Debate on EU strategy for Baltic Sea Region

The European Commissioner responsible for regional policy, and the Swedish Prime Minister, will launch a debate on the EU’s future strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

Commissioner Hübner and Premier Reinfeldt will open a stakeholder conference in Stockholm, attended by representatives of Member States, NGOs, local authorities and financing institutions, with the aim of laying the foundations for a stronger and more coordinated Baltic Sea policy.

The Strategy will focus on four main objectives:

* to improve the environmental state of the Baltic Sea Region, which is the largest brackish water system in the world. Protection of the rich biodiversity and development of risk prevention will be among the priorities.
* to make the Baltic Sea Region more prosperous by supporting balanced economic development: promoting innovation through small and medium enterprises; helping the region to fully implement EU legislation, especially single market rules. These are just some possible ways forward.
* to make the region more accessible and attractive, for its inhabitants, for its labour force and for tourists. The region needs better transport links and to improve an energy security with interconnected electricity grids and gas pipelines.
* to make the region safer and more secure, for instance by reinforcing cooperation between Member States through EUROPOL, the European Police Office.

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