HELCOM shared its views on environmental policy making, nutrient recycling and clean shipping at the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme Conference that was held in Lübeck from 9 to 10 April 2019.

Under the theme of "Let's talk about achievements", the conference presented the current accomplishments of the Interreg programme's platforms and projects currently operating in the Baltic Sea region.

The Interreg platforms and projects provide valuable scientific and technical underpinnings for HELCOM work. They also facilitate cross-sectoral collaboration, linking HELCOM to the private sector, local authorities and other Baltic Sea stakeholders.

The outcomes of the platforms and projects will notably feed the update of Baltic Sea Action Plan beyond 2021, support the elaboration of the Baltic Sea Regional Nutrient Recycling Strategy by 2020, and contribute to overall policy making at HELCOM.

HELCOM is involved in three Interreg platforms where it leads work packages related to policy implementation of the findings:

  • SuMaNu: platform on nutrient recycling, where HELCOM is leading the work package "Policy recommendations for sustainable nutrient management and recycling"

  • BSR Water: platform management of smart sludge, storm and waste water, manure and energy efficiency, where HELCOM is leading the work package "Facilitation of the regional policy dialog on sustainable water management", focussing on developing regional policy recommendations on nutrient recycling and hazardous substances.

  • CSHIPP: platform on clean shipping in the Baltic Sea region, where HELCOM is leading the work related to drafting policy recommendations from the outputs of the different projects involved in the platform as well as developing an online dissemination tool to share information related to shipping in the BSR

The Interreg platforms group several Interreg projects with similar topics and objectives. Based on wider scope than the individual projects, the aim of the platforms is to facilitate the development of joint policy recommendations.

In addition to the three platforms, HELCOM is also involved in seven Interreg projects.  

The Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme has four priorities, namely "Capacity for Innovation", "Management of natural resources", "Sustainable transport", and "EU Strategy support". Funded by the European Union, the programme backs integrated territorial development and cooperation, and is an agreement between EU member states Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and the northern parts of Germany, as well as partner countries Norway, Belarus and the northwest regions of Russia.

Over 300 participants from all around the Baltic Sea and beyond attended the conference that was held in Lübeck, Germany.