Germany takes over the presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, vows to focus on offshore wind, dumped munitions and youth

On 1 July 2022, Germany has assumed the presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) for one year, taking over from Norway. Under its presidency, Germany will notably focus on offshore wind energy, dumped munitions and youth in the Baltic Sea region.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

“I firmly believe that all democratic Baltic Sea states must stand together – now more than ever,” said Annalena Baerbock, the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, in a video address, referring to the current geopolitical shifts taking place in the Baltic Sea region due to the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

“This region is strategically important and holds enormous potential, for example in terms of our energy supply,” said Baerbock who will lead the German Presidency of the CBSS and be the main speaker for the organisation for the next year.

Three German priorities: offshore wind energy, dumped munitions and youth

In a bid to support the shared regional goal of attaining climate neutrality by 2050 while, at the same time, addressing the issue of energy security, Germany has identified the promotion of offshore wind energy as the first priority under its presidency of the CBSS. In close cooperation with the energy ministers of the Baltic Sea region countries, Germany wishes to use the CBSS as a platform for initiating more concrete forms of regional cooperation regarding offshore wind.

The second German priority is on dumped munitions in the Baltic Sea, which pose a risk to public health, maritime activities and the marine environment. A legacy of the second world war, up to 400,000 tonnes of conventional explosives and around 40,000 tonnes of chemical weapons are currently littering the Baltic’s seafloor. Germany, therefore, intends to use the CBSS as a platform for promoting a common regional understanding of the impacts and challenges associated with munitions dumped in the sea.

Since young people are impacted by many of the issues currently addressed in the various formats of Baltic Sea cooperation, youth is the third German priority. Germany intends to give young people a voice when it comes to finding responses to the challenges facing the region. Germany is furthermore committed to strengthening and expanding personal encounters between young people from various countries in the Baltic Sea region. In general, youth is a cross-cutting issue in the CBSS.

In addition, Germany will also lend its support to the work undertaken in the CBSS’s three priority areas – Regional Identity, Safe & Secure Region, and Sustainable & Prosperous Region, further building on the achievements of the previous presidency of Norway.

Baerbock is due to invite her CBSS counterparts to Germany in the spring of 2023.

Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS)
Press Office
CBBS, Council of the Baltic Sea States, Germany, presidency, Baltic Sea, offshore, focus, region, energy supply, munitions, dumped, maritime

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