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OTHER FORMS OF COOPERATION
HELSINKI COMMISSION - HELCOM
HELCOM (Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission - Helsinki Commission) is the governing body of the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, known as the Helsinki Convention. The Contracting Parties are Denmark, Estonia, the European Union, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden.
HELCOM was established about four decades ago to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution through intergovernmental cooperation.
HELCOM's vision for the future is a healthy Baltic Sea environment with diverse biological components functioning in balance, resulting in a good ecological status and supporting a wide range of sustainable economic and social activities.
- an environmental policy maker for the Baltic Sea area by developing common environmental objectives and actions
- an environmental focal point providing information about the state of and trends in the marine environment, the efficiency of measures to protect it and common initiatives and positions, which can form the basis for decision-making in other international fora
- a body for developing, according to the specific needs of the Baltic Sea, recommendations of its own and recommendations supplementary to measures imposed by other international organisations
- a supervisory body dedicated to ensuring that HELCOM environmental standards are fully implemented by all parties throughout the Baltic Sea and its catchment area
- a coordinating body, ascertaining multilateral response in case of major maritime incidents.
Learn more about: www.helcom.fi
NORDIC COUNCIL & NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
The Nordic Council is the official inter-parliamentary body in the Nordic Region. The Nordic Council was formed in 1952. The Council has 87 elected members from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden as well as from the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland.
First and foremost, the Nordic Council’s politicians are driven by the desire to make the Nordic region one that people want to live and work in. This is also the primary objective of the ideas and proposals for co-operation that are borne out of the Nordic Council.
The bodies of the Nordic Council are: the Plenary Assembly, the Presidium of the Assembly, the Nordic Council of Ministers and Secretariat. The on-going political work in the Nordic Council is conducted through committees and party groups.
The Nordic Council of Ministers is the forum for Nordic governmental co-operation. The Prime Ministers have the overall responsibility for Nordic Co-operation. In practice, responsibility is delegated to the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation and to the Nordic Committee for Co-operation, which co-ordinates the day-to-day work of the official political Nordic co-operation.
Despite its name, the Nordic Council of Ministers, founded in 1971, consists, in fact, of several individual councils of ministers. The Nordic ministers for specific policy areas meet in a council of ministers a couple of times a year. Currently there are 10 constellations of policy councils of ministers as well as the council of ministers for the ministers for co-operation. Decisions in any of the Nordic councils of ministers must be unanimous.
The Presidency of the Council of Ministers, which is held for a period of one year, rotates between the five Nordic countries. The country holding the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers draws up a programme which guides Nordic co-operation during the year.
Issues are prepared and followed up by the various Committees of Senior Officials which consist of civil servants from the member countries.
The Nordic prime ministers meet every year and, in addition, meet on other occasions such as before EU summit meetings. The Nordic Foreign and Defence ministers also meet regularly outside the auspices of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
BALTIC DEVELOPMENT FORUM
Baltic Development Forum (BDF) is the leading think-tank and network for high level decision-makers from business, politics, academia and media in the Baltic Sea Region.
Baltic Development Forum’s network comprises more than 8000 individual from private/public sectors, academia and media from and outside the Baltic Sea Region. Baltic Development Forum provides platforms that bring together actors from diverse sectors and from across the Baltic Sea Region, ensuring better cooperation, coordination and coherence. We influence regional policy and facilitate collaboration across regions, sectors and levels of decision making.
As an agenda setting Baltic Sea Region think-tank, Baltic Development Forum connects expertise and researchers on current global and strategic affairs by identifying and engaging key stakeholders, publishing the latest thinking, and facilitating region wide knowledge dissemination.
The annual Baltic Development Forum Summits highlight the potential and the challenges of the Baltic Sea Region as an integrated, prosperous and globally competitive growth region, and provides a forum for increased regional collaboration, policy formulation and business opportunities.
Current Key Areas of Baltic Development Forum are ICT, Water, Transport, Energy, and Branding and Competitiveness.
Baltic Development Forum’s Honorary and Advisory Boards consist of people from all parts of the Baltic Sea Region that possess strong competences, experience and knowledge on the re-building of the Region.
Learn more about: www.bdforum.org
BALTIC SEA PARLIAMENTARY CONFERENCE
The Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC) was established in 1991 as a forum for political dialogue between parliamentarians from the Baltic Sea Region. BSPC aims at raising awareness and opinion on issues of current political interest and relevance for the Baltic Sea Region. It promotes and drives various initiatives and efforts to support a sustainable environmental, social and economic development of the Baltic Sea Region. It strives at enhancing the visibility of the Baltic Sea Region and its issues in a wider European context.
BSPC gathers parliamentarians from 11 national parliaments, 11 regional parliaments and 5 parliamentary organizations around the Baltic Sea. The BSPC thus constitutes a unique parliamentary bridge between all the EU- and non-EU countries of the Baltic Sea Region.
BSPC external interfaces include parliamentary, governmental, sub-regional and other organizations in the Baltic Sea Region and the Northern Dimension area, among them CBSS, HELCOM, the Northern Dimension Partnership in Health and Social Well-Being (NDPHS), the Baltic Sea Labour Network (BSLN), the Baltic Sea States Sub-regional Cooperation (BSSSC) and the Baltic Development Forum.
BSPC shall initiate and guide political activities in the region; support and strengthen democratic institutions in the participating states; improve dialogue between governments, parliaments and civil society; strengthen the common identity of the Baltic Sea Region by means of close co-operation between national and regional parliaments on the basis of equality; and initiate and guide political activities in the Baltic Sea Region, endowing them with additional democratic legitimacy and parliamentary authority.
The political recommendations of the annual Parliamentary Conferences are expressed in a Conference Resolution adopted by consensus by the Conference. The adopted Resolution shall be submitted to the governments of the Baltic Sea region, the CBSS and the EU, and disseminated to other relevant national, regional and local stakeholders in the Baltic Sea region and its neighbourhood.
Learn more about: www.bspc.netSee more