The European Commission has on Friday adopted a programme for the 8 EU countries and neighbouring countries in the Baltic Sea Region. Focussing on key issues such as the environmental status of the Baltic Sea or maritime safety and security, the programme is worth more than €263 million from EU investments alone.
© K. Cemnolonskio nuotr.

The programme will also exploit shared potentials including research, innovation and business links, as well as common work on sustainable transport.

Corina Crețu, Commissioner for Regional Policy who approved the programme today, said: "The sort of challenges this programme for the Baltic Sea will tackle are those - like environmental threats and maritime safety - that need a joint response from the countries of the Baltic. Importantly, this programme has been designed to support also the successful EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. We have high hopes - for example to see millions more in transnational research and development investment so together we can really harness potential for better jobs to improve the lives of people here."

Background

The programme will focus on the following four priorities:
1. Capacity for innovation
2. Efficient management of natural resources
3. Sustainable transport
4. Macro-regional cooperation

Some of the expected results:
• increased capacity of public authorities, research and training institutions, sectorial agencies and associations, as well as non-governmental organisations and enterprises for more innovation, to manage natural resources efficiently and to make transport more sustainable
• more than 200 enterprises cooperating with research institutions
• €8 million of private investments unlocked in research & development
• €45 million of investments planned transnationally
• 10 newly developed market products and services

The EU Member States Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and northern parts of Germany (Länder of Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Schleswig–Holstein and Niedersachsen - Lüneburg region) will participate, as well as the partner country Norway that provides additional €6 million. From the European Neighbourhood Instrument, € 8.8 million were set aside to finance cooperation with Belarusian and Russian partners. These funds will be released upon the signature of respective Financing Agreements.

The total budget for the programme will be €322,978,690 - with an EU contribution (ERDF) of €263 830 658.

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