This year’s Baltic Stakeholder Conference, organised by HELCOM on March 9, aimed to speed up the implementation of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan and send an emphatic call for action. Creative and outside the box thinking is needed to ensure the state of the Baltic Sea is improving. Therefore, young people were invited to kick off the conference and ask their very relevant questions to the decision-makers.
The conference hosted young experts from the Baltic Sea Youth Working Group on Advocacy coordinated by the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) who took the lead in calling for urgent action to implement the Baltic Sea Action Plan. The two youth representatives from the CBSS, Paulius Kliučininkas and Josefine Gottschalk, not only had their own Q&A session but were actively putting the decision-makers and experts into the hot seat to emphasise how urgent actions have to be taken to implement the Baltic Sea Action Plan. They joined the discussion to remind decision-makers that their non-actions will have tremendous consequences for future generations. Collaboration to fully implement the Baltic Sea Action Plan is important, and it has to happen now.
“Young experts dare to ask the questions many people do not want to be asked. They not only have the vision for a better future but also feel the need to remind those in power about the impact their (non)-actions have for future generations.”Aline Mayr, CBSS Policy Officer for Youth, Regional Identity
The Council of the Baltic Sea States played a specific role in coordinating the Baltic Sea Youth Working Group on Advocacy and facilitated the preparation of questions by the group, as well as the coordination between the organizers and the chosen youth representatives.
“The CBSS focuses on intergenerational dialogue to ensure meaningful participation of young people in policy-making. Therefore, it is important to link youth contributions in various formats, be it the EUSBSR, the BSPC, or HELCOM, and follow up on the questions and recommendations brought into the discourse. This will lead to a more efficient implementation of policies.”Aline Mayr, CBSS Policy Officer for Youth, Regional Identity
The CBSS currently coordinates three working groups for young talents to get informed about processes ongoing in the Baltic Sea Region and how they can contribute to enhancing the life of our societies. These groups were founded during the implementation of the Baltic Sea Youth Platform project and might be integrated into the Baltic Sea Region Youth Forum in the future. An open call for the Baltic Sea Youth Working Groups was published on February 28 and closed on March 19.