On 8 December, the conference on fostering sustainable cooperation between the Baltic Sea Region and Ukraine was held.

The conference aimed to explore how macro-regional strategies, such as the EUSBSR, can promote new sustainable cooperation that include Ukrainian stakeholders. Through the conference, a dialogue was initiated around concrete themes, in line with Ukraine’s needs, where cooperation could be developed.
📍 Igor Korkhovyi, Deputy Minister, Ministry for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine, emphasized how Ukraine has played, and will play, a major role in the European security order. The work of rebuilding the country will be costly, but Korkhovyi emphasized the importance of not only talking about a physical one, but also about a reconstruction of behaviors and values – the principles of the rule of law. Igor Korkhovyi pointed to the importance of ensuring that stakeholders at all levels are involved in that process.
📍 Nadija Afanasieva, the director of Ukrainian Institute for International Politics noted that Ukraine is really interested in cooperation within EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. She emphasized that in 2022 Ukraine became the first non-EU country to preside over the Danube Region Strategy and successfully continued performing its duties within Presidency even after the start of full-scale war. Organizing Annual Forum together with Slovakia was indeed a unique case for the Danube Region Strategy. Ukraine also succeded to hold a conference on one of its priorities within Presidency – human resources and labour market (People and Skills in the Danube Region).
Nadija Afanasieva highlighted important areas for future cooperation between 2 macro-regional strategies, such energy security, transport, infrastructure, education, security in the region, food security, agricultural development, innovations and smart specialisation, which is particularly important as Ukraine is in the process of developing smart specialisation strategies for its regions.
🤝 A workshop on four thematic areas with the participation of stakeholders from both the Baltic Sea region and Ukraine was also organized within this event. The discussions resulted in concrete proposals and thoughts regarding continued dialogue and cooperation in distance education, training of medical personnel, water supply and shipping. The proposals and thoughts that were developed will form the basis for continued discussion and design of cooperation.
This event was organized by Svenska institutet together with the Swedish Prime Minister´s Office, current President of the EUSBSR.