Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region

The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) aims at reinforcing cooperation within the region, promoting a more balanced development in the area and reinforcing the integration within the area.

As far as Russia is concerned the relevant strategy to mention is the Strategy of social and economic development of the North-West Federal District of the Russian Federation.

The EUSBSR is divided into three objectives, which represent the three key challenges of the Strategy: saving the sea, connecting the region and increasing prosperity. The objectives guide an array of Priority Areas which are specific areas for macro-regional cooperation that address the key challenges and opportunities in the Region. The objective on saving the sea closely corresponds to the work of HELCOM for a healthy Baltic Sea environment. The Priority Areas are implemented by regional stakeholders through detailed actions and Flagship Projects.

HELCOM takes part in the Steering Committees of the following Priority Areas:

  • Priority Area Bio – Preserving natural zones and biodiversity, including fisheries
  • Priority Area Hazards – Reducing the use and impact of hazardous substances
  • Priority Area Nutri – Reducing nutrient inputs to the sea to acceptable levels
  • Priority Area Safe – To become a leading region in maritime safety and security

and is also following closely other Priority Areas like:

  • Priority Area Agri – Reinforcing sustainability of agriculture, forestry and fisheries
  • Priority Area Secure – Protection from emergencies and accidents on land
  • Priority Area Ship – Becoming a model region for clean shipping

The Strategy also includes Horizontal Actions which function in parallel with the Priority Areas. HELCOM together with VASAB has been attributed  a prominent role in promoting Maritime Spatial Planning in the region together with other stakeholders according to the Horizontal Action Spatial Planning – Encouraging the use of Maritime and Land-based Spatial Planning in all Member States around the Baltic Sea and develop a common approach for cross-border cooperation.

Seed money is EU funding to prepare projects that contribute to one of the Priority Areas or Horizontal Actions of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. The EUSBSR Seed Money Facility is accessible for cooperation projects in the Baltic Sea region.

Also the Swedish Institute, the Council of the Baltic Sea States and the Nordic Council of Ministers provide seed money instruments for project ideas in the Baltic Sea region.