CBSS Workshops at the EUSBSR

With the EUSBSR Forum over, we look back at the many workshops the CBSS was involved in and what was achieved. In a true CBSS fashion, we’ve covered a lot of ground, ranging from digitalisation, carbon neutrality to science and international cooperation.

Risks and (untapped) potential of digitalisation in ports and at sea

Digitalisation affects global shipping and ports, where macro-regional collaboration can help turn environmental challenges into new opportunities in line with the EU Green Deal, strengthen crisis management and rescue capabilities in ports and at sea, as well on addressing the rising threat of cyberattacks. In the workshop, together with academia, industry and government representatives we explored experiences of existing initiatives and approaches and identified opportunities and threats.

The workshop resulted in a series of project ideas and policy recommendations. These included among others projects focusing on standardization of shore-side power facilities and researching the risks related to the human element of digitalization and automation. Regarding policy, regulation should reflect the market needs of the private maritime stakeholders and this should be considered in future regulation on green initiatives in the maritime industry. To mitigate cyber security threats, maritime stakeholders should seek to strengthen their monitoring systems and upgrade outdated ones. 

Macro-regional research cooperation – a crucial factor for implementing the Green Deal in the Baltic Sea Region

Achieving a climate neutral Europe by 2020, as it is stated in the EU Green Deal can only be made possible if science and research provide the evidence base with which policymakers can initiate new policies, which in turn needs to be accepted by society at large. To achieve such constructive science-policy-society loop, it is important how and to whom science is communicated.

The concept of citizens’ science helps to bring results to the people and ask for their feedback. Improved storytelling and art can be important tools to raise people’s interest in science and encourage behavioural change. New media channels shall be used to reach out to the youth. Regulation and laws are important tools but including bottom-up approaches are key to foster sustainability and ensure citizens’ involvement.

A number of successful programmes and initiatives such as HALOS, BAMOS, and the BSN Network are well positioned to foster such science and research cooperation towards a sustainable Baltic Sea Region, but more financial support is necessary.

Common Road Map for Co-operation in the Baltic Sea Region: Joint actions for Sustainable Region

On the 6th of October the CBSS Secretariat hosted a workshop at the EUSBSR 11th Annual Forum focusing on the implementation of sustainable development goals as a common framework for EU and it’s neighbours cooperation within the Baltic Sea Region.  In the workshop “Common Road Map for COOPERATION in BSR: Joint actions for Sustainable Region” more than 60 stakeholders from countries around the Baltic Sea Region participated, representing international pan Baltic organisations, EUSBSR Policy Areas, and Northwest Russian cities and regions.

There is an urgent call for action in the Baltic Sea Region for countries to implement the objectives of the Agenda 2030 to ensure sustainability and social welfare in the region. The importance of collaboration and joint efforts in order to successfully reach the goals of Agenda 2030 were highlighted by the participants in the workshop, and a common framework for further cooperation was proposed.

The recommendations from the workshop will be transmitted to the Annual Forum for further consideration as an emerging area for cooperation.

Reducing security risks related to the climate change and mainstreaming climate agenda in EUSBSR after 2020

There are several current climate change-related security risks that have been identified in the region. The new EUSBSR Action Plan and Climate coordination should have a clear strategy in the sectors that work with climate actions either directly or indirectly such as Tourism, Safe and Education.

The CASCADE project that was set up to mitigate such climate change related risks demonstrates the importance of strengthening political and public support for disaster risk reduction as well as improving the work in this area by, among others, tailoring the UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction to the regional context and its challenges, increasing the systemic support from the national for local level planning,
improving guidance and support (incl. financial) and integrating climate adaptation across all policy areas and relevant sectors.

Innovation for carbon neutral transport in the Baltic Sea Region

To deliver the European Green Deal of reaching climate neutrality by 2050, there is a need to rethink policies for clean energy supply across sectors. Besides other measures, there is need to ramp-up the production and deployment of sustainable alternative transport fuels. By 2025, about 1 million public recharging and refueling stations will be needed for the 13 million zero- and low-emission vehicles expected on European roads.

The workshop proposed, among other solutions, to set targets and incentives to rapidly expand the share of reusable energy and offshore wind in the Baltic Sea Region countries; set quotas to create stable investment climate through strong hydrogen policy targets; verify and certify the green origins & carbon footprint of hydrogen; reduce fossil fuel subsidies towards a full phase-out; implement higher CO2 prices to level playing field; reduce fiscal and administrative burden on hydrogen by reducing or removing grid fees, surcharges or taxes; support joint offshore wind and hydrogen (pilot) projects in the Baltic Sea Region.