Strategy for the Swedish Institute’s activities concerning cooperation in the Baltic Sea region for the period 2016–2020

This strategy governs the use of funds under expenditure area 5, International cooperation, appropriation 1:11, item Cooperation in the Baltic Sea region, in the appropriation directions for the Swedish Institute for each budget year. The strategy encompasses approximately SEK 500 million for the strategy period.

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The purpose of the Swedish Institute's activities within the framework of this strategy is to develop Sweden's relations in the Baltic Sea area by contributing to sustainable development and strengthened global competitiveness in the region, as well as strengthened democracy, respect for human rights, gender equality and respect for the principles of the rule of law in Sweden's neighbourhood. The strategy will cover the countries in the framework of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR), i.e. Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Russia and the countries in the EU's Eastern Partnership, i.e. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, are included in this cooperation.

On the basis of the common challenges facing the countries around the Baltic Sea and the close vicinity – linked to environment and climate,security, democracy, gender equality, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of expression, as well as social divides, the economy and welfare – there is a great need for increasing and developing cooperation in various areas. Cooperation in the Baltic Sea region is key to promoting the EU's overarching objectives for the Baltic Sea region: saving the sea, connecting the region and increasing prosperity. Activities are also justified by the need to strengthen Baltic Sea cooperation and strengthen integration between the EU Baltic states and countries in the EU's Eastern Partnership, on the basis of Sweden's interests.