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Photo of the Baltic Sea near Ahlbeck (Quelle: Rainer Sturm/

Baltic Sea Region

Maritime hub: With its political, social and economic Baltic Sea cooperation, which has been existing since over twenty years, and the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, the region has taken many steps to jointly improve the region’s competitiveness, the ecological state of the Baltic Sea as well as social cohesion. The Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme forms an essential component of these efforts and an key element of the project-oriented Baltic Sea cooperation.

Eligible transnational cooperation areas 2014-2020 - Baltic Sea Region

German federal states involved

Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony (Lueneburg), Schleswig-Holstein

Tradition of cooperation

The Baltic Sea Region is characterised by the sea, its large area and a comparably sparse population. This is why shipping and "blue growth" as well as accessibility, transport, energy efficiency and innovation play a significant role. The Baltic Sea Region comprises the eight member states Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, northern and eastern parts of Germany as well as Norway, north-west Russia and Belarus. The political-strategical networking in the Baltic Sea Region serving to overcome large structural disparities between the western and the eastern part has a long tradition. Since 2009, it is moreover the first area with a macroregional EU strategy also being implemented under the Baltic Sea Region Programme.

Themes of cooperation

The Baltic Sea Region Programme supports projects concerning the following four priority axes:

Capacity for innovation

  • Research and innovation infrastructures
  • Smart specialisation
  • Non-technological innovation

Efficient management of natural resources

  • Clear waters
  • Renewable energy
  • Energy efficiency
  • Resource-efficient blue growth

Sustainable transport

  • Interoperability of goods and passenger transport
  • Accessibility of remote areas and areas affected by demographic change
  • Maritime safety
  • Environmentally friendly shipping
  • Environmentally friendly urban mobility

Institutional capacity for macro-regional cooperation

  • Seed Money
  • Coordination of macro-regional cooperation

Budget and funding

  • Baltic Sea Region (2014 – 2020): 323 million euros
  • Funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF): 263.8 million euros
  • EU cofinancing rate for German partners: 75%
  • Average total project budget: 1.5 - 4.5 million euros
  • Eligible for funding: staff costs, organisation and travel costs, external expertise costs, equipment expenditure, investments (limited)

How to become a project partner

Under the Baltic Sea Region Programme, at least three partners from at least three different countries join within a project for usually about three years. A project normally involves ten to 15 partners (institutions). A lead partner assumes the overall control of a project. The programme addresses public and private stakeholders.

The following partners are eligible for funding under the Baltic Sea Region programme:

  • Public authorities (natinonal, regional, local authorities)
  • (Public) Service providers
  • Research institutes and universities
  • Chambers and associations
  • Business support organisations
  • Enterprises
  • Non-governmental organisations

Information: EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region

The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region is an instrument of the European regional policy. Its aim is to exploit chances and to join forces in facing problems resulting from the protection of the Baltic Sea Region, regional integration and increasing prosperity.

The Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme is one of the most important funding programmes bringing the Strategy into life. Other national and EU programmes as well are used for this purpose.

Additional Information


Jens Kurnol
Division I 3 - European Spatial and Urban Development

Phone:  +49 228 99401-2304
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