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. The 10th Annual EU Strategy Forum for the Baltic Sea Region organised by Poland in Gdansk in June 2019 will be a good opportunity for further discussions and steps to enhance cooperation for common benefit.
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.
Our publication on the 10th anniversary of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region with foreword from Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz and Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu.