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Dialogue on transboundary issues of maritime spatial planning process gets new impetus in Riga

On 29 September 2015 VASAB hosted the Baltic SCOPE project kick-off event in Riga, Latvia. More than 80 experts, practitioners and scientists representing a wide range of organizations around the Baltic Sea and beyond shared their experience, knowledge and brought inspiration for further transboundary cooperation on Maritime Spatial Planning.

Planners from the Adriatic Sea, the North Sea and the Black Sea as well as BONUS Baltspace project presented regional MSP challenges and solutions. Both Baltic SCOPE project's case study areas - Southwest Baltic and Central Baltic presented the progress made since the launch of the project. The priority sectors – energy, transport and shipping, environment and fishery in greater detail were discussed in smaller groups.

The Baltic SCOPE kick-off event was a part of a number of MSP-related meetings hosted by VASAB: Baltic SCOPE partners' meeting and Steering Group meeting, the 11th joint HELCOM-VASAB MSP Working Group meeting as well as the 1st Baltic Sea Region Data Expert Sub-Group meeting along with VASAB Open Troika meeting which took place in the same week.

The Baltic SCOPE project unites MSP authorities and pan-Baltic organizations to find planning solutions to transboundary issues and improve MSP processes. The two-year project is co-funded by EC DG MARE. More information about the project and kick-off event can be found: 

Funding opportunities for spatial planning projects

The Interreg Central Baltic Programme has opened 2nd call for project applications until 23 October, 2015. All applications must be submitted electronically by 15:00 (Finnish time, CET +1) on the closing date of the call.
The call is open for applications in all four priorities and all specific objectives. According to the outcome of the first call of applications, however, the applicants are encouraged to develop projects especially under:
• Archipelago and Islands Sub-programme
• Priority 3 "Well-connected region"
• Specific Objective 1.3 "More exports by the Central Baltic companies to new markets"
• Specific Objective 2.2 "Sustainably planned and managed marine and coastal areas"
More information:



VASAB hosts the Networking Village of the EUSBSR VI Annual Forum with 25 dedicated pan-Baltic exhibitors
15 June 2015

As part of the activities comprised in the VI Annual Forum of the EUSBSR, the Networking Village includes 25 organisations which showcase their work within the EUSBSR. One of them is also VASAB (Vision and Strategies Around the Baltic Sea) which is co-leading the Horizontal Action 'Spatial Planning' and coorganising the VI Annual Forum of the EUSBSR.

The Head of VASAB Secretariat and EUSBSR Horizontal Action Leader on 'Spatial Planning', Tālis Linkaits recognizes that the Forum is like a benchmarking tool, where it is possible to show what organisations have done since the previous Forum and compare with what other stakeholders have achieved.

Photos of the first day of Networking Village are available HERE


15 May 2015 6th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, Jurmala

On 15-16 June, the 6th Annual Forum of the European Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) entitled "Achieving e-Quality by Connecting the Region", will take place in Jūrmala, Latvia. It will be one of the large-scale international events hosted during the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The key themes of the event will be the future of the EUSBSR, competitiveness of the region and digital connectivity – how information and communication technology is transforming the region and changing peoples' lives.

The Annual Forum is a major gathering of regional experts, government officials, businesses, representatives from non-governmental organisations (NGO), students and academics, and other stakeholders from the Baltic Sea Region that includes Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Poland. The Annual Forum will provide for an excellent opportunity to discuss common challenges, analyse the overall progress of the EUSBSR and look forward to its future implementation. This year VASAB is among the organizers and partners of the Annual Forum. The Forum will include thematic session on implementation of maritime spatial planning in the Baltic Sea countries.

More information about the VI Annual Forum is available HERE


Procedure of granting support letters to the potential flagship projects

On 22-23 January 2015 VASAB CSPD/BSR has agreed on the procedure of granting support letters on behalf of EUSBSR Horizontal Action "Spatial Planning" to the potential flagship projects related to land-based spatial planning:

• VASAB requests all interested project developers to submit their project ideas (in the form of Concept Note or extended project description) at least 7 (seven) working days before the deadline for submitting applications to the funding programme;
• VASAB Secretariat serves as a contact point;
• VASAB Secretariat verifies if the formal requirements of a flagship project are met by the applicant;
• VASAB CSPD/BSR members are consulted before proposing formal decision;
• Decision to grant Letter of Commitment or Letter of Support is made by the VASAB CSPD/BSR via written procedure or at the CSPD/BSR meeting. Written procedure may take up to 7 (seven) days.

Baltic Sea Region Ministers Responsible for Spatial Planning and Development meet in Tallinn
1 October 2014

A conference of ministers responsible for spatial planning and development of 11 Baltic Sea Region countries was held in Tallinn, Estonia on 26 September 2014. This was already the 8th ministerial conference within the framework of VASAB cooperation. The previous one took place in October 2009 in Vilnius, Lithuania.

During the conference, ministers had set new tasks and objectives, which will promote cooperation between the cities, improve the internal and external accessibility of Region, and enhance maritime spatial planning. However, the main goal remains the unchanged – in 2030 the Baltic Sea Region should become a well-integrated and coherent macro-region, which has overcome the socio-economic development divides between its individual parts and turned the global challenges into assets.

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