Baltic Prime Ministers for dynamic regional development

Participants in the 5th prime ministerial conference of the Baltic states (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden), held in Laulasmaa (Estonia), are for the dynamic development of the countries in the region. This is said in the summary materials of the conference, posted on the site of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The conference was held after an important event - the expansion of the European Union on May 1, 2004, the document says. In this connection, conferees expect that "the expansion of the EU will create new possibilities for the deepening of regional cooperation between Baltic states and all the partners involved in promoting the region's prosperity".

In their opinion, "the Baltic region should go on strengthening its positions as one of the most dynamic regions of the continent and set the example of sustainable economic and social development".

"The heads of government hail results of the EU-Russia summit held in Moscow on May 21, 2004 and voice conviction that joint activities of the expanded EU, other members of the European economic environment and the Russian Federation will strengthen political stability and economic dynamics around the Baltic Sea", the document reads.

It goes on to read that "the membership of all the Baltic countries in the World Trade Organisation will make an important contribution to the economy of the region".

Conferees believe that "Baltic regional policy initiatives will be conducive to the EU-Russia strategic partnership by stepping up border cooperation at the regional and subregional levels, involving civil society in general".

In the opinion of conferees, the Baltic Sea States Council, uniting members and non-members of the European Union, can put to use this advantage and reinvigorate cooperation for the goal of reaching accord in all areas of mutual interest.

"The BSSC is a valuableadditional basis for constructive interaction between the EU and Russia. It should continue and develop this role as far as it deems fit, minding the interests of all the countries in the Baltic region", the document reads.

"The Baltic region will continue as the proving ground for ideas and mechanisms in the interest of attaining agreed-upon goals. This experience can also be topical for other regions of Europe", summiteers believe.

They stress the "importance of integrating the sustainable development principles into a policy by all the corresponding participants in cooperation".

The conference "has taken into consideration the Report on five-year work on Agenda-21 for the Baltic Sea region (Baltic-21) and expressed interest in the concept of converting Baltic into the Eco-region of sustainable development, involving the economic, ecological and social spheres".

The Baltic heads of government welcome and support the development of cooperation between the BSSC, Nordic Council of Ministers, Barents/Euroarctic Council and the Arctic Council, jointly with the European Commission, targeting the improvement of coordination and realisation of concrete priorities and projects in the Nordic Dimension context.

The Baltic heads of government take into account the recent measures taken to step up the EU Baltic border cooperation programmes and expect the further broadening of opportunities offered by these programmes.

The Baltic heads of government stress that the BSSC will go on encouraging the supremacy of law, human rights observance and transboundary human contacts in the region.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team