On 23-24 October, the second meeting of the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) is being held in Stockholm under the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS).
The participants are following up on the discussion launched during the first SOC meeting about the report by the CBSS Vision Group the future of the Baltic Sea Region beyond 2020. The report contains recommendations on the further work, reforms and future role of the CBSS. The aim of the Latvian Presidency is to evaluate the recommendations and draw up an action plan for the CBSS reform. In order to make the discussion more effective and smooth, a so-called Troika has been set up within the SOC, consisting of representatives from Sweden, Latvia, Denmark and the CBSS Secretariat.
According to a well-established tradition, the countries with Observer status in the CBSS are invited to take part in the CBSS SCO, those currently being Belarus, France, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The CBSS is interested in close practical cooperation and experience sharing with the Observer States and therefore supports their involvement in CBSS projects on migration, prevention of human trafficking, environmental protection and other fields. Belarus is an active Observer State with a long-standing experience of cooperation with CBSS project partners in the areas of migration, civil protection and security, education and science. Ukraine, due to its geographical proximity to the region, has evinced interest in taking a closer look at the CBSS experience with the prevention of trafficking in human beings, the protection of children’s rights, and environmental protection. Italy and Spain are interested in sharing experience and knowledge on cooperation in the Mediterranean and the Baltic Sea regions.
Latvian experts from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, the Ministry of the Interior and the National Cultural Heritage Authority will present the main lines of action under the Latvian Presidency of the CBSS.
The CBSS Latvian Presidency lasts from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, when the post will be handed over to Denmark. The main priorities on the Latvian Presidency are integrity and social security; the region’s sustainability, spatial development and climate change; and the preservation and digitalisation of cultural heritage. This is the third Latvian Presidency since the establishment of the CBSS in 1992.
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