About Us

Building collaboration and trust. The Council of the Baltic Sea States is an inter-governmental political forum for cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region.

Established in 1992 by the Foreign Ministers of the Baltic Sea countries to stabilise the region and reignite cooperation after the Cold War, the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) is an intergovernmental organisation (IGO) that currently consists of 11 members: the 10 Member States of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, and Sweden, plus the European Union.

Since its inception, the CBSS has been at the forefront of resolving transboundary and cross-sectoral issues, promoting stability in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR), and reinforcing the commitment of its Member States to democratic institutions, adherence to international law, and respect for human rights.

Today, the CBSS serves as a primary platform for political dialogue in the BSR, encompassing international cooperation in areas agreed on by its members. The CBSS possesses the expertise, networks, and authority needed to confront the BSR’s critical challenges with effective, large-scale solutions.

Working through various committees, expert groups, and networks to implement joint initiatives and projects that contribute to regional development, the CBSS notably focuses on its current three long-term priorities – Regional Identity, Safe & Secure Region, and Sustainable & Prosperous Region:

  • Safe and Secure Region: The CBSS works to ensure that everyone feels safe and at home in the BSR, enhancing community well-being and societal resilience, and establishing robust networks for a regional response to emergencies. Under this priority, the CBSS focuses on civil protection, child protection, and human trafficking.
  • Regional Identity: By emphasising regional identity and cultivating a sense of “Balticness,” the CBSS has deepened mutual understanding among Member States, creating a foundation for successful cooperation on critical issues. The action areas under this priority include culture, education, and youth.
  • Sustainable and Prosperous Region: The CBSS champions sustainable and resilient societies, advocating for economic and social development that respects the limits of our ecosystem and addresses climate change. The CBSS seeks to make the Baltic Sea Region a leading example of sustainability and prosperity, inspiring other regions worldwide. Here, the CBSS concentrates on climate dialogue, science cooperation, sustainable development, and sustainable maritime economy.

The CBSS supports a global perspective on regional issues, politically and practically translating global goals, such as those from the UN or the EU, at the macro-regional level. It is a strength of the CBSS to be involved in both regional policy-making and the implementation of policies, including through projects and actions on the ground.

The CBSS operates under robust political mandates and decisions, notably stemming from the Heads of Government (Baltic Sea States Summits) and Foreign Ministers (CBSS Ministerial Sessions) of the CBSS Member States, underpinning its regional influence.

The CBSS is governed by its Council and its Committee of Senior Officials (CSO). To guide decision-making, the CBSS has established a number of expert groups and other similar bodies. These are tasked with providing expertise, devising strategies, and implementing solutions for a range of issues that the CBSS addresses. The operations of the CBSS are supported and coordinated by its Secretariat, which is based in Stockholm, Sweden.