The Working Group on Maritime Policy was established in March 2008 with the objective of bundling and expressing the interests of the BSR regions in maritime policy and of organizing respective political support.
The group is chaired by Helsinki-Uusimaa, Finland who took over the chairmanship from Schleswig-Holstein, Germany in 2013.The Working Group seeks to cooperate with other Baltic Sea organisations and actors regarding maritime affairs, which is why it co-operates tightly with the Maritime Issues Working Group of the CPMR Baltic Sea Commission. It strives to bring together maritime actors of the region and to foster a target-oriented dialogue.
The Blue Economy has significant importance for the whole Baltic Sea Area. Blue Growth has a strong potential for sustainable business and innovations in many sub-regions in the Baltic Sea Area. For example, clean-tech, aquaculture and digitalisation, provide positive input in increasing the prosperity of the whole area.
The HELCOM State of the Baltic Sea report explores the need for intensified action. The Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) is the most important tool for improving the ecological status of the Baltic Sea. As an observer in HELCOM, BSSSC shares the vision on a healthy Baltic Sea environment connected with a wide range of sustainable economic and social activities, at the same time contributing to the Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development). BSSSC will promote the implementation of the BSAP, especially on the sub-regional level. Clear water, safe maritime traffic and healthy wildlife have concrete effects on the sub-regions.
Continue its role as an observer in HELCOM and contribute to the implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan and the EUSBSR “Save the Sea”;
Advocate for funding for the Blue Economy post-2020 as well as for the continuation of the maritime cross-border INTERREG programmes - towards EU institutions and national authorities;
Support the work of the Expert Group on Sustainable Maritime Economy of CBSS and take part in the meetings;
Continue the cooperation with the CPMR Baltic Sea Commission Maritime Working Group.Main objectives:
Joint event of CBSS, BSPC and BSSSC on the European Maritime Day on 20 May 2011
On 20 May the BSSSC Working Group on Maritime Policy together with the maritime working groups of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC) held a joint session within the European Maritime Day Conference in Gdansk. The title “Common vision - linking efforts - strengthening visibility” and the contributions during the conference underlined their common will to jointly contribute to developing the Baltic Sea Region to Europe’s maritime best practice region by 2015 which is an objective of the BSSSC since the Conference on Maritime Policy the organization held in Kiel in September 2006.
The three bodies – representing the national, the regional and the parliamentary level – valued the meeting as a good kick-off for a fruitful and long-term cooperation. On invitation of the BSPC the three bodies will meet again on 20 June in Schwerin where they are going to speak about future cooperation and concrete projects. Stefan Musiolik, chairman of the BSSSC Working Group on Maritime Policy: “The project Clean Baltic Shipping is a priority of the BSSSC and also a declared matter of common interest. We have a good chance to get targeted political support from the different political levels for the implementation. That is a promising development.”
A panel discussion under participation of the European Commission (COM) was part of the joint event. Stefan Musiolik used the opportunity and called upon the Commission to revive the “Clean Marine Award” the COM only once awarded to three projects in 2004: “Visibility is a key factor to promote our objectives in the maritime policy field. 2012 the European Maritime Day will be hosted by Gothenburg. This would be a good opportunity to award the “Baltic Sea Clean Marine Award” for the first time”.
BSSSC Annual Conference 2009 - Workshop "Climate Protection in Shipping"
The BSSSC Annual Conference 2009 took place on 14/15 October 2009 in Ringsted/Denmark. The conference's aim was to connect the political objectives of the EU Baltic Sea Strategy with those of the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen. One Workshop dealt with the topic climate protection in shipping, a subject which is both on the agenda of the Baltic Sea Strategy and of the UN Climate Summit. Which part can the ports play? Is ship-to-shore electricity supply an appropriate answer? These were questions discussed in the workshop.
Five-Point Action Plan Clean Baltic Shipping
On 10 June 2009 the European Commission published an EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region which the European Council adopted end of October 2009. Beforehand the BSSSC WG on Maritime Policy developed a five-point action plan Clean Baltic Shippingas proposal for a flagship project within the Action Plan to the Strategy to contribute to the aim to develop the Baltic Sea region into Europe's maritime best practice region by 2015. The project is supported by another five Baltic Sea organisations: Baltic Development Forum, Baltic Sea Commission (CPMR), B7 Baltic Islands Network, Euroregion Baltic and Union of the Baltic Cities. End of 2008 the proposal was handed over to EU Commissioner Danuta Hübner. All components of the project are included in the EU Commission Action Plan as adopted from the European Council. One of the 15 priority areas of the Action Plan is headed "To become a model region of clean shipping".
The BSSSC Annual Conference 2008 took place in September 2008 in Kaunas/Lithuania and was devised as a contribution of the Baltic Sea regions to EU Commission consultation process on the EU Baltic Sea Strategy. One session of the conference addressed the goal to develop the Baltic Sea region into a maritime best practice region by 2015.
BSSSC Opinion on EU Commissions Blue Book on Maritime Policy
In October 2007 the EU Commission adopted the so called Blue Book on Maritime Policy setting out its vision for an Integrated Maritime Policy for the EU together with an Action Plan containing measures for the years ahead. In November 2007 the BSSSC Board adopted an opinion on the Blue Book and asked the European Commission, the national governments, organisations and other key actors in the field of maritime policy in the Baltic Sea region to take BSSSC opinion into consideration.
In June 2006 the European Commission initiated a discussion process on an integrative European Maritime Policy and launched a respective Green Paper. The one-year consultation process included conferences in the maritime regions of the European Union. The conference of the Baltic Sea region took place in Kiel/Schleswig-Holstein and was hosted by BSSSC, the Government of Land Schleswig-Holstein and the Free and Hanseatic Town of Hamburg. The 250 participants of the conference, coming from all states of the Baltic Sea region, adopted a final declaration summing up the views and requirements of the Baltic Sea region concerning a future European Maritime Policy. The Final Declaration also includes the commitment to develop the region into Europe's maritime best practice region by 2015.