Priorities of the Icelandic Presidency in the Council of the Baltic Sea States


  1. Energy issues: Iceland as the country in the chair of the Group of Senior Energy Officials in the Baltic Sea Region Energy Cooperation will play an active role in this field. Particular priority will be placed on new and renewable energy sources and sustainable use of energy in the region. An invitation has been issued to a meeting of Energy Ministers of the Baltic Sea States in Iceland in October 2005.

  2. Protection of the Environment: This issue will remain high on the agenda of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, in particular the maritime environment in the region and adjacent areas. Reduction of pollution and prevention of oil spills in the face of ever-increasing oil transportation in the region is very important.

  3. Cooperation on nuclear and radiation safety: Continuation and strengthening of cooperation in this field is important for all countries in the region. Full participation in the Working Group on Nuclear and Radiation Safety will further enhance the work of the Group.

  1. Cooperation with Regional Organizations in Northern Europe and elsewhere: Cooperation with the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Barents Euro-Arctic Council and the Arctic Council is of particular importance in view of common interest and to avoid overlapping and duplication of work. Cooperation with the Central European Initiative, the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative and the Black Sea Economic cooperation is of value. Cooperation with tripartite organizations should be examined.


  1. Economic Cooperation: Promotion of trade and investments, cross-border cooperation and revitalization of the Working Group on Economic Cooperation will be emphasized.


  1. Childrens’ issues: In particular the following issues should be given priority within the Working Group for Cooperation on Children at Risk: Children in institutions; children that are the victims of trafficking and the training of professionals to meet the challenges of assisting them; continued exchange of expertise in relation to the “Barnahus” model in cooperating with social services, medical expertise, psychological expertise and the police/prosecutors when a child is suspected to be the victim of abuse.


  1. Cooperation with Parliamentarians in the Baltic Sea Region: Developing cooperation with the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference and facilitating discussion of major regional issues is of mutual interest.


  1. Cooperation with Ukraine: Further cooperation with Ukraine – already an observer state—  should be accorded special attention.