At the Baltic Sea Future Forum, sails are set towards a sustainable and prosperous region by 2030

At the Baltic Sea Future Forum, high-level participants including CBSS officials offered a glimpse into the future of the Baltic Sea Region and about what still needs to be done by 2030, with eye-opening discussions about offshore wind energy, youth and dumped munitions, among other topics.

At the Baltic Sea Future Forum that was held in Kiel, Germany on 25-26 August 2022, key stakeholders and top authorities focused on strengthening the political cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region and on making the latter a global frontrunner of the green transition.

“We want to ramp up the expansion of offshore wind power in the Baltic Sea,” said the German Minister for Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock, in her opening address. “We will organize a Baltic Offshore Forum during our Presidency [of the CBSS], bringing together stakeholders from the public and the private sector to initiate concrete wind power projects. What works in the North Sea will also work in the Baltic,” she added. 

Offshore wind power in the Baltic Sea is one of the priorities of Germany under their current Presidency of the CBSS which started in July 2022 and will end in June 2023. 

Baerbock also encouraged the participation of young people in Baltic Sea politics who “must have a seat at the table when it comes to determining the future of their region”. To that end, the CBSS has recently decided to establish a permanent youth platform – the Baltic Sea Region Youth Forum (BSRYF) – which will officially start on 1 January 2023. 

In Kiel, the CBSS actively participated in three roundtables on youth participation, social resilience, and the clearance of dumped munitions in the Baltic Sea.

The Baltic Sea Region Future Lab roundtable, co-hosted by Aline Mayr, a CBSS project coordinator dealing with youth, offered a platform for dialogue between young people from the Baltic Sea Youth Platform and experts on the vision for the Baltic Sea Region. They notably discussed matters related to infrastructure and sustainable transport, and macro-regional cooperation. 

At the roundtable on Sustainable Procurement, the focus was on achieving efficient sustainable procurement that is economically viable, and on how carbon prices can be included in the overall life-cycle assessment of goods and services. 

The third roundtable, attended by Grzegorz Poznanski, Director General of the CBSS, and gathering prominent experts from the region, addressed the clearance of dumped munitions in the Baltic Sea, a highly complex and pressing matter as many containers currently lying on the seafloor are decomposing. The issue of dumped munitions is also a priority of the current German Presidency of the CBSS.

The closing panel featured a reflection about the future of cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region, where Grzegorz Poznański and Aline Mayr highlighted the role of the CBSS as a platform for coordinating cooperation in the region and as a prime forum for political discussions. 

The Baltic Sea Future Forum organized by the German state of Schleswig-Holstein.