Interreg Baltic Sea Region has been supporting the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region since its beginning during the previous programming period. From 2007 to 2013, the Baltic Sea Region Programme supported 49 projects closely linking to the Strategy with almost EUR 120 million spent to implement the Strategy.
Evaluation and achievements
In an evaluation of how the Programme contributes to the implementation of the EUSBSR it was found that it gathers and mobilises stakeholders from around the region, develops and transfers knowledge as well as provides analyses and other evidence to guide policy processes.
Improving environmental condition of the Baltic Sea
Strengthened regional institutional capacity in water and nutrient management was one of the main achievements of the Programme. This has lead decision-makers to conclude that nutrient resources should be looked at in a holistic way, which ensures sustainable and efficient management and use of nutrients and prevents increasing eutrophication of the Baltic Sea.
An additional achievement was the contribution to reducing emissions from ships and in ports. The new knowledge obtained through the projects about technical solutions and their economic implications reached both the maritime industry and politicians.
Connecting the region
Major achievements included managing and interconnecting transport corridors and networks and coordinating the transport policy among the Baltic Sea Region States. The programme facilitated the cooperation of national transport policy makers and the coordination of infrastructure investments. One concrete result was the Macro-regional Transport Action Plan, which includes a green transport scenario and associated policy actions.
The main contribution of the Programme towards fostering innovation includes improving the transnational performance of innovation sources, such as higher education organisations and SMEs. It also builds links between SMEs and research organisations. These are steps towards establishing a common Baltic Sea Region innovation strategy as well as developing new methods for training entrepreneurship and innovation.