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2nd Baltic Maritime Spatial Planning Forum 2016 in Riga, Latvia

The 2nd Baltic MSP Forum gathered more than 250 participants from 32 countries being the regional event of the institutions responsible for maritime spatial planning. This Forum with its 16 interactive workshops provided a platform for discussions among those involved and affected by maritime spatial planning on how to develop and enhance maritime spatial planning in the Baltic Sea.

Building on the success of the first Baltic MSP Forum in 2014, it has now become a regular event – taking place once in two years. Thus, the next Forum is planned in 2018 in Germany.

The Forum was organized by the VASAB and in cooperation with ICES served also as the final conference of the Baltic SCOPE project (co-funded by EC DG MARE).

More information available HERE.

New chapter begins in the story of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region


The story of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region began in 2009. So far it has been a story of many successes and opportunities: projects and processes that have implemented the Action Plan of the Strategy have brought real change to the Baltic Sea Region. 

The story of the EUSBSR has not only been a bed of roses. Not all projects or processes have reached their goals. Many times complex structures and governance of the EUSBSR hinder good communications. The positive change brought about by a project, for example, will not be recognized if the results are not communicated clearly and effectively. 

The dedicated communicator of the EUSBSR, Interact Office Turku, has changed its focus into coordination between all EU’s macro-regional strategies and is no longer focusing solely on the EUSBSR. Due to this change decided by the member states, a solution to ensure the communications of the EUSBSR had to be created. A communications project “Let’s communicate!” answers this demand and takes the responsibility to communicate the EUSBSR. The project has a strong partnership consisting of representatives from all Baltic Sea Region countries and pan-Baltic organisations.


“Communication is in the heart of the EUSBSR! Ensuring continuity of the EUSBSR communication means established by Interact and working for more effective communication, “Let’s communicate!” steps in to become the EUSBSR communication hub!”

Baiba Liepa, Interact Office Turku


“Let’s communicate!” project aims to maintain and further develop the communications of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. The project can be considered as the communication point for the EUSBSR. 

The EUSBSR website, Twitter, Youtube and Flickr accounts are from now on administered by “Let’s communicate!” The project promotes the use of the EUSBSR visual identity, publishes news and provides with communication support and tools. For example, a wide Flickr photo bank for any visual communication needs is at the disposal of the EUSBSR stakeholders. 

“Let’s communicate!” will also work for developing further the communications of the EUSBSR framework. Great emphasis will be put on supporting the communications of the various internal stakeholders of the Strategy framework, particularly the Policy Areas and Horizontal Actions. In addition, the project will reach out in order to attract new stakeholders to take part in the action.


“We count on the "Let's Communicate" project to be a powerful tool in raising awareness of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, communicating its purpose, success stories and added value. This is in line with our ambition to address a broader group of stakeholders and to attract new actors to the implementation of the Strategy for the benefit of the whole macro-region.”

Peter Schenk, European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy


“Let’s communicate!” has been relaunched the EUSBSR website by opening a new blog section, which is called “Highlights”. Highlights are in essence stories about the EUSBSR projects, processes and the actors behind them. 

The relaunched website will continue to be the active and up-to-date platform for any EUSBSR actor or a potential stakeholder seeking information. With the “Highlights” and other new elements planned for the website it will become also a source of inspiration!


“My expectation of the relaunched EUSBSR website is that it will provide with one common, interactive platform for all key stakeholders to use in their daily work. I would like it to be the natural point of reference for anyone having questions regarding the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, be it examples of results, basic documentation, contact details, information on funding sources or a discussion on the future orientation of the Strategy.”

Erik Kiesow, Sweden's Prime Minister's Office, National Coordinator for EUSBSR


The whole project team is eager to get started with the project activities: Let's communicate!


Basic facts:

Project: Let's communicate!

Let's Communicate the EUSBSR for the benefit of the Region
Project's lifetime: August 2016 – January 2019
Total Project's budget: € 588 737,17
European Regional Development Fund: € 457 926,58
Norwegian funding: € 50 000
The overall objective of the Project:
Let’s communicate!” project is putting the Communication Strategy into practice and is aiming at bridging gaps in both internal and external communications. Internal and external communications are in many ways intertwined: more coordination in the internal communications will automatically improve the external communications. The project is willing to function as a “Communication Point” of the EUSBSR for both internal stakeholders and for external audiences and potential new actors joining the EUSBSR framework. During the project time best practices on how to organize the EUSBSR communications are sought and thus the project is also looking beyond the project time.
The main project activities include:
  • Recognize the stories and messages that can be further disseminated in communicating the EUSBSR;
  • Sharing the stories via different channels and formats;
  • Equipping EUSBSR stakeholders with the necessary tools for efficient communications by exchanging best practices;
  • Workshops and face-to-face meetings;
  • Develop lasting dialogue between the EUSBSR actors and businesses.
Partner organizations:
Laura Melne, Communication Manager
Phone: +371 28625489
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Related projects

Sister project

 North SEE pagaidu  


Fellow projects

BalticSCOPE logo web large
ibsr p2 BEA-APP project-logo full-coloured
ibsr p2 Baltic InteGrid project-logo full-coloured
BaltSpace logo
HASPS 2 - Horizontal Action “Spatial Planning” Support 2
Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020 project

Project's lifetime: 1 August 2016 – 31 July 2018
Budget: € 235 287,70
Project lead partner: VASAB Secretariat
Project partner: HELCOM Secretariat

The project aims to support objectives assigned in the HA "Spatial Planning" of the EUSBSR, co-led by HELCOM and VASAB and it builds on the coordination activities started within the previous HASPS project (2015/2016).

The project involves related activities of both partners to improve coordination, stakeholder involvement and achievement of the strategic targets of the HA Spatial Planning by:

  • enhancing the links between HA "Spatial Planning" and implementation of the Regional Baltic MSP Roadmap and EU MSP Directive (2014/89/EU);
  • strengthening an outreach and integration of HA "Spatial Planning" to other regional and European activities;
  • promoting and enabling future flagship projects.

Project activities cover both thematic areas of the HA "Spatial Planning": maritime spatial planning and land based spatial planning. In particular, the activities in 2016-2018 will:

  • support cooperation in MSP data and information availability by coordinating the work of BSR MSP Data sub-group;
  • follow up on the territorial monitoring practice in BSR and look for monitoring solutions and tools that can be improved for future needs and applied for the observation of the EUSBSR implementation and evaluation by organising the workshop on territorial monitoring in Krakow, Poland;
  • facilitate better stakeholder networking and involvement in HA "Spatial Planning" framework and initiate first discussions to determine HA "Spatial Planning" future perspective, tasks and targets beyond the current EUSBSR Action Plan by organising HA "Spatial Planning" stakeholders workshop tentatively in 2018.


Development of Cities in the Baltic Sea Region

VASAB has requested to prepare a background report for the publication on development of the cities in the Baltic Sea Region based on ESPON BSR-TeMo project findings.

icon Research report 2016: Development of Cities in the Baltic Sea Region

icon VASAB publication "Development of Cities in the Baltic Sea Region"

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