Council of the Baltic Sea States

The Council of the Baltic Sea States, CBSS, is an intergovernmental forum for cooperation between the states in the Baltic Sea Region. The CBSS was established in 1992 to promote democratic and economic development in the Baltic Sea Region. The Council plays an important role as a political forum of discussion in the Baltic Sea Region and as a regional organisation involved in various projects, including in the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

The Presidency of the CBSS rotates among the Member States. Finland held the CBSS Presidency from July 2013 to June 2014, followed by Estonia (2014–2015), Poland (2015–2016), Iceland (2016–2017), Sweden (2017–2018) and Latvia (2018–2019). Denmark will assume the Presidency after Latvia for 2019–2020.

Foreign Ministers’ meetings and Prime Ministers’ meetings are held in alternate years, but these have been suspended since June 2014 because of the EU sanctions decisions. After a long interval, Iceland held a Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Reykjavík in June 2017. A Foreign Ministerial Meeting was held in Stockholm in June 2018.  The practical work of the CBSS is coordinated by the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO), which convenes about once in two months and once a year with the Observer States in Stockholm. The Permanent International Secretariat, which is based in Stockholm, coordinates and supports the work of the CBSS.


The priorities of the CBSS are

  • Regional identity
  • Sustainable and prosperous region
  • Safe and secure region


Expert-level cooperation is conducted in the areas of, for example, combat against organised crime and human trafficking and improvement of nuclear and radiation safety. In Finland, CBSS cooperation is dealt with by authorities responsible for various sectors.

The CBSS has a Project Support Facility (PSF) of EUR 1 million for 2017–2019. Through PSF funding, the CBSS seeks to support such multinational projects in its sectors of operation that bring added value for the Baltic Sea Region.




Council of the Baltic Sea States

Member States: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden. The European Commission also takes part in the CBSS cooperation.


Observer States: Belarus, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom, the United States and Hungary.

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