“We will only be able to exploit the great opportunities provided by our economic potential here in the North if the social climate is also right.” This was one of the main messages of Franz Thönnes, member of the Bundestag and member of the BSPC Standing Committee in his address to the 17th BSSSC Annual Conference in Ringsted on 14 October.
“This is why I am so pleased that the European Commission has accorded the social dimension a central role in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. This is precisely the time to gear ourselves up for the time after the crisis. In the coming months, therefore, we need to chart the course for the future. In economically hard times, all other needs unfortunately tend to take second place to the goals of encouraging investment and creating jobs. By this I mean environmental and climate protection and the protection of workers’ rights”, he stated.
“On average, we have a good level of prosperity in the Baltic Sea Region. Yet at the same time we have here some of the poorest and some of the richest regions of Europe. The European Cohesion Policy remains one of the main cornerstones of European regional policy. The EU Baltic Sea Strategy can make an important contribution in this respect. To ensure that political resolutions are turned into deeds, we should exploit the momentum generated by the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. But we also need serious efforts on the part of all the Baltic Sea States”, Mr Thönnes concluded.
The Baltic Sea States Subregional Cooperation (BSSSC) is a political network for decentralized authorities (subregional) in the Baltic Sea Region. The BSSSC was founded in Stavanger, Norway, in 1993. Its members are regional authorities (the level just below the national level authorities) of the 10 Baltic littoral states.