The actors for Baltic Sea policy are developing the state of the Baltic Sea nationally and internationally

The Finnish coast and the entire Baltic Sea are closely connected to the world's seas, both in terms of research and the economy. The issues of the Baltic Sea are being considered by several policy authorities both in Finland and internationally. As a nation, Finland aims to be a pioneer in the sustainable development of the Baltic Sea.

The priorities of Finland's Baltic Sea policy are outlined in the 2017 decision in principle by the Prime Minister's Office on the strategy for Finland's Baltic Sea region. This strategy defines the direction in which Finland will develop the Baltic Sea region internationally, in EU policy and regional cooperation, and through its own actions and guidelines.

The strategy for Finland's Baltic Sea region is produced by the Baltic Sea and Maritime Policy Steering Group, which was set up by the Prime Minister's Office.

Finland's strategy for the Baltic Sea region aims to be at the forefront of sustainable development

Besides marine protection, the strategy addresses the sustainable use of the sea, such as blue growth, bio- and circular economies, as well as digitalisation and innovation. The aim is for the Baltic Sea region to be a pioneer in the utilisation and sustainable development of its resources.

Solutions developed within the region could also be exported to international markets in the future. This vision emphasises safeguarding a clean Baltic Sea with a vibrant marine environment. A prerequisite for blue growth is a good state of the marine environment.

Finland cooperates with other countries in the Baltic Sea region

Finland implements its Baltic Sea policy in extensive cooperation with other countries in the Baltic Sea region, as well as collaborating with regional organisations. Intergovernmental cooperation takes place mainly through the Council of the Baltic Sea States and the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, which was adopted in 2009.

The Ambassador to the Baltic Sea represents Finland in the EU's Baltic Sea affairs

In Finland, the implementation of the European Union's Baltic Sea Strategy is coordinated by the Ambassador to the Baltic Sea from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who represents Finland in the EU's Baltic Sea affairs. Also, the ambassador collaborates with coordinators from other member countries.

The action plan of the strategy was renewed in 2015, and Finland has coordination responsibilities for maritime safety, the bioeconomy, and the reduction of nutrient emissions.

Besides national governmental networks, the Baltic Sea Strategy is also implemented through the involvement of regions and municipalities, research and educational institutions and companies, as well as non-governmental organisations.

The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission HELCOM aims for a good status of the Baltic Sea by 2021

The Baltic Marine Environmental Protection Commission, i.e. HELCOM, was established in 1974. In Finland, the Finnish HELCOM delegation is led by the Ministry of the Environment. The Ambassador to the Baltic Sea from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is also a member of this delegation. HELCOM focuses on achieving good status in the Baltic Sea by 2021.

The Northern Dimension is a partnership model between the European Union, Russia, Norway, and Iceland

Launched at the initiative of Finland in the 1990s, the Northern Dimension is a partnership model between the EU, Russia, Norway, and Iceland. The Northern Dimension aims to support the stability, prosperity, and sustainable development of the region through practical cooperation.

The Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP) focuses on specific issues in the region, such as water protection. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs coordinates the Northern Dimension policy for Finland.