The Russian Federation takes over of the chairmanship of CBSS (Council of the Baltic Sea States) 1 July 2012 which gives both the Baltic Sea Region and the EU a real opportunity to synchronize efforts for tighter co-operation regarding future projects and for creating visible reinforcement of the organization.
An interim report from Center of cross-border Interregional Cooperation, Saint-Petersburg branch of the Higher School of Economics, states that ”Russia is interested in modernization and further strengthening of the CBSS as an independent cooperation structure”.
The Northern Dimension framework is an important part of the overall the Baltic Sea region co-operation and it is not least important as a platform for developing cross-border co-operation with non EU Member States, first and foremost Russia, complementing the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. This Northern Dimension must be reformed if its role as a full-fledged platform for cooperation of Russian and the European Union in the Baltic Sea region will succeed, the report states.“However, nowadays the time is ripe for deepening cooperation because it would provide a platform for concrete practical results, real programmes and visible improvement of regional prosperity.”
The subject was high on the agenda a month ago in Saint Petersburg at a high level meeting titled : The Baltic Sea region: From planning to common action” organised by The Association North-West Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Higher School of Economics Saint-Petersburg and North-West development and investment promotion agency. Sergey M. Zimin, Deputy Plenipotentiary Envoy of the President of the Russian Federation to the North-West federal district was a key speaker. Topics on the agenda were:
- Presentation of the Strategy of social and economic development of the North-West Federal District until 2020. Main provisions and policy directions in the Baltic Sea region.
- Project of common interest: The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the Russian Federation.
- Prospects of international cooperation in the Baltic Sea region in the business sphere.
- The Northern Dimension policy and the Council of the Baltic Sea States as approaches of uniting Russian and European efforts in the Baltic Sea region.
- Significance of sustainable development concept for politics harmonization of the Baltic Sea region countries.
- Current situation and prospects of cooperation of North-West Russia and the Baltic Sea region countries in the field of transport and energy.
That part of the meeting was moderated by Alexander P. VIKTOROV, Deputy Minister for regional development of the Russian Federation.
Here you can find a comparative table on the Strategy of Social and economic development of the North-West Federal District and the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region – as seen by Center of cross-border Interregional Cooperation, Saint-Petersburg branch of the Higher School of Economics:
BDF welcomes the work being done in this field as an important contribution for creating greater convergence between the EU and Russia of the regional priorities for the Baltic Sea Region cooperation.
Over the years Baltic Development Forum has worked closely with the North-West Development and Investment Promotion Agency in St. Petersburg. The agency plays an important role in creating strong links in the Baltic Sea Region. In the Second half of 2012, BDF will take even more active part of the initiatives of the Agency.