To showcase the work and priorities of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and to discuss political collaboration in the Baltic Sea Region, the German Embassy in Helsinki, Finland and the CBSS jointly organised an event on “Cooperation in the BSR in a changing (geo)political climate” on 29 November 2022.
Taking place at the German Embassy Helsinki and attended by the embassies of most Baltic Sea countries and other states, officials from the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other stakeholders operating in the region, the event featured a panel discussion on “Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region in a changing (geo)political climate”.
The panellist notably reflected on “multi-level governance”, a specificity of the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) where numerous political frameworks, from the local to the wider regional level, interact and work together to address the common issues affecting the region.
“Balticness is all about collaboration and solving problems together,” said Grzegorz Poznański, the Director General of the Secretariat of the CBSS and one of the panellists.
The other panellists were Esther Kreutz-Hassinen, Head of the Sustainable Cities Commission of the Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC), Rüdiger Strempel, Executive Secretary of HELCOM; and Jari Vilén from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Chair of the Barents Euro Arctic Council and Northern Dimension national coordinator.
The panellists also touched on how the recent geopolitical events affected or influenced cooperation in the BSR in general and the work of their respective organisations in particular.
The CBSS is currently undergoing a reflection process on its future orientations and priorities, initiated in the wake of Russia’s suspension and withdrawal from the Council. The results of this process will be a basis for decisions by the foreign ministers of the Baltic Sea countries, at the next CBSS Ministerial Session to be held in mid-2023.
Moderated by Konrad Arz von Straussenburg, the German Ambassador to Finland, the event was held on the occasion of the current German Presidency of the CBSS. Germany has set offshore wind energy, dumped munitions, and youth as the main priorities under its Presidency.
Florian Rudolph, from the German Federal Office and Chair of the German Presidency, and Helena Tuuri, the Senior Official representing Finland in the CBSS, respectively opened and closed the event with their insights on the Council.