Mr Hans Brask, Director of the Baltic Development Forum decided to share his thoughts about recently held Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. In his remarks Mr Brask speaks about the Forum as a means for reaching out to different stakeholders on all levels of cooperation.
He underlines his statement by quoting the Mr Toomas Ilves, President of Estonia, who in his opening address at the Forum stated that the Strategy ”is the first initiative of the European Union that has been launched by people who have been directly elected and it is under democratic rules of the citizens of the European Union. Therefore, it can be said that this is the most democratic strategy in the European Union”. According to Mr Brask, the EU Strategy has come to an impressive start which was confirmed at the Forum in Tallinn where more than 500 engaged people took part and many more were on a waiting list. He also believes that it is a demanding – but very fine – objective to have the most democratic strategy in the EU. This requires all stakeholders to be integrated so that it will be possible to avoid a possibility that regional development becomes too dominated by exclusive EU decision-making procedures and instruments in Brussels. He also encourages more involvement on the part of people on the ground in the region, who are not formal part of the new institutions. The EU Strategy, he continues, is an example of a golden opportunity of the macro-regions in Europe to overcome the usual distances between the EU and its citizens.
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