The second paper in the Schuman Society’s international Schuman Papers series entitled
EU Governance, ‘Experimental Union’, and Baltic Sea Cooperation: The Case of the European Union’s Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (Schuman Papers 2/2017)
was published on 23 October 2017. The paper focuses on the analysis of the EU’s macro-regional strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. The author of the paper, Stefan Gänzle, is Associate Professor of Political Science at the Department of Political Science and Management and Jean Monnet Chair in European Governance at the University of Agder, Kristiansand (Norway).
In the past, Baltic Sea cooperation has been characterised by a plethora of region-specific actors and arrangements, covering a wide range of objectives and policies – with the City of Turku assuming a leading role quite regularly.
Endorsed by the European Council in 2009, the European Union’s (EU) Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR), a new tool in the EU’s repertoire of Cohesion policy and European Territorial Cooperation, was launched with a view to fostering cross-sectoral coordination and cooperation in policy areas which are of ‘macro-regional’ relevance and appeal such as transport infrastructure and environmental protection.
Although placed under the ‘Three No’s’, i.e. no additional EU funding, institutions and legislation, a lean governance architecture at the macro-regional level has emerged over time and the strategy mobilises actors from all tenets of the EU’s multilevel governance system, i.e. the EU itself, its member and adjacent partner states, as well as subnational authorities and civil society.
Drawing on the analytical lens of experimentalist governance, this paper shows that the EUSBSR ultimately seeks to rebalance both transnational and intergovernmental regional cooperation with a view to fostering territorial cohesion in the Baltic macro-region.