Council of the Baltic Sea States
The Council of the Baltic Sea States, CBSS, is an inter-governmental forum for cooperation between the states in the Baltic Sea Region. The CBSS was established in 1992 to promote democratic and economic development in the Baltic Sea Region.
The Council's original role has changed over the years depending on the political situation – today nearly all CBSS Member States also belong to the European Union. The Council plays an important role as a political forum of discussion in the Baltic Sea Region, and its significance as a regional organisation involved in various projects, such as the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, is growing.
The Presidency of the CBSS rotates among the Member States. Finland held the Presidency from July 2013 to the end of June 2014. After Finland, the Presidency was taken over by Estonia (2014–2015) and Poland (2015–2016).
The Council meets every second year at foreign ministerial level. The Conference of Foreign Ministers and the Baltic Sea Summit convene in alternate years.
Due to the EU sanctions, the CBSS has not met at governmental level after June 2014. Practical work in the CBSS is coordinated by the Committee of Senior Officials and its work has proceeded normally
In addition, a Permanent International Secretariat, based in Stockholm, supports the work of the CBSS.
The cooperation has the following set of priorities coordinated by the Council:
- Regional identity
- Sustainable and prosperous region
- Safe and secure region
Cooperation at expert level is conducted, for example, in order to prevent organised crime and trafficking in human beings, to improve nuclear and radiation safety, and to preserve the Baltic cultural heritage. In Finland, the CBSS-cooperation is taken care of by the authorities responsible for the respective sectors.The CBSS has a Project Support Facility (PSF) of one MEUR for the timeframe of 2013–2015. The CBSS has created the PSF to support multinational projects in its various sectors of operation, which bring added value to the Baltic Sea Region.
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