The CPMR Baltic Sea Commission (BSC) held its 24th General Assembly on 11 June in Gdansk, Poland, which brought together representatives from its Member Regions, EU institutions as well as experts on the policy areas of concern for the BSC.

The General Assembly provided an excellent opportunity for the Member Regions to come together to discuss and address topics of interest for the Regions in the Baltic Sea area. The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) was a key item on the agenda, since the strategy is currently being revised. The first session of the meeting was therefore dedicated to debates on the way forward for the Strategy. During the discussions, the Regions highlighted that they are ready to have a more active role in the Strategy and its policy areas and horizontal actions, as well as in its implementation phase. In connection with this discussion, the second session focused on the BSC’s activities and how they relate to EU policy areas.

The third session focused on the up-coming BSC Work Plan for the next few years. The Chairs of each BSC Working Group provided a general update on the activities of their respective group and presented their main objectives and the measures that they will undertake to achieve these in the years 2019-2021.

The BSC adopted the Financial Report for 2018 and the Forecast Budget for 2020 onwards. The following three BSC Policy Position Papers were also adopted; (i) Revision of the EUSBSR Action Plan; (ii) Legalising Trade in Seal Products from Controlled Hunting; (iii) The EU Post-2020 Smart Specialisation Agenda: Boosting Competitiveness Through Innovation Cooperation.

The next gathering of the BSC, as well as the CPMR’s other Geographical Commissions, will take place on 16-18 October 2019 during the CPMR’s 47th General Assembly in Palermo, Sicily.