Prime Minister Katainen: Sustainable development as trademark for Baltic Sea Region
On 3031 May, Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen attended the Summit of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) in Stralsund, Germany. The Summit was hosted by the German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and all eleven CBSS member countries participated in the meeting: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany.
The meeting started with a dinner discussion during which Prime Minister Katainen expressed his wish for closer cooperation in efforts to promote sustainable development in the Baltic Sea Region.
"In my opinion, sustainable development should be turned into an internationally renowned trademark for the Baltic Sea Region. But we need concrete action to accomplish this. Improvements in the condition of the Baltic Sea require both commitment and hard work," said Katainen.
Prime Minister Katainen drew attention to other measures for practical level cooperation: "The current bilateral student exchange programmes could be extended to include at least three countries. In this way, young people could broaden their experience of other Baltic Sea states and improve their employment opportunities.
The main meeting themes focused on energy cooperation and the countries' demographic changes, including population ageing. Increased life expectancy, the retirement of the post-war baby-boomer generation, and the decrease in birth rate weaken the dependency ratio in all Baltic Sea states.
Finland will host the next CBSS Summit in summer 2014. In Finland's view, the CBSS offers an important forum for informal exchange of ideas among the Baltic Sea state leaders and Finland emphasises the role of such discussions in efforts to further strengthen practical level cooperation among the Baltic Sea states.
Inquiries: Antti Vänskä, Special Adviser (International Affairs), tel. +358 9 1602 2068 or +358 40 513 1458 and Päivi Mutanen-Pirttilä, Communications Specialist, tel. +358 9 1602 2014 or +358 40 705 3323, Prime Ministers Office