Baltic Sea Region

Nordregio in the Baltic Sea Region

Nordregio in the Baltic Sea RegionThe Baltic Sea Region has a long history of cooperation starting with the establishment of the Hanseatic League (Hanse) in the 13th century. Over the following four hundred years, and culminating in the 17th century, trading cities in the Baltic and North Seas formed an economic alliance based on similarities such as independent city status and respective locations along trade routes. In many former Hanseatic cities, buildings continue to bear witness to the prosperity of the era.

EU's first "Macro region"

As Eastern European countries became member states of the European Union (EU) following the Cold War, cooperation across the region once again developed. Based on common challenges and opportunities, as well as the strong tradition of intra-regional cooperation, the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) became the EU´s first "macro region" in 2009.

EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region

The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) involves eight relevant EU Member States (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and Germany) and calls for closer cooperation with Russia. Four key challenges are emphasized in the strategy: (1) Sustainable environment, (2) Regional prosperity, (3) Accessibility and attractiveness and (4) Safety and security. These challenges shall be addressed within priority areas, thematic pillars and flagship projects.

Baltic Sea Region Programme

Cooperation between institutions in countries that are part of the EUSBSR is financed in part by the EU through the Baltic Sea Region Programme. The overall aim is to make the Baltic Sea Region an attractive place to invest, work and live. According to the programme, the following priority areas are addressed: (1) Fostering innovation, (2) Internal and external accessibility, (3) The Baltic Sea as a common resource and (4) Attractive & competitive cities and regions. Nordregio is currently a project partner in two Baltic Sea Region Programme projects; one dealing with climate change adaptation (BaltCICA) and another concerning the quality of life in urban-rural interactions (NEW BRIDGES).

Nordregio's engagement in the Baltic Sea Region

Nordregio also cooperates as project partner or subcontractor with pan-Baltic organisations such as the Union of the Baltic Cities (NEW BRIDGES project), VASAB: Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea 2010, and the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS)/Baltic 21. Further, Nordregio is a member of Baltic 21´s Expert Group. Within the East-West Window project, Nordregio produced the report "Exploring the Baltic Sea Region - On territorial capital and spatial integration".

In addition to projects funded by the BSR programme, Nordregio is involved in a number of INTERREG projects concerning the region, including the FLEX project, which aims to promote cross-border cooperation between the Central Baltic States. Efforts include flexible working arrangements and the CB Job Ferry project, which emphasises job profiles. The project involves partners from Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Sweden. Finally, Nordregio takes part in the evaluation of cross-border and transnational cooperation programmes in the BSR (e.g. Evaluation of INTERREG IV A).