The Baltic Sea Commission has a number of thematic Working Groups to take forward key issues identified by the BSC General Assembly or Executive Committee.
Each Working Group has a Chair, who need not necessarily be drawn from the Executive Committee, but who shall be a regional elected politician from a Member Region.
Members of the Working Groups consist of officers and politicians from Member Regions, but groups can also include external experts by invitation of the Chair. The experts may, for example, come from non-Member Regions, institutions, companies or national/local authorities.
The focus for the Baltic Sea Commission's work on Maritime Affairs are the following thematic areas:
- Sustainable maritime economy
The Working Group will focus on maritime industries, in connection with the CPMR activities in this field (Maritime Industries for Blue Growth initiative). There will be special interest on issues related to sustainability and environmental innovation issues.
Regarding the upcoming review of the blue growth strategy the Baltic Sea Commission wishes to take on a more active role both when it comes to analysing and expressing the needs and potential that the Blue Economy is bringing and can bring to the Baltic Sea;
In line with the initiative aiming at setting up a platform on maritime investments at regional level, the Working Group will perform a desk-top analysis on how the Smart Specialisation plans link to maritime industries with a focus on priorities that are shared by Baltic Sea Regions, and throughout the year explore the possibilities to initiate joint projects in the area of blue growth in both a regional and pan-Baltic perspective.
- Coastal management and marine environment
Implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Zone Management. The Working Group will focus on the trans-national and cross-border dimensions of the implementation of the MSP Directive.
- Education and training
The Working Group will examine the possibility to develop a Vasco da Gama project at the level of the Baltic Sea area.
- Environmental issues
In the EUSBSR the overall aim of Save the Sea outlines the environmental and other challenges of maritime affairs in the Baltic Sea Region. During 2015/2016, the Working Group will intensify discussions on which Priority Areas of the EUSBSR the Regions want to work with through the Baltic Sea Commission. In areas of relevance we will create a better relation and interaction with stakeholders within the Priority Area.
The Baltic Sea Commission is currently an observer in HELCOM and in the CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Development.
Chair: Ms Tiina PERHO, SouthWest Finland
Vice-Chair: Mr Gustav Hemming, Stockholm County Council
Action Plan: link to document
A new BSC website will be launched soon!