Macro-regional strategies can be seen as an innovative way of organising policy-making and regional cooperation. The four current strategies address specific challenges and opportunities in a certain geographical area, and  promote mutual learning processes through ‘experimenting’. The processes of macro-regions result often in new governance architechture, thus studying them from the perspective of experimental governance can help us to understand better the development of Strategies, and how they change regions.

The article "Experimental Union’ and Baltic Sea cooperation: the case of the European Union’s Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR)" written by Professor Stefan Gänzle focuses on the "soft space" of Baltic Sea transnational cooperation from the perspective of experimental governance.

Soft space is characterised by "informality, variability and flexibility of the institutional structures, different thematic and stakeholders’ involvement". However, in the long run, soft space may transform into a more stable and permanent structures, and change the already existing institutions. 

The article highlights some examples of the changes brought by macro-regional strategies. One example of the change (and importance of Flagships!) is the Baltic Sea Fisheries Forum, an EUSBSR Flagship that has become a permanent fisheries forum, and part of the region's cooperation.

The EUSBSR social media campaign #EUSBSRBetterTogether took place during six weeks from October 8 till November 16. Posts about the Strategy and its results were shared daily on Facebook and Twitter. Each week, the posts focused on one of the objectives, and highlighted it through projects and their achievements.

The campaing turned out as a success: lots of likes, shares, comments and retweets that all contributed to the increased visibility of the EUSBSR. Thanks to the campaign and to the multipliers of the messages, the results of the Strategy are more known, and clearly attract interest among the followers. It also proved that cooperation pays off - we are better together!

Here are the results in figures:



Would your organization like to start or expand a joint collaboration that contributes to sustainable economic, environmental or social development in the Baltic Sea Region?

The Swedish Institute provides seed funding for joint projects in which Swedish organizations meet transnational challenges in cooperation with organizations from the Baltic Sea Region countries and the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries. The project activities that the Swedish Institute supports via ‘seed funding’ must be clearly linked to one or more of the challenges identified in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea region.


Basic facts about seed funding from the Swedish Institute:

  • The main applicant has to be based in Sweden
  • Seed funding projects can include the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Sweden and Ukraine
  • A partnership has to include actors from at least three countries. For more detailed conditions of the participation of specific countries and partnership composition see the website of the Swedish Institute.
  • A project can apply for a maximum of SEK 500,000
  • A project can run for no longer than 18 months.
  • The call closes 5 February 2019 at 15:00 CET.


More information

More detailed information and application documents can be found on the website of the Swedish Institute.


Contacts at the Swedish Institute

Annika Claesson, +46 8 453 78 58, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Katrine Larsen, +46 8 453 79 62, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Camilla Wristel, +46 8 453 79 67, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


At the end of October, six platforms kicked off. Project platforms is a new funding instrument by Interreg Baltic Sea Region with the aim of making more out of project results and maximising projects' impact. Platforms are also connected to the EUSBSR by involving coordinators.

Each of the platforms has a different approach: ResQU2 (increasing emergency preparedness related to sea shipping), Blue platform (dealing with different aspects of blue bio-economy), BSR Access (deals with TEN-T transport corridors), BSR Water (holistic water management), SuMaNu (better nutrient management in farming) and CSHIPP (cleaner shipping).

Read more about the platforms here.

New tools for cooperation throughout ESI funds and instruments

This event, organised by Interact, is aimed at pointing out what is the current situation for the use and implementation tools for cooperation throughout ESI funds and instruments and – as well – to identify future perspectives for the (simplified) use of new tools for cooperation and development, also in the framework of the EU macro-regional strategies.

Objectives of the event are among others:


  • Presenting legislative framework for the implementation of co-operation in IGJ/ESI Funds and rationale for cooperation,
  • Presenting the current state of play, experiences and future perspectives for the (simplified) use of new tools for cooperation and development,
  • Outline the possibilities and examples for embedding cooperation in programmes funded by ESI Funds, also in the framework of the EU Macro-regional strategies.

More information and registration here.


The Baltic Institute of Finland was appointed as the new coordinator of the Policy Area Innovation in the EUSBSR National Coordinators' meeting in Copenhagen September 26 2018.

The EUSBSR Communication Point had a chance to interview the new PA Innovation Coordinator Esa Kokkonen about the appointment and future plans.


What does the appointment as EUSBSR PA Innovation Coordinator mean to you?

This is an important acknowledgement for Baltic Institute of Finland and for its long-time and active work for innovation cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. We feel privileged and grateful for this opportunity and important EUSBSR task, as we have actively contributed to the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and its flagship projects since the initiation of the strategy in the European Parliament in 2005.


What are your next steps from here as a new coordinator?

In 2018-2020, a special focus of PA INNO activities will be on regional innovation ecosystems and smart specialization, digitalization related research cooperation, kickstart activities e.g. on real-time economy concept and talent management, as well as on related capacity building. New areas and topics of innovation cooperation are identified and supported on a process basis. The activities are based on the PA INNO Strategy Guide 2016-2020. Cooperation with other Policy Areas will be also emphasized, as well as exchange with other EU macro-regional strategies. Various PA INNO events will be organized already in Autumn 2018, e.g. on capacity building and smart specialization.  


After this appointment, PA Innovation is now coordinated by Reet Reismaa (left), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications in Estonia, Esa Kokkonen, The Baltic Institute of Finland and Tomasz Jalukowicz, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland.


Read also about the appointment on the Baltic Institute of Finland website.




The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region is created to strengthen cooperation between countries bordering the Baltic Sea.

Save the sea, connect the region and increase prosperity – this is our common field of work.

By the #EUSBSRBetterTogether! campaign starting today and promoting this cooperation framework we want to highlight the importance of working together to ensure further growth in our region and face future challenges.

Stay tuned for the updates on EUSBSR Facebook page and Twitter account and follow the #EUSBSRBetterTogether!



The 10th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR will be held in Gdańsk on 12-13th June 2019. The Forum will be hosted by the Pomorskie Region together with the Baltic Sea States Subregional Co-operation in close cooperation with the European Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland and other partners.

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About 800 participants from governments, international organisations, NGOs, universities, local and regional administrations and businesses will come together to discuss developments and challenges in the Baltic Sea Region.

Please book the date in your calendar and visit Gdańsk – city of freedom and solidarity - in June 2019! More information will soon follow at the EUSBSR website.


The Annual Forum is co-financed from the Interreg Baltic Sea Region 2014-2020 programme.


As many as 31 new projects will receive funding within the framework of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020. The Monitoring Committee of Interreg Baltic Sea Region met in Tallinn on 19-20 September 2018 to select most promising transnational projects to further stimulate the development of the region in the fields of capacity for innovation, management of natural resources and sustainable transport.

Newly selected projects complement 74 ongoing projects from the first call and second call, and will actively contribute to making the Baltic Sea region more innovative, better accessible and sustainable.

More information here.

Is your organisation participating in an EU project or a flagship within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region? Would you like to co-operate with countries outside the EU? If you are a Swedish organisation, you can apply for funding from the Swedish Institute to establish and develop networks in this area!

Third Country Participation in the Baltic Sea Region offers Swedish actors the opportunity to apply for project funding for the inclusion of actors from Russia or the countries of the EU Eastern Partnership in a current EU project or a flagship within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

The projects applying for funding for Third Country Participation in the Baltic Sea Region will contribute to economic, environmentally and socially sustainable growth in the Baltic Sea region and its immediate area. In the long term they will contribute to an increased integration in the region. The projects will work on a common challenge in the region and benefit all participating actors.

The projects should have a clear link to policies in the region: the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and/or the EU Eastern Partnership.

More information here.