Nr.2(10) / 2013.gada jūnijs - Par es.gov.lv

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Nr.2(10) / 2013.gada jūnijs - Par es.gov.lv

8

Inga Skujiņa

cooperation. Thus, the implementation of individual projects and “getting

the job done” must be the guiding attitude not only among officials, but

also politicians, non-governmental organizations and societies. Different

languages or historical experiences, or false stereotypes, should not prevent

us from achieving economic wellbeing, introducing social and economic

opportunities and freedoms, and permanent civic interaction.

Thus, within the time left for my presentation, I would like to emphasise

three aspects that we should take into account when thinking about region -

alism and regional political development around the Baltic Sea. The first is

gaining an understanding of the place of the Baltic region in the changing

European Union. The second is the necessity to identify the immediate

concerns of the region and business opportunities therein. The third is the

future of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region in the context of the

Lithuanian and Latvian Presidencies of the Council of the European Union.

The European Union is at a crossroads. I must emphasise again — the

EU is at a crossroads. Traditionally, the European Union has been shaped

by the different external or internal processes and challenges it has faced.

Challenges have toughened the union and shaped the formation of the

economic and political community in Europe. The current sovereign debt

crisis and ideas on the Banking Union, Budgetary Union and completing the

Economic and Monetary Union by introducing fiscal coordination methods

have resulted in discussions on the federal future of the EU. European Union

institutions naturally seek greater coordination and we can observe an Ernst

Haas neo-functionalist “spill-over effect” in the speeches of the Presidents

of the European Union Council and the European Commission.

But one aspect is rather obvious: we cannot argue that the European

Commission is not willing to find solutions for the population of the whole

European Union. We cannot say that the Commission does not care about

all of the regions and countries in the European Union. Its support for the

Baltic Sea Strategy and interest in the implementation of regional projects

is clearly stated multiple times. And the ball now is in the hands of the

member states, their entrepreneurs, politicians and administrators. It is the

responsibility of the EU member states around the Baltic Sea to demonstrate

their leadership and resolution in utilising the potential for the integration

of historically, economically, socially, linguistically and culturally diverse

countries.

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