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The Baltic Sea region is of a vital importance to Poland's foreign policy. We share the concern about its development and well-being with a number of important international partners.

After a turbulent period of rivalry, since the 1990s and in particular since the enlargement of the European Union in 2004, the Baltic Sea has witnessed a dynamic development of international cooperation. Poland has been actively involved from the start.

Citizens' security; energy supply sources; sea, road and rail connections; the environment; research and development; innovation; and the promotion of the region's tourist attractions — these are just a few of the regional challenges we are trying to tackle. They cannot be resolved by any single country on its own, which is why international collaboration is so important. Poland is exploiting the opportunities offered by classic bilateral diplomacy, but also multilateral cooperation tools, including innovative ones.

On the one hand, the Baltic stands for very important partners like Germany and Russia, as well as the Baltic and Nordic countries, with which we have been able to establish an extensive network of ties. On the other, it means numerous possibilities offered by several dozen multilateral cooperation structures, such as the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the Northern Dimension, the HELCOM Helsinki Commission, the Committee on Spatial Development of the Baltic Sea Region (VASAB), the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference, the Baltic Sea States Subregional Co-operation (BSSSC), and the trailblazing EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

Polish diplomacy wants to play a role in shaping the rich Baltic cooperation offering and to make the full use of it. We thus want to create a friendly environment for action not only by relevant ministries and state actors, but also local government authorities, local institutions, public benefit organisations, academia, and business.

This is why Poland hosted the 10th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. The event was organized on 12-13 June 2019 in Gdańsk and focused on circular and sharing economy in the context of demographic changes and environmental challenges. You can read more about the Forum in a dedicated report.

On the occasion of the EUSBSR jubilee, the Polish Ministry for Foreign Affairs prepared an anniversary publication “Better together. 10 years of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region”. It highlights the results achieved during the past 10 years to save the Baltic Sea and to make the region more prosperous, innovative and better connected.   

Being Poland's immediate neighbourhood, cultural and natural wealth, and a place with a particularly rich history and enormous development potential, the Baltic deserves utmost attention and a permanent focus of Polish diplomacy and administration.