The annual Baltic Sea NGO Forum, attended by participants from all of the Baltic Sea countries, is the major joint event organized by the Baltic Sea NGO Network. The forum is hosted by the platform of the country chairing the CBSS.
This tradition dates back to 2001 when Danish NGOs for the first time invited to a cross-disciplinary meeting of NGOs in the Baltic Sea Region in Copenhagen. Later the same year the first Baltic Sea NGO Forum was held in Lübeck under the auspices of the German Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS). The annual forum is prepared by the national platform of the host country in cooperation with the Co-ordinating Committee.
To date, the Baltic Sea NGO Forum has taken place
- 2001 in Lübeck/Germany
- 2002 in St. Petersburg/Russia
- 2003 in Turku/Finland
- 2004 in Pärnu/Estonia
- 2005 in Gdynia/Poland
- 2006 in Stockholm/Sweden
- 2008 in Rīga/Latvia
- 2009 in Elsinore (Helsingør) /Denmark
- 2010 in Vilnius/Lithuania
- 2012 in Berlin/Germany
- 2013 in St.Petersburg/Russia
- 2014 in Turku/Finland
- 2015 in Tallinn/Estonia
- 2016 in Gdansk/Poland
- 2017 in Reykjanesbær/Iceland
During the annual forum, representatives of NGOs from different fields gather in plenary sessions to discuss recent developments in Baltic Sea co-operation and questions related to NGOs activities and civil society in the Baltic Sea Region. In thematic workshops, the participants’ exchange information about their work, share their experiences with other NGOs and discuss topics related to their work.
In the past, the workshops covered topics like
- NGO-legislation, legal security and civil society
- Environment & Climate change
- Sustainable Development
- Tolerance and Cultural Diversity
- Civic Participation
- Discrimination and Social Inclusion
- Civil Security
- Social Affairs
- Civic Dialogue
- Lifelong Learning
- Human Rights
- Gender and Equality Issues
The Baltic Sea NGO Forum also serves as an important meeting point for establishing personal contacts, finding project partners and networking with the aim of developing and strengthening civil society co-operation in the Baltic Sea region.
The results of each forum are concluded in the forum’s Final Statement being delivered for further consideration to the CBSS and other institutions on a national, regional and European level.
The NGO Forum not only serves as a meeting point for NGOs but also offers an opportunity for dialogue between NGOs and public authorities on future perspectives of co-operation in the Baltic Sea Region. Therefore, representatives of national governments and administrations, international and regional institutions, as well as other actors in Baltic Sea cooperation, are invited to participate in these forums.
For more information (programs, papers, final statements etc.) see www.bsngoforum.net.