9th VASAB Conference of Ministers responsible for spatial planning and development of the Baltic Sea Region
Wismar, 2 June 2023
On 2 June 2023, the VASAB Ministers responsible for spatial planning and development in the Baltic Sea Region countries met for the 9th time to jointly discuss the complex challenges related to the geopolitical and energy policy changes in the Region and beyond.
The main focus of the VASAB Ministerial Conference was the endorsement of the VASAB Vision 2040 and the adoption of the Wismar Declaration 2023, which underlined the commitment of participating countries to implement the VASAB Vision 2040.
The Ministers and Heads of Delegations from VASAB countries, including Germany, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Sweden, along with invited organisations and networks, such as the CBSS, EUSBSR, HELCOM, CPMR Baltic Sea Commission, and UBC Planning Cities Commission welcomed well-established collaboration, emphasized the enduring necessity of close cooperation and shared vision for the resilient development of the Baltic Sea Region. The Ministers acknowledged that considerable spatial challenges in the Baltic Sea Region can be tackled only through integrated multi-level cooperation and highlighted the importance of collaboration across various networks, such as the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region in which VASAB has been given a prominent role as the Policy area ‘Spatial Planning’ lead coordinator. In this regard the open and co-creative elaboration process of the VASAB Vision 2040 was acknowledged as a prime example of the successful cooperation to address the challenges facing the Region.
With the noticeable appreciation of the valuable work of the VASAB Secretariat, the Ministers affirmed the continuity of the VASAB Secretariat and its location in Riga, Latvia as functionally independent entity until the 31st of December 2029.
In conclusion, the Ministers expressed their gratitude to Germany for its successful 2022-2023 Chairmanship of VASAB and welcomed Finland with incoming Chairmanship starting from July 2023. The conference was hosted by the Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Building of Germany and the city of Wismar.
Wismar Declaration 2023 can be found here.
The 9th VASAB Ministerial Conference was launched with 20th Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) Ministerial Session by joint session on 1st June. More information here.
Photos: Perspektive Media (Marie Voget), VASAB Secretariat (Margarita Vološina)