EU Strategy for the benefit of the region

EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region

EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region

Macro-regional strategy

The European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) is the first macro-regional strategy in Europe. The Strategy was approved by the European Council in 2009 following a communication from the European Commission. The Strategy is divided into three objectives, which represent the three key challenges of the Strategy: saving the sea, connecting the region and increasing prosperity. Each objective relates to a wide range of policies and has an impact on the other objectives.

To achieve these objectives, the action plan of the EUSBSR identifies most important actions for implementation. The actions are thematically organised in 14 policy areas. The implementation of these actions is financed by different EU funds at regional, national, cross-border and transnational level. Interreg Baltic Sea Region actively supports the implementation of the Strategy and the accompanying action plan.


Implementation of the EU Strategy of the Baltic Sea Region

Support for the
EUSBSR Action Plan


Since the adoption of the Strategy, Interreg Baltic Sea Region has co-financed more than 120 projects with over EUR 250 million coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) that helped implement the EUSBSR action plan.

Interreg Baltic Sea Region 2021-2027 continues mobilising stakeholders from around the region to help develop solutions and transfer knowledge to advance policy processes of the Strategy. The Programme funds projects that help implement actions in the policy areas of the EUSBSR action plan. It also supports macro-regional governance and coordination.

Interreg for the EUSBSR

  • >120 co-financed projects
  • > € 250 million of funding

Funding for 2021 – 2027

In the new funding period 2021-2027, Interreg Baltic Sea Region continues supporting the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and its three objectives: Save the Sea, Connect the Region and Increase Prosperity.

Many of the policy areas of the EUSBSR Action Plan are well reflected in thematic objectives of the Programme.

Visions to
implement actions

All seven thematic objectives of the Programme welcome project ideas that have a vision how to implement an action or a part of the action in one of the policy areas of the EUSBSR action plan.

Project idea developers are encouraged to establish contacts to the coordinators of the policy areas and discuss if their ideas are in line with the actions in those policy areas. The coordinators of the policy areas may give advice and support development and implementation of project ideas that help achieve the objectives of the EUSBSR action plan.


Flagship projects

Interreg Baltic Sea Region 2014-2020 co-finances flagship projects of the EU Strategy of the Baltic Sea Region and other projects contributing to the Strategy implementation.

Support to macro-regional cooperation

In addition, the Programme increases the institutional capacity for macro-regional cooperation. It gives Seed Money funding for the preparation of flagship projects. It also provides co-financing to the coordination work done by the priority area and horizontal action coordinators, to the organisation of Strategy Forums as well as specific communication and evaluation activities.

Institutional capacity for macro-regional cooperation

Policy Area Coordinators (PACs) of the EUSBSR are institutions assigned by the Member States located in the macro region. Their task is to coordinate and enforce the implementation of the Strategy and the Strategy’s Action Plan, respectively. The Programme provides support to PACs in carrying out tasks related to their role as a coordinator/leader, e.g. to organise coordination meetings, involve different stakeholders in policy discussion, provide training sessions, or to carry out surveys.

The Programme provides support to the organisation of EUSBSR Strategy Forums as well as information and data gathering, data analysis, promotion of EUSBSR flagship project results or other related activities can be implemented, also in the form of projects

Seed Money

Past experience in implementing the EUSBSR shows how challenging it is to mobilise funding sources as well as prepare and govern complex projects in an international environment. Those with project ideas often lack the time and financial resources needed to initiate projects with strategic impact. Seed Money support from Interreg Baltic Sea Region aims to address these challenges.

What is the difference?

Transnational programmes vs. EU macro-regional strategies.