Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

GAERC will discuss the Baltic Sea Strategy and enlargement

Adelina Marini, July 27, 2009

The EU will start work on a third consecutive regional strategy. After the creation of the Mediterranean Union, the idea of which was French for deepening of EU relations with the countries around the Mediterranean and after the presentation of the "Eastern Partnership" initiative, directed to to the countries around the Black Sea and the Caucasus, today the EU foreign ministers will discuss the third project - Baltic Sea Region Strategy. The document has been prepared by the Swedish Presidency and will be presented officially by the Commission.

The Strategy has been approved by the Commission in the beginning of June but it still has to be approved by the Council and the Parliament. Its main goal is to decrease the pollution of the Baltic Sea, to increase transport connections as well as the prosperity of the region.

With this Strategy the EU Neighbourhood Policy is finally fragmented because, while being an integrated policy for all those European regions, it proved to be ineffective and, especially after the enlargement, it became harder to be implemented.

Today the EU membership application of Iceland will also be discussed by EU's foreign ministers. The island country was among the first and worst hit by the global financial and economic crisis and was on the brink of bankruptcy. The government of Iceland officially filed and EU application last week and today it will be for the first time discussed in the General Affairs and External Relations Council.