An EU strategy for the Baltic Sea Region: good intentions meet complex challenges

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Series Details Number 9
Publication Date September 2009
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The EU is about to adopt a comprehensive strategy for the Baltic Sea region. While intuitively attractive, the idea of the strategy nonetheless gives rise to a set of critical questions.

In this European Policy Analysis, Assistant Professor Rikard Bengtsson introduces the content and procedures of the strategy and identifies a number of challenges that need to be addressed. These challenges range from difficulties in improving efficiency to problems related to the intra-regionalization of the EU and the lack of an external perspective, more specifically by ignoring Russia as a key determinant for the potential success of the strategy.

This paper seeks to critically analyze the preconditions for a successful implementation of the strategy, looking both at the set-up of the strategy itself and at constraining factors for macro-regional cooperation, generally and in the Baltic Sea case more specifically.

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