The eight EU countries that make up the Baltic Sea Region are Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland cooperating closely with the neighbouring countries Norway, Iceland, Russia and Belarus.
The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBRS) was the first macro-regional strategy in the EU. The idea first developed in 2007 as one of the major challenges of the Baltic Sea Region was the eutrophication of the sea, and was officially endorsed in 2009 (for the official European Commission communication see here). Cooperating in a new multinational transnational policy framework, complementing the transnational INTERREG programmes and further cooperation platforms such as HELCOM or VASAB, promised to allow for a better coordination to tackle joint challenges. The jointly-agreed Action Plan includes a number of policy areas and horizontal actions that altogether shall support to save the sea, connect the region and increase prosperity. The current version of the EUSBRS Action Plan from 2017 is the fourth iteration, while a fifth version is currently under development.
Specificities of the EU Baltic Sea Strategy include the choice to have four Horizontal Actions and define Flagships, which include numerous concrete activities to achieve the EUSBRS goals. Currently the EUSBRS is moving from a project-based focus to ensuring a further support of policy development.
For the Baltic Sea Regions spatial development and planning VASAB plays a crucial role, wherefore in this tool VASAB has been specifically considered.
For more documentation and materials, please visit the EUSBSR website.