Norway takes over the presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States today. This means that the Norwegian Foreign Minister will serve as president of the council for one year.
“It is important for Norway to be actively engaged in all four of the regional councils in northern Europe: the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the Barents Council and the Arctic Council. Our participation in these councils provides an opportunity to promote Norwegian interests in the High North. They are also key forums for political dialogue and practical cooperation with like-minded countries,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
Norway will base its presidency on the priorities adopted by the Council of the Baltic Sea States: environment, energy, economic development, education and culture, and civil security. In addition Norway will have a particular focus on maritime policy, human trafficking and organisational measures aimed at making the council more visible and result-oriented.
“The Baltic Sea is already an important transport route, and freight volumes are expected to increase in the years ahead. The maritime industry is important for economic development in the region, but also poses challenges related to environment, climate and energy. We will address these issues during our presidency,” said Mr Støre.