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Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States in 2013-2014

Suomen puheenjohtajuus Itämeren valtioiden neuvostossa 2013–2014Finland assumed the Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) on 1 July 2013.

The one-year Presidency rotates amongst the eleven member countries of the Council. The Presidency was now transferred to Finland from Russia.

The theme of Finland’s Presidency of the CBSS is
a Clean, Safe and Smart Baltic Sea

The priorities include maritime policy, civil security, as well as people-to-people cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region. The priorities now selected are based on the sectors of the Council’s activities, which are the environment and sustainable development, energy, education and culture, economy and civil security.

  1. Successful joint maritime policy for the Baltic Sea Region strengthens economic competitiveness and supports environment-friendly and safe maritime traffic. Finland’s aim is to promote clean shipping focusing particularly on alternative fuels, and to support smart maritime transport and improve maritime safety.
  2. The safety of the residents in the Baltic Sea Region can be improved through close international cooperation between authorities. In the civil security sector, the CBSS Presidency focuses on nuclear and radiation safety, border guard cooperation, as well as on the prevention and management of multisector maritime accidents.
  3. A well-functioning civil society and active people-to-people interaction are a significant part of this regional cooperation. Finland wants to strengthen the role of civil society and improve possibilities for NGOs to participate in cross-border cooperation. The Presidency seeks new perspectives on youth issues in the Baltic Sea Region and strengthens the tripartite cooperation conducted within the framework of the Baltic Sea Labour Forum.

Projects in the sectors of maritime policy, civil security and people-to-people cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region will be implemented between the CBSS member countries during the Presidency term. The goal is efficient, lasting and pragmatic cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region.

We want to enhance the cooperation of Baltic Sea regional actors and political processes

During the country’s Presidency, Finland wants to enhance the cooperation of Baltic Sea regional actors and political processes and to intensify their interaction. Important bodies of cooperation are, for example, the Northern Dimension, the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission HELCOM, the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC), the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Arctic Council. Parallel to holding the Presidency of the CBSS, Finland will take over the chairmanship of the BEAC in October 2013, providing a good opportunity to boost synergies between the two regional councils.  

The main event of the Finnish Presidency is the CBSS Summit, to be held in Turku in June 2014.

Photo: MEK-image

Follow the Finnish Presidency of the CBSS

Topical information on the Finnish Presidency of the CBSS and its events will be updated both on this Presidency website and also on the website of the Secretariat of the CBSS. Follow also the pages of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on Facebook and Twitter.

More information:
The Finnish Presidency of the CBSS 2013-2014, e-publication 

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