EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region

EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region


The European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) is the first Macro-regional Strategy in Europe, approved in 2009. The EUSBSR is an agreement between the Member States of the EU and the European Commission to strengthen cooperation between the countries bordering the Baltic Sea to meet the common challenges and to benefit from common opportunities facing the region through three objectives: saving the sea, connecting the region and increasing prosperity. The EUSBSR is implemented in concrete joint projects and processes coordinated by Policy Area Coordinators and respective Focal Points.

Learn more about the Strategy here:


Policy area „Spatial Planning”

The overall goal of the Policy area “Spatial Planning” is to achieve territorial cohesion perspective in the Baltic Sea Region by 2030, i.e. the Region shall be better integrated and coherent macro-region that has reduced the socio-economic development divides between its individual parts and has turned the global challenges into assets.

Policy area “Spatial Planning” focuses on encouraging the use of maritime and land-based spatial planning in all Member States around the Baltic Sea and developing a common approach for cross-border cooperation.

The strategic targets of the Policy area are:

  • to increase the knowledge on land-based spatial planning in the BSR by organising regular thematic events and other activities;
  • to draw up and apply trans-boundary, ecosystem-based Maritime Spatial Plans throughout the BSR which are coherent across the borders and apply ecosystem-based approach.

* Before the revision of the EUSBSR Action Plan approved in 2021, Policy area “Spatial Planning” was called Horizontal Action.



PA “Spatial Planning” work is embedded into the VASAB and HELCOM frameworks. PA “Spatial Planning” has two thematic areas:

  • land-based spatial planning;
  • maritime spatial planning (MSP).

VASAB jointly with HELCOM are Coordinators of the Policy area “Spatial Planning”.

PA “Spatial Planning” ensures transnational approach in spatial planning in the Baltic Sea Region and creates a forum and cooperation platform for regional, trans-boundary and cross-sectoral dialogue towards more coherent planning.

Workplan of Policy area “Spatial Planning” 2022-2024 is available here.

PA “Spatial Planning” is co-funded by Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme. Read about PASPS project here.



PA “Spatial Planning” has a Steering Group that meets in two formations:

  • VASAB CSPD/BSR acts as Steering Group for the land-based spatial planning issues;
  • The joint HELCOM-VASAB Maritime Spatial Planning Working Group acts as the Steering Group for the PA “Spatial Planning” concerning MSP issues.

Rules of Procedure of the PA “Spatial Planning” Steering Group are available here.

Steering Group minutes are available here.


An interactive brochure about Policy area “Spatial Planning” can be seen below or downloaded here.