EUSBSR History

During its existence, the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region has been revised several times to reflect the development of the Baltic Sea region and its context. In the timeline above, the previous Action Plans of the EUSBSR are presented, accompanied by related official documents.

In December 2007, the European Council issued its Presidency Conclusions, inviting the European Commission to present an EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea region no later than June 2009. Prior to this, the European Parliament had called for a strategy to address the urgent environmental challenges of the Baltic Sea. The Commission presented its Communication on the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) on 10 June 2009 alongside a detailed Action Plan. These were endorsed by the European Council in October 2009 and thus, the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region became the first macro-regional strategy of the EU.

In 2012, the Commission defined three overall objectives for the EUSBSR: ‘Save the Sea’, ‘Connect the Region’ and ‘Increase Prosperity’. In addition, the Commission proposed to set measurable indicators and targets for each objective. To reflect these changes, the Action Plan was updated in 2013, in line with the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

Following extensive consultation with Member States, the Action Plan was updated in 2015. With the update, the strategy became more streamlined and focused on the three main objectives of the strategy. In 2017, the Action Plan was revised with some technical updates and corrections, an updated Policy Area Transport chapter, a new Policy Area Education action, and a section in the governance chapter covering the procedure of changing thematic coordinators.

The current revision of the Action Plan came into force in 2021. The revised Action Plan is more focused and takes into account emerging global challenges, the EU´s new strategic frameworks, and the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework, as well as the governance challenges of the EUSBSR. With the update, Policy Areas are more streamlined and placed into a strategic context, and their contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals is assessed. The revised Action Plan also provides links to "embed" the Strategy into EU policies and funding programmes.