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1 EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region European Commission DG Regional Policy, Territorial Cooperation.

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Presentation on theme: "1 EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region European Commission DG Regional Policy, Territorial Cooperation."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region European Commission DG Regional Policy, Territorial Cooperation

2 2 Agenda Two years into implementation phase. Short update on how the process looks from our side, more specifically: I.Background for the Strategy II.Outline of the implementation process and the governance structure III.Alignment of funding IV.Reporting issues

3 3 Why an EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region? Requested by the European Council, inter alia help to address the urgent environmental challenges A need to speed up implementation of important priorities An integrated approach to identify needs, solutions and match them to available resources Three objectives: 1. Save the Sea 2. Connect the Region 3. Increase Prosperity

4 4 Added value of an EU Strategy It mobilises projects across borders and sectors It serves as a catalyst for strengthening cooperation mechanisms within Member States and among countries in a Region By involving all relevant policy areas and countries, it promotes balanced regional development It contributes to channel existing funding instruments so their potential can be fully utilised

5 5 The approach An integrated approach: Environment, Economy, Accessibility, Safety A rolling Action Plan: 15 Priority Areas, 90+ Flagship Projects Alignment of funding Integrated Maritime Policy Simple implementation system: better use of existing institutions, funding, and legislation

6 6 Implementation Simple implementation system: making better use of existing institutions, funding and legislation – no new EU structures, EU laws, or EU money Policy development: European Council and high-level group Coordination, monitoring and follow-up: European Commission on the basis of a mandate from the Council in October 2009 and again in 2012 Implementation on the ground: Member State or equivalent coordinates Priority Area; Ministry, agency, or other body leads flagship projects

7 7 Examples of flagship projects Remove phosphates in detergents – completed Improve waste handling on board and in ports – completed Fund innovation and research Promote environmental technologies Create marine protected areas Connect the Baltic States to the energy networks Improve transport infrastructures Establish joint curricula in universities Better cooperation in case of marine pollution

8 8 Alignment of funding Structural Funds and other funding sources Lab Group Conference in Riga in March 2010 Bilateral meetings in Member States Issuance of Technical assistance grants courtesy of European Parliament funding Exploring the potential for a seed money facility Aim: to achieve better coordination and more focus on the priorities of the Strategy

9 9 Reviews and reporting Review of the Action Plan is ongoing, aiming for completion by end of 2012 Progress reports now issued bi-annually The first review of the Strategy in Council took place during the PL presidency in 2011 DK presidency has followed up on PL decisions Informal 30 June 2010 report – PAC + OP MA contributions 3 rd Annual Forum 2012: June in Copenhagen

10 10 Present situation Priority Areas are working, some more efficiently than others. –Importance of avoiding duplication. In PA11 the new steering committee has been found to be a better forum for discussion than existing fora. Back-to-back meetings, etc. Domestic re-organisation Results are continuing to show Other macro-regions looking to follow…

11 11 Conclusion Very demanding process which aims at improving coherence and coordination between a large number of: –policies and priorities at the european, national, regional levels; –instruments and programmes; –Partners, including public, NGO, and private; –countries and regions - sometimes heterogeneous. Macro-regional strategy requires combination of: –strong political committment, –preparedness for multilevel governance –knowledge management experience

12 12 Conclusion Importance of intensity and maturity of cooperation; Need for a clear common vision on a limited number of key issues and of focused priorities The development of new macro-regional strategies should be considered in the light of the first results from Baltic and Danube strategies

13 13 Review of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region

14 14 The review process Annual implementation report, June 2011 Polish EU Presidency, Council Conclusions, November 2011 Commission Communication, March 2012 Danish EU Presidency, Council Conclusions, June 2012 Update of the Action Plan, autumn 2012 => Strategy 2.0

15 15 Outcomes: An overview Clearer objectives, indicators and targets Clearer roles and responsibilities Embedding the Strategy in financial instruments Structured cooperation with neighbours Better involvement of all stakeholder groups Better communication Sustained commitment

16 16 Objectives, indicators, targets 3 objectives for the Strategy –Save the Sea –Connect the Region –Increase Prosperity …made concrete through indicators and targets For example: –Objective: Save the Sea –Indicator: Good environmental status –Target: by 2021

17 17 Roles and responsibilities Guidelines on what is expected from the main stakeholders are important to make the work transparent and effective Lists setting out these key tasks have been developed by a task-force To be endorsed by the Council and included in the updated Action Plan A handbook will be published with extensive descriptions, explanations and examples

18 18 The future programming period Macro-regional strategies included in the draft regulations, especially: –Common provisions, Art. 14(a)v: Partnership Contracts to take account, where appropriate, of macro-regional strategies –Common provisions, Art. 87(c)vi: Relevant Operational Programmes to set out their planned interventions to support the Strategy –ETC regulation, Art. 6(b) allowing transnational programmes to support implementation (TA) Seed money facility to ensure the development of good, relevant projects

19 19 Involving neighbouring countries To build on existing structures, such as the Northern Dimension, CBSS, NCM and HELCOM On-going dialogue with the Russian Federation, agreement on projects of joint interest – expert groups to be established Regional cooperation with Russian coastal regions: Turku-process involving St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast; CBSS SEBA involving Kaliningrad

20 20 Better Communication Cooperation with Interact on new website, newsletter, visual identity. Needs analysis in progress Better involvement of stakeholders Through multi-level governance, clearer roles… Political commitment and policy alignment Continuous visibility and relevance to ensure commitment at all levels Strategy included in relevant Council agendas

21 21 Updating the Action Plan Merging, adding or cutting Priority Areas? Time to clean up! Making Strategy objectives operational Indicators and targets at Priority Area level to streamline and focus the work –PAC/HAL/NCP input by May –Annual Forum discussion in June –Draft Action Plan over the summer –Stakeholders consultations in early autumn –Updated Action Plan by the end of 2012

22 22 Thank you for your attention! EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region: an integrated framework to address the challenges and opportunities of the Baltic Sea Region

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