Vyborg, Russia.

Meanwhile, we continue informing the region about the work of PA 14 and the 14.3 project, and sharing our experience in Macro-Regional Communication and Communication of the EUSBSR. We participated in the meeting of the EUSBSR Task Force for Communications meeting for the first time in August, and we look forward to joining their workshop in Tallinn, 30-31 October!

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Copyright © 2012 Council of the Baltic Sea States

 

There is a lot happening this Spring - fresh off the back of the 17th Ministerial Session in February the CBSS celebrates 20 years since establishment. The CBSS Secretariat becomes a Lead Partner of a flagship project on Macro-regional risk, we prepare for a fête like atmosphere in Berlin in late April with the launch of the Baltic Sea Days and we plan to host the first ever Policy Forum under the BaltAdapt flagship project on Climate Change Adaption to name but a few initiatives.
 
 
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