The Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC) was established in 1991 as a forum for political dialogue between parliamentarians from the Baltic Sea Region. BSPC aims at raising awareness and opinion on issues of current political interest and relevance for the Baltic Sea Region. It promotes and drives various initiatives and efforts to support a sustainable environmental, social and economic development of the Baltic Sea Region. It strives at enhancing the visibility of the Baltic Sea Region and its issues in a wider European context.
BSPC gathers parliamentarians from 11 national parliaments, 11 regional parliaments and 5 parliamentary organizations around the Baltic Sea. The BSPC thus constitutes a unique parliamentary bridge between all the EU- and non-EU countries of the Baltic Sea Region.
BSPC external interfaces include parliamentary, governmental, sub-regional and other organizations in the Baltic Sea Region and the Northern Dimension area, among them CBSS, HELCOM, the Northern Dimension Partnership in Health and Social Well-Being (NDPHS), the Baltic Sea Labour Network (BSLN), the Baltic Sea States Sub-regional Cooperation (BSSSC) and the Baltic Development Forum.
BSPC shall initiate and guide political activities in the region; support and strengthen democratic institutions in the participating states; improve dialogue between governments, parliaments and civil society; strengthen the common identity of the Baltic Sea Region by means of close co-operation between national and regional parliaments on the basis of equality; and initiate and guide political activities in the Baltic Sea Region, endowing them with additional democratic legitimacy and parliamentary authority.
The political recommendations of the annual Parliamentary Conferences are expressed in a Conference Resolution adopted by consensus by the Conference. The adopted Resolution shall be submitted to the governments of the Baltic Sea region, the CBSS and the EU, and disseminated to other relevant national, regional and local stakeholders in the Baltic Sea region and its neighbourhood.
The BSPC has several working bodies, which serve as resources for driving and implementing BSPC priorities and objectives.
The Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference is the annual general assembly in the Baltic Sea region for broad political debate on Baltic Sea issues. The Conference resolutions are political tools which enables the BSPC to take and support political initiatives, and to approach the governments and regional organizations on issues of common interest.
The host country of the 26th BSPC, Hamburg, is responsible for the operational planning and execution of the 26th Conference in Hamburg on 3 – 5 September 2017.
The BSPC Standing Committee (SC) is the highest decision-making body of the BSPC between the annual Conferences. The Standing Committee considers and decides on strategic issues concerning the mission, political priorities, working modes, finances and administration of the BSPC. The Standing Committee has the overall responsibility for preparing the annual Conference and for overseeing the structures and functions of the BSPC. The Standing Committee consists of parliamentarians from all national parliaments, regional parliaments and parliamentary organizations throughout the Baltic Sea Region. The Standing Committee convenes at least four times per year (beginning of the year, spring/summer, in connection with the Conference, and in fall). The first SC meeting of the year should include a report from the CBSS and could also include progress reports on EU Northern Dimension, EU Baltic Sea Strategy, and EU Integrated Maritime Policy. The SC also serves as Drafting Committee during the annual Conference.
The BSPC Secretary Level meeting consists of officials from the BSPC member parliaments. It supports the Secretariat in preparing the work of the Standing Committee, and oversees the preparations of the annual Conferences.
The BSPC Secretariat manages overall coordination of BSPC activities, prepares activities in the BSPC bodies, delivers administrative and organizational support, and provides investigative resources.
The BSPC Working Group on Sustainable Tourism – with a focus on cultural, economic and labour market, maritime and ecological aspects – as a central pillar of maritime spatial planning, chaired by Sylvia Bretschneider (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern), will aim at elaborating political recommendations within these fields. The Working Group will present a mid-way report at the 25th BSPC.
The BSPC Observer in HELCOM, Sylvia Bretschneider (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) follows the deliberations of relevant HELCOM bodies.
The BSPC Rapporteur on Cultural Affairs, Sonja Mandt (Norway), follows and reports on developments in this field.
The BSPC Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings, Thomas Stritzl (Germany), follows and reports on developments in this field.
The BSPC Rapporteur on Eutrophication, Saara-Sofia Sirén (Finland), will follow and report on the development in these fields and the implementation of the recommendations of the BSPC Working Group on Eutrophication (2006-2007).
The BSPC Rapporteur on Labour Market and Social Welfare, Franz Thönnes (Germany), will follow and report on the development in these fields and the implementation of the recommendations of the BSPC Working Group on Labour Market (2007-2009).
The BSPC Rapporteurs on Integrated Maritime Policy, Jochen Schulte (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) and Jörgen Pettersson (Åland Islands) are co-rapporteurs that will follow and report on the development in this field and the implementation of the recommendations of the BSPC Working Group on Integrated Maritime Policy (2009-2011).
The BSPC Rapporteurs on Green Growth and Energy Efficiency, Cecilie Tenfjord-Toftby (Sweden) and Oleg Nilov (Russian Federation), will follow and report on the development in this field and the implementation of the recommendations of the BSPC Working Group on Green Growth and Energy Efficiency (2011-2013).
The BSPC Rapporteur on Innovation in Social- and Healthcare, Olaug Bollestad (Norway), will follow and report on developments in this field and on the implementation of the recommendations of the BSPC Working Group on Innovation in Social- and Healthcare (2013-2015).
The BSPC Website (www.bspc.net) is a central conduit for disseminating news and information on BSPC’s organization, activities and results, as well as a dynamic archive to BSPC documents and opinions.