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BSSSC paper on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the future of Europe 

Adopted by the Board May 10 2019

The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are our joint global action plan for a better future – a framework for political actions on all levels to face multiple challenges.  
A sustainable future in Europe and globally can only be realised if we all work together. The BSSSC focuses its work on the need to further mainstream sustainable development at all levels, integrating economic, social and environmental aspects and recognizing their inter-linkages - to achieve sustainable development in all its dimensions.  
Bottom-up cooperation - involving local and regional level - is more important than ever and cooperation must be based on shared values of democracy, peace, respect for human and social rights and the rule of law.  
Recalling the BSSSC policy papers on;  


  •  Subsidiarity and Democracy – and the future of Europe, adopted by the BSSSC Board on 12 December 2017 and

  •  Ad culture to the heart of regional and European policy, adopted by the BSSSC Board on 23 May 2018 


  •  BSSSC welcomes the EU reflection paper Towards a sustainable Europe by 2030 proposing three scenarios to stimulate the debate on the Future of Europe.  


  •  BSSSC stresses the importance of the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a joint global action plan for a better future for all - taking into account their crosscutting nature.  

  • BSSSC urges the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament to mainstream the SDGs in all policy fields, and to strive for implementation according to the scenario 1.

  • BSSSC insists that the implementation of the SDGs should be set in a mix of bottom-up and top-down approach, involving all levels of government and relevant stakeholders.  

  • BSSSC underlines the need to bring Europe closer to its citizens and finds the SDGs a good basis for this approach. The involvement and empowerment of youth should be a key element.  


  • BSSSC urges the EU Commission and the Member States in the Baltic Sea Region to mainstream the SDGs into the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region – making use of the momentum of revision of the Action Plan in 2019.  

  • BSSSC supports the Baltic 2030 Action Plan developed by the Council of the Baltic Sea States as a joint platform for implementing the SDGs in the Baltic Sea Region at all levels 

  •  BSSSC underlines the role of local and regional authorities in the implementation of the SDGs – focusing on localising the SDGs 

  • BSSSC insists that ambitions must be higher at all levels to implement the SDGs – at European, national, regional and local level.  

  • BSSSC points to the fact, that cultural aspects can play a pivotal role for the 2030 Agenda to be successful. Cultural expressions, heritage, diversity and creativity are core components of human and sustainable development. Culture has the power to integrate; culture builds bridges across borders and across social and political differences – and opens up a vivid access to the youth, forming the basis and future of the European project.

  •  BSSSC stresses that all EU financial instruments should be in line with and support the SDG implementation.  

  • BSSSC underlines the role of the Committee of Regions and Pan-European and geographical organisations to stimulate learning, peer reviews, exchange of good practises and mutual learning between regions and cities/municipalities throughout Europe.



BSSSC is an open, non-party political, network organisation, which represents the interests of all regions around the Baltic Sea. According to the BSSSC Strategy 2016 - 2020, BSSSC will use its role as a political network organisation and a regional partner to the Council of the Baltic Sea States to promote and advocate the interests of the regions of the Baltic Sea area towards decision makers, such as national governments, the EU institutions and intergovernmental organisations. Subsidiarity and democracy are basic principles of BSSSC and the role of local and regional authorities and the voice of young people is at the heart of all BSSSC work.  

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