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The Baltic Sea Commission General Assembly in Luleå, Sweden 7-8. May 2014

Published the 18 July 2014

In May 2014, the Baltic Sea Commission (BSC) General Assembly met in Luleå (Sweden). Helsinki-Uusimaa Region, one of the ESI partners, was appointed chair of one of the 6 geographical commissions of the CPMR and presented the European Straits Initiative to the Assembly.

This year the CPMR (Conference of peripheral maritime regions) Baltic Sea Commission (BSC) organised the General Assembly in Luleå, in Swedish Lapland. The General Assembly met at the invitation of Jens Sundström, former President of the Baltic Sea Commission and Member of the Regional Council of Norrbotten (Sweden).

On this occasion, the elections were held for the BSC Executive Committee and President. Jari Sainio, Vice chairman of the Regional Board of Helsinki-Uusimaa Region (Finland), which is one of the European Straits Initiative members, is now the new President of the CPMR Baltic Sea Commission.

A specific and important seminar session was devoted to the issue of the Arctic. Alongside maritime issues, macro-regions and multi-level governance were also the focus of discussions among the delegates. In addition, Cecilia Wikström, Member of the European Parliament, introduced the future of macro-regional strategies in Europe. At the end of the second day, European Straits Initiative and NOSTRA project were presented to the assembly and raised great interest among participants, including from the President of CPMR.

Annika Annerby-Jansson, President of the CPMR and of the Regional Council of Skåne (Sweden), highlighted in her closing speech, the importance of having maritime priorities for the Baltic area and focused also on accessibility issues, particularly referring to the TEN-T (Trans-European Transport Networks) priority corridors and the CEF (Connecting Europe Facility).

ESI partners from the Baltic Sea Region are indeed particularly active in transport and logistics projects, such as the TEN-T project Midway Alignment of the Bothnian Corridor in the Kvarken Strait (Kvarken Council) and the construction of the Fehmarn Belt Tunnel from 2015 between Germany (County of Ostholstein) and Denmark (Region Zealand).

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