BDF Strategy 2009

in News

Following a meeting of the BDF Board, an agreement has been reached on BDF’s role and activities in the Region during this year. Here is a short version of the BDF Strategy 2009.

Short Presentation of the Baltic Development Forum Strategy 2009

The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) has created a positive atmosphere towards regional cooperation and new optimism in the area. The Strategy represents presently the very best chance to realise many of the objectives that BDF has worked for throughout the last 10 years.

This despite the fact that the Region has been severely hit by the current financial and economic crisis, which has also disclosed problems related to political governance in some of the countries. The financial sector – that has almost been a symbol of recent years’ dynamic integration – is also in crisis and a phase of evaluation is taking place.

Vision and Mission

BDF’s existing vision, mission and values remain highly relevant in 2009, although the regional context and structures are changing. Our vision is to make the Baltic Sea Region the most dynamic, innovative and sustainable economic growth centre in the World. Our mission is to position the Baltic Sea Region in the EU and on the global map by advancing the growth and competitive potential through partnership between business, government and academia. We initiate and facilitate the creation of strategies, provide thematic analyses and offer a wide networking arena for high-level decision-makers to meet.

BDF’s yearly Summit remains the primary occasion to combine the mission and vision and to play an important role in region for all stakeholders. It is a strategic objective to constantly improve and develop the BDF’s Top of Europe Summit and to ensure that it remains relevant in the future and not least in context of the EU strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and relations with Russia. BDF remains a networking organisation with ambitions to develop substantial documentation (think-tank) as background documentation for the issues that are taken up.

Priority Areas

Taking into account the political and economic context of the BSR and BDF’s traditional role in regional co-operation, the following areas will have priority during 2009:

1) EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region
Through consultation with European Institutions and regional partners, BDF will be actively involved in formulating and channelling input to the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and ensure that the Strategy will be at the centre of regional integration initiatives. The EU Strategy will be an important framework for the 2009 BDF Summit in Stockholm in order to mobilise general and broad political support for the Strategy.

2) Energy Co-operation in the Baltic Sea Region
The objective of BDF’s activities is to succeed in making the Baltic Sea Region a “Green Valley of Europe”- an innovative, strong energy cluster. In 2009 an important instrument for mobilizing different stakeholders in order to link the existing knowledge on energy solution will be the on-going study on enhanced regional energy cooperation developed in co-operation with the consultancy firm Ea Energy Analysis.

3) Northern European Knowledge Market
BDF will continue working on the creation of a single Northern European Knowledge Market. The project will be a survey among stakeholders uncovering potentials and barriers.

4) Branding and Baltic Metropoles Network (BaltMet)
In order to promote the BSR in global markets and to attract investors, tourists, and skilled professionals BDF is taking part in BaltMet Promo Project. BDF aligns the activities and objectives of the Project with those of other institutions and initiatives aimed at promoting a common identity in and visibility of the Baltic Sea Region, and to try to ensure that the different initiatives support and reinforce each other.

5) Baltic Sea Region (virtual) Think Tank
BDF supports the initiative of establishing a virtual BSR Think Tank and a common IT platform. In order to promote the idea, the BDF 2009 Summit could serve as a meeting place to discuss the political State of the Region and the need to coordinate and strengthen the research community on the BSR.

6) State of the Region Report 2009
The State of the Region Report, which has obtained widespread recognition throughout the Baltic Sea Region and in the European Union, will be the backbone of BDF’s analytical work. An editorial committee is setting the priorities on the topics chosen in the report.

7) 11th BDF Summit
The 2009 BDF Summit takes place in Stockholm on 5-6 October and is organised in association with the Swedish EU Presidency. The programme will be elaborated covering the Business, Security, Energy and Climate agenda.

8 ) Increased co-operation with Russia
Better connections with Russian business sector as well as a deeper understanding of its political developments are continuingly one of the goals for BDF. To underline the importance of co-operation with Russia a seminar on energy will be held in Kaliningrad in the first half of June.

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Besides the above mentioned activities, BDF will as hitherto participate and contribute in many different networks, seminars and conferences in order to improve the regional dialogue, strengthen cohesion, promote sustainable economic development and the region’s international competitiveness.