Swedish Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region
Sweden will hold the Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region from 1 July 2022 until 30 June 2023. Work during the Presidency will mainly focus on: strengthening and developing implementation of the Strategy and its action plan, including by developing new forms of cooperation; spreading knowledge of how the Strategy contributes to societal development; and creating the conditions that enable more people to take part in cooperation within the Strategy.
The Presidency involves leading the work to implement the Strategy over a one-year period. Some tasks are inherited from previous Presidencies, while others are launched as issues that the country holding the Presidency particularly wishes to focus on.
The work is carried out both through overall coordination of the Strategy in the national coordinators group and thematically in 14 policy areas. The Prime Minister’s Office is the national coordinator in Sweden and thus coordinates implementation of the Strategy domestically. Each policy area has a steering group that, as of 1 July, will have a Swedish chair from either a ministry or a government agency. Work in the policy areas is coordinated by policy area coordinators who work for the entire Baltic Sea region within their thematic area.
In addition to leading the work in the entire Baltic Sea region over a one-year period, the Prime Minister’s Office leads ongoing efforts to implement the Strategy in Sweden. To help with this task, the Government has instructed a number of Swedish government agencies to assist in implementation of the Strategy. In addition to these, other public authorities and organisations contribute to implementation of the Strategy and are gathered in what is known as the Baltic Sea Network.
The Presidencies of the past three years focused on drawing up, gaining acceptance for and formalising a new action plan. One important focus of the Swedish Presidency will now be to ensure that the action plan is put into practice and implemented in all policy areas to the greatest possible extent. Regional cooperation in the Baltic Sea region must be developed and supported, and Sweden wants to contribute to this.
Another important issue is to improve the visibility of the Strategy and to communicate it externally.
A third issue that Sweden will particularly focus on is to provide support and awareness-raising initiatives. Both institutional and individual capacities must be enhanced. Public authorities and organisations must cooperate to jointly achieve targets and indicators.
The importance of cooperation
The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region is one of four macro-regional strategies, based on cross-sectoral, transnational and multi-level cooperation. It offers a platform for cooperation between public authorities and organisations from the Baltic Sea region.
The Swedish Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region will promote cooperation on all levels by focusing on strengthening implementation, increasing exchanges of experience, improving communication and offering more professional development.