“Traditionally Brussels decided the goals and the format and invited groups to join. Now we start locally, ask what’s needed, what people want to achieve. Then people build up an initiative together and seek funding to support it. It’s much more proactive.” Anders Bergström, Norden Association

The aim of HA Capacity is to offer capacity building support for the implementing stakeholders, using multilevel governance as an overall guiding principle. In practice, this will be carried out by means of: 

• Developing and operating a capacity building platform for the implementing stakeholders. 
• Involving and utilizing networks across sectors in the Baltic Sea Region, supporting involvement of local- and regional authorities, NGOs, business and academia to ensure that all levels will be mobilized to the full extent.

HA Capacity - capacity building and involvement

A key factor of success for the EUSBSR is the integrated and coordinated governance of the Baltic Sea region, between sectors of society as well as between regional and local authorities, business, academia, civil society organisations and other stakeholders in the respective countries. 

Through active involvement of all potential stakeholders in promoting and implementing the goals of the EUSBSR and its Action Plan we can ensure, that the words are translated into action. 

Understanding and being able to make use of the cobweb of multilevel governance in a project driven reality, within the respective policy areas involved in the implementation of the EUSBSR, is the heart of its success. Multilevel governance strengthens openness, participation, coordination and joint commitment to delivering targeted solutions. 

HA Capacity is coordinated by the Baltic Sea NGO Network, Union of the Baltic Cities and the Swedish Institute.

HA Capacity is supported by Interreg-Baltic

Regional meetings to promote EUSBSR

The Baltic Sea Strategy aims at reaching a larger number of stakeholders with information about possibilities for and benefits of cooperation.

Together with our partners we therefore arrange regional meetings that attract stakeholders from several sectors and levels of governance. They have the opportunity to learn more about what the Baltic Sea Strategy can offer in the form of a framework for effective cooperation. Four regional meetings have already taken place, all in Sweden, in Umeå, Hässleholm, Stockholm and Luleå.

CLICK HERE to find information about the latest meeting on June 9, 2020.

News and Announcements

The new Action Plan an important issue at the Autum Meeting

Posted by Member 1bf87d0, Monday, 9th December 2019 @ 10:27am

  • Key issues for working with the EUSBSR were the theme of this year's traditional Autumn Meeting held in Helsinki.

    Minister of Foreign Affairs in Finland, Mr. Pekka Haavisto welcomed the participants and underlined the importance of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the dedicated job performed by Policy Area Coordinators, Horizontal Action Coordinators and National Coordinators.

    Participants discussed, among other things, how to formulate realistic and measurable targets and indicators in the new Action Plan that will be applied during the next program period.
    Important discussion also concerned the transition process from a project-oriented working method to building processes and the role of the steering groups in organizing policy loops.

    The last workshop covered two themes: What capacities need to be further developed and Communication. The participants called for an introductory package for EUSBSR rookies and also a uniform presentation of EUSBSR, where the website should be made into the point of entrance to all EUSBSR related information. It is far from optimal for almost every PA and HA to have it´s own website, without any coordination with others.

    You can find some of the material from the Autumn Meeting here.


    Autumn Meeting - Workshops
    EUSBSR Annual Forum – CBSS
    EUSBSR Annual Forum – Turku
    PAC/HAC Support update
    Seed Money

    Workshop 1. EUSBSR implementation; alignment of policies
    Workshop 2: Capacity building and Communication

Fruitful discussion about future collaboration

Posted by Member 1bf87d0, Tuesday, 9th October 2018 @ 3:53pm

  • Collaboration between the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) and the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC) was the main topic during a meeting in Stockholm on October 5. 

    The meeting discussed how policy recommendations, developed within the Strategy, can be forwarded through the channels offered by the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference. In the meeting participated Bodo Bahr, Secretary General, BSPC, Ralph Hermansson, International Adviser, Swedish Parliament, Daria Akhutina, Senior Adviser, Council of the Baltic Sea States, Bo Andersson, Secretary General, Norden Association in Sweden, and Anders Bergström, Horizontal Action Coordinator, HA Capacity.


Posted by HA Capacity, Monday, 26th March 2018 @ 5:04pm



    The EUSBSR has created a coherent and structured framework for joint actions to address common challenges and mobilize macro-regional resources in the Baltic Sea Region; many are those who have been given formal roles and responsibilities in accordance with the Action Plan. The long-term viability of the Strategy is nevertheless dependent upon continued efforts to secure the engagement and active involvement also of actors that are not formally charged with “duties” in accordance with the EUSBSR and its Action Plan, e.g. local and regional authorities, business, academia and civil society organisations. One venue well suited to achieve this aim is the Annual Forums with the Participation Day and the Networking Village.


    Besides plenary sessions and seminars participants in the Annual Forums need a meeting place where they can discuss their ideas for cooperation with PACs/HACs or ask questions on how to get involved in our development processes. This is also the place where our flagships can present their results and meet with potential partners. This year we return to what before has been an integrated part of our Annual Forums, the Networking Village. Some of you remember these meeting places from the Forums in Turku, Jūrmala, Vilnius, Gdansk and Copenhagen.

    In Tallinn we will have five stands. Three of them for our Policy Areas, grouped around the three overall objectives. One stand for our Horizontal Actions and a fifth one for the EU Commission. Each of the stands are equipped with a desk, a place to put information material, a screen (with a lap top) and a place to put a role-up. You as PAC or HAC are welcome to use these stands for presenting your PA/HA, your flagships and for holding meetings with participants in the Forum. With more than one PA/HA in each stand we prepare a rolling scheme where you as PAC/HAC sign up for a time slot when you or someone representing your PA/HA will be present at the stand. HA Capacity will take care of the hosting, making sure someone always will be at the stand, keep it clean and be able to answer more general questions.

    Enclosed you will find a picture of the stand and a plan of the Networking Village. We need your answer with a request for a time slot at the latest on 20 May. Please register here for your time slot: Until then we need also the videos or slide shows you would like to present at the screen. We will inform you later on when and where we need your information material and roll-ups.

    Any questions should be sent


    This half-day prior to the Annual Forum should be understood as a market place where stakeholders can present their ideas, get feed back and guidance from PACs enabling new stakeholders to take part in the implementation of the Strategy. Our aim is to reduce the step into the Strategy, making our guiding principle with multi-level governance and cross-sectorial cooperation a reality.

    This year’s Participation Day will focus on three themes

    • Sustainable consumption and production (PA Bioeconomy)
    • Integration of refugees (PA Education)
    • Energy efficiency (PA Energy)

    We invite representatives of EUSBSR stakeholders, such as local and regional authorities, civil society organisations, academia, business and media, to this Tallinn Participation Day. Welcome to spread it to your stakeholders and contacts.

    Please expressing your interest to participate latest by 20 May 2018 here:

    Participation Day Information

    Participation Day Invitation

    Impressions from Participation Day 2017


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