In 2022 the NDPHS and the Norden Association Sweden, the Policy Area (PA) Coordinators in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) conducted a feasibility analysis to establish a cross-policy area flagship for co-creative processes with extended stakeholders’ involvement. The Economy of Wellbeing of People Flagship aims to effectively address societal challenges covered by EUSBSR actions.
The feasibility analysis resulted in an elaborate proposal which has since been taken forward by the two PAs. The partnership brings together a strong consortium in the Baltic Sea Region comprising companies in the health industry, social partners, public and academic institutions, and a planning region. The two Policy Area Coordinators also bring a wide network of stakeholders such as ministries, state agencies, and NGOs.
It has been repeated in various contexts that the EUSBSR and the revised Action Plan are intended to be implemented by engaging stakeholders cross-sectorally, transnationally, and at multi-level to jointly develop solutions to societal challenges. This was expressed again in the EU Commission’s report: “The Macro Regional Strategies are essential cooperation frameworks establishing networks of stakeholders that form a transnational, cross-sectorial mosaic of expertise. (..) The aim is to improve institutional capacities with the ability to create innovative and inclusive services that can empower people and stakeholders, making them actively contribute to the development of prosperous and open macro-regions.”
As the EUSBSR has developed, the Policy Areas have become interconnected and interdependent. This increasingly requires a more developed cross-sectoral approach and more intensive multi-level governance as well as a flexible way of engaging stakeholders on a broader basis. For the individual PAs, this also means that a more advanced and active collaboration across PA boundaries is necessary. The partnership has applied for funding to the Swedish Institute’s Baltic Sea Neighborhood Program to develop the Flagship concept during 2023/24. If a grant is awarded, the flagship will be developed in 4 phases:
Text: Imants Gross, the NDPHS Secretariat