Sweden new President of Council of Baltic Sea States
On 1 July 2006 Sweden will assume the Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS). Sweden takes over after Iceland and will lead cooperation in the Baltic Sea region for one year.
At a Summit in Reykjavik on 7-8 June 2006, Prime Minister Göran Persson presented the Swedish priorities ahead of assuming the Presidency. The Swedish Presidency will mainly prioritise concrete measures to:
- Improve the protection and preservation of the environment in the Baltic Sea region
- Promote democracy, human rights, security as well as social security and prosperity in the Baltic Sea region
- Reduce barriers to trade and investment, and promote the opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises to build networks and expand in the Baltic Sea region
Minister for Foreign Affairs Jan Eliasson sees great potential in Baltic Sea cooperation.
"We need strong regional cooperation in order to work with issues that concern all those living around the Baltic Sea. Cooperation in the Council of the Baltic Sea States can lead to concrete results in many areas, such as improving the Baltic Sea environment and fighting organised crime, not least when it comes to the disgraceful trafficking in human beings," says Mr Eliasson.
The Council of the Baltic Sea States was established in 1992 by the Baltic Sea region foreign ministers. In addition to the countries around the Baltic Sea, Iceland, Norway and the European Commission are also members of the Council.