Cooperation throughout the Baltic Sea Region

Centrum Balticum – Making the Most of the Baltic Sea Region

Centrum Balticum is a prominent voice for the whole Baltic Sea Region. It accelerates the birth of ideas, acts as an information unit and coordinates a network of researchers and experts. In cooperation with its stakeholders, Centrum Balticum generates ideas for policy-making and sets public debate in motion.

The Centre maintains a web portal, Domus Baltica, with a wideranging media survey and extensive databank. It publishes, among other things, the series “Baltic Sea Region Policy Briefing” for international experts and a series of columns in Finnish. Centrum Balticum organises annually the BSR Forum that brings together experts and different stakeholders from the entire region. The Centre also participates in international projects.

EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) – Action for the Baltic Sea Region

Through the Turku Process, the City of Turku coordinates, together with the Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat, the Horizontal Action Neighbours, with the aim of involving non-EU members Russia, Belarus, Norway and Iceland in joint, mutually beneficial action. The Secretariat of the Horizontal Action Neighbours functions under Centrum Balticum.

The Turku Process is a regional bottom-up initiative for dialogue and joint action to mobilise the development potential of the Baltic Sea Region and to find joint solutions to mutual challenges.

The role assigned to Turku by EU Member States is both a recognition and an obligation to continue active work

Seeking to bring together all interested stakeholders, such as cities and regions as well as businesses, universities and NGOs, this initiative is based on a long history of twin city relations.

Confirmed by the EU Member States, this prominent international role is not merely recognition of Turku’s active work, but also an obligation to promote cooperation across the borders.

Cooperation between the EU Member States in the Baltic Sea Region and their neighbouring countries is vital. Recent international developments have highlighted the importance of this.

Communications of the EUSBSR around Finland – also in Swedish

This communications project by Centrum Balticum, continuing the cooperation with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Finland, has funding from the Europe Information office of the MFA. The project increases the awareness about the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea region (EUSBSR) across Finland and thus lowers the treshold for actors to join the actions and projects implementing the EUSBSR. The project reaches out especially to those target groups that so far have not received much information about the EUSBSR.

Firstly, the project aims at providing information about the EUSBSR in Swedish for Swedish speaking people in Finland. Secondly, the awareness about the Strategy will be increased especially in non-coastal areas of Finland.

INTERACT Point Turku acts as a bridging organisation for the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) key stakeholders, facilitating implementation of the Strategy. It works together with Member States, the European Commission and other relevant actors to identify gaps and find operative solutions for closer cooperation in the Region.

Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC) – Smart Cities with Sustainable Solutions

Fostering sustainable, smart and safe cities is the goal of the Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC), the leading city network in Northern Europe. Founded in Gdansk in 1991, the UBC with more than 100 member cities is a key actor in building a sustainable Baltic Sea Region.

Turku is a founding member and an active participant in the UBC. Turku has the Vice Presidency and responsibility for the strategy work. Turku is also hosting the UBC Sustainable Cities Commission Secretariat.

The UBC Sustainability Action Programme 2015–2020 gives a strong mandate for UBC to work for increased efficiency and attractivity through sustainable solutions in Baltic cities and the whole Baltic Sea Region.


The Regional Council of Southwest Finland – Top Know-how and Quality of Life

Southwest Finland is a maritime region with the richest history and culture in Finland. The world’s largest archipelago is perfect for sailing, canoeing, biking, fishing or hiking. The Archipelago Trail attracts tourists from all over the world.

Southwest Finland consists of 27 municipalities. Two universities and four universities of applied sciences bring high knowledge to this region. This is also the main agricultural area in Finland. The shipyard in Turku builds the world’s most environmental cruisers. Uusikaupunki boasts the only car factory in Finland.

The Regional Council of Southwest Finland promotes partnerships that build a successful region. The Council maintains strong connections with neighbouring countries, for instance by financing cross-border cooperation projects through the Central Baltic Programme. The Regional Council also hosts the EU information centre, Europe Direct.

Baltic Region Healthy Cities Association

The Baltic Region Healthy Cities Association works to increase awareness of health in municipal decisionmaking. Actions include health promotion projects, training events, seminars and conferences. The Association promotes the importance of cross-sectoral planning in urban health.

Members of the Baltic Region Healthy Cities Association include the City of Turku, University of Turku, Åbo Akademi University and Social Insurance Institute of Finland. They give valuable input for tackling urban health challenges like non-communicable diseases, health inequalities and ageing.

The Association works as a WHO Collaboration Centre for Healthy Cities and Urban Health in the Baltic Region. As local policies can have a great impact on health and well-being, new cities are continually being invited to join the Healthy Cities movement.