About 70 key stakeholders participated in this year's EUSBSR Autumn Meeting. The corona pandemic prevented a physical meeting, but by now we have all more or less got used to digital platforms. National Coordinators and Policy Area Coordinators discussed future of the EUSBSR based on the new Action Plan.
The meeting began with the participants discussing obstacles to a well-functioning Baltic Sea strategy. The lack of political commitment was cited as one of the main reasons why EUSBSR cooperation does not always work smoothly. There is a percieved lack of commitment at several different levels of cooperation – the strategy needs a much clearer and stronger emphasized political support. Other obstacles include a lack of resources, unclear responsibilities between different functions and uncertainty about how the governance will function from next year.
But the participants also saw many positive elements in the functioning of the strategy: the cooperation between PACs and HACs, strong personal commitment from many stakeholders, well-functioning networks and transnational cooperation.
The new Action Plan introduced Mr Simon Stermann, chair of the National Coordinators Group, introduced the new Action Plan for EUSBSR, ideas behind it and expected changes.
During the second day, discussions continued on how the stakeholders while working in the Strategy produce and deliver value. Participants discussed policy loops, a schematic presentation of the collaborative process and the way to deliver results in the EUSBSR. Participants also discussed embedding of the EUSBSR in the mainstream programs and vice versa, embedding of the mainstream programs in the EUSBSR. The mainstream programs offer opportunities to finance the work in the strategy and, through embedding, to better coordinate the countries' own strategic work.
Finally, Ms Kirsi Ahlman, Let´s Communicate, presented the plans for next year, when Let´s Communicate will have a stronger role as a support organization for the EUSBSR.
We are also interested to know how you experienced the Autumn Meeting. CLICK HERE to reach the evaluation form. Answers, that are anonymous, will be shared with the National Coordinators Group and Let´s Communicate.