The Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), founded in Copenhagen on 5-6 March 1992, is a general political forum for intergovernmental co-operation in the region. The CBSS consists of 11 countries of the Baltic Sea region - Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, as well as the European Commission. The CBSS observers are Belarus, France, Italy, Hungary the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine the United Kingdom, the United States.
The CBSS identifies policy objectives (high-level meetings, sectoral ministerial conferences), develops action plans (Committee of Senior Officials and expert groups), proposes and implements strategic projects of regional importance in the long-term priorities identified by the CBSS, and serves as a forum for exchanging views and ideas on regional issues. The preparation of the agendas for the high-level meetings, as well as for the Committee of Senior Officials and the expert groups, is carried out by the CBSS Presidency, which is held on a rotating basis each year (1 July to 30 June) by one of the Member States.
Latvia has been a member of the CBSS since its establishment in 1992, and is a constructive and visible member of the CBSS, actively participating in CBSS cooperation projects and sectoral working groups. So far, Latvia has chaired the Council three times: in 2018-2019, in 2007-2008 and in 1996-1997.
Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region is an important priority of Latvia's foreign policy, and within the framework of this cooperation, the CBSS performs an important function of an intergovernmental cooperation instrument. The CBSS Presidency gave Latvia the opportunity to monitor and promote intergovernmental co-operation in the Baltic Sea region to determine the directions of practical co-operation in the region and to promote the implementation of common interests and goals. During the presidency Latvia focused on the implementation of important and practical projects in areas of 1) public security; 2) sustainable development, climate change; 3) cultural heritage
Since conclusion of the presidency, Latvia continues its work in the CBSS, participating in the Committee of Senior Officials and working groups. More information about the CBSS.