The Baltic region includes eight of the 28 European Union member states. The Baltic Sea provides a critical connection between the EU and the Russian Federation.
The region’s diversity can translate into a challenge for decision makers to find common ground on complex issues such as environmental protection, sustainable use and management. As a result, the surrounding coastal countries have not been particularly successful in balancing economic and social uses with the protection of the sea.
The challenge is compounded by the fact that the Baltic Sea is one of the most intensively used seas on the planet. Investments cover an impressive variety of maritime activities, almost all projected to increase and expand over the coming 20 years - in some sectors by several hundred percent.