Minister for European Affairs Nicolai Wammen signals at a Danish seminar on the Baltic Sea Region cooperation a more ambitious Danish approach towards the regional cooperation: “the Danish Government has chosen an ambitious approach to the Baltic Sea and the many networks and project activities that we see in the region.
I think that the reason why we have come so far in developing the regional cooperating in this part of Europe is that we have never been completely satisfied. It is always possible to do more”, the Minister said to approximately 100 participants that represented many different parts of the Danish society.
The Minister underlined that the Danish export to the region was worth 400 billion DKK and hence important to the Danish economy. The Minister, who had just visited the three Baltic States including the BDF Summit in Riga Latvia, mentioned the importance of setting a broad growth agenda. The maritime sector, energy and Russia were among the topics raised. Furthermore, the Minister made reference to the cooperation between investment promotion agencies which the Baltic Development Forum is resposible for within the partly EU financed One BSR Project in the Baltic Sea Region, which is seen as a promising initiative to promote the region globally. Read the full speech (in Danish only).
The Head of Region Zealand, Steen Bach Nielsen (S) also underlined how important the region was to the future development of Region Zealand: “It has become part of our everyday activities”, he said. He also mentioned that the development of the Fehmarn belt region with Germany was essential in the future as the Oresund region with Sweden was today. The special cross-border cooperation with Germany within the STRING programme was part of the endeavours to tighten the many links on all levels with German partners.
Member of European Parliament, Morten Løkkegaard spoke about EU’s next budget and the negotiations between the Council and the European Parliament emphasizing that the negotiations were still ongoing. One controversial issue was the Connecting Europe Facility that could also be very important to the Baltic Sea Region. Furthermore, he mentioned how important communication was to becoming a successful model region in Europe. He praised BDF’s initiative to improve communication and highlighted that the Parliament played an important role in this regard.
The seminar was organized by the Baltic Development Forum together with the Danish Ministry of Foreign affairs, the European Commission in Denmark, Danish Regions and the Ministry of Business and Growth.
High on the agenda was also the Danish programming of the structural funds and how they were supporting the EU strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. Among the speakers in the seminar were the Danish Maritime Authority that highlighted the work within clean and safe shipping and the Danish Nature Agency that spoke on the present Danish HELCOM Presidency.
Both ministries will be cooperating with the Baltic Development Forum on the stakeholder conference that will take place 3 October in Copenhagen back-to-back with the HELCOM ministerial. The Confederation of Danish Industry equally saw many opportunities in the closer cooperation in this field not least for promotion of clean-tech solutions.
See more on the conference programme (in Danish only):
And here are the links to the slides shown at the seminar: