Council of the Baltic Sea States History
The Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) was created in 1992 and its objective is to strengthen and intensify co-operation among the Baltic Sea states. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Germany, Poland, Russia, and the European Commission take part in the work of the Council of the Baltic Sea States.
Mr. Hans-Dietrich Genscher and Mr. Uffe Ellemann-Jensen were the founders of the CBSS as a response to the geopolitical changes that took place in the Baltic Sea region with the end of the Cold War. Since its founding the CBSS has contributed to ensuring positive developments within the Baltic Sea region and has served as a driving force for multi-lateral co-operation.
Estonia considers it important that the CBSS should be as project-oriented as possible and the participation should provide specific added value.
Council of the Baltic Sea States Cooperation areas
During the Finnish Presidency (2013-14), the development of the organisation’s renewed longterm priorities was completed.
The new longterm priorities of the Council of the Baltic Sea States are the development of three areas:
- regional identity
- sustainable and prosperous region
- safe and secure region
New directions for cooperation and key elements in the document on the implementation of the Vilnius Declaration (A Vision for the Baltic Sea Region by 2020), were also approved during the Finnish Presidency.
The Estonian Presidency from July 1 2014 until June 30 2015 focused mainly on the practical cooperation ongoing in the expert groups of the Council of the Baltic Sea States. Estonia has previously been the chairman of the Council of the Baltic Sea States during the periods 1993-1994 and 2003-2004.
During the Finnish Presidency, development of the organisation’s new long-term priorities was completed. Since Estonia was the first chairman under whose leadership the organisation has started working towards the new priorities.
The keywords of the Estonian presidency were pragmatism, efficiency and cooperation.
The three priorities of the Estonian Presidency were:
- regional identity;
- regional sustainability;
- civil security.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised a number of meetings of the Committee of Senior Officials. The Committee of Senior Officials organises the work of the council during periods between meetings of the foreign ministers and is the central body where information concerning regional cooperation in various fields converges.
Starting in July of 2015, Poland assumed the Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States for 2015-16. Iceland followed 2016-17. CBSS Foreign Ministers meeting on June,20 2017 commemorated 25th Anniversary of the Council. Read more here.
From July,1 2017 CBSS Presidency is Sweden. Read more here
Project Support Facility
In 2012, the prime ministers decided to create the CBSS Project Support Facility for the years 2013-2015 with a size of 1 million Euros. Its new period was decided in 2016 and it lasts also 3 years (2017-19) and the amount of money involved is again 1 million euros for 3 years period.
Cooperation with other formats
Currently the Council of the Baltic Sea States has designated ten countries with Observer Status and seventeen organisations strategic partners status.
Estonia values the fact that CBSS is contributing to the goals set by the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region through concrete activities and projects.
References to important documents
Declaration of the Council of the Baltic Sea States on the implementation of the Vilnius Declaration on A Vision for the Baltic Sea Region by 2020 (2010)
Links to Cooperation networks
- Baltic Sea Region Border Control Cooperation (BSRBCC) - go to website
- BASREC – the Baltic Sea Region Energy Cooperation - go to website
Today, BASREC represents a unique and important regional forum for dialogue on energy policy and global climate change issues with an emphasis on the promotion of energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy and other sustainable supply sources.
- Vision and Strategies Around the Baltic Sea (VASAB) - go to website
- CBSS Civil Protection Network - go to website
- Baltic Sea States Subregional Cooperation (BSSSC) - go to website