On 5 November 2020, the Policy Area Secure Steering Group met for the 14th time, in an online format. Despite not being able to meet in person, the meeting included 20 participants, from eight of the Member States in the region and the Union of the Baltic Cities (Safe Cites Commission). In addition, Mr. Simon Stermann, National Coordinator (NC) and Chair of the National Coordinators Group (NCG) of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, participated in the meeting, as well as guests from the Red Cross which presented the flagship project BALTPREP.
The meeting opened with a presentation of the revised EUSBSR Action Plan during which Mr. Stermann and the Steering Group members discussed the nearest future of the strategy and PA Secure place in it. Following, both the BALTPREP project and the Youth for Safer Youth projects was presented and discussed.
A new format was tested – an interactive session – focused on the work in international cooperation. Led by Andriy Martynenko from the CBSS Secretariat, each participant was asked to prepare short questions about ongoing challenges or issues within their everyday work. The answers were provided by the rest of the group members. The session resulted in many thought-provoking questions as well as many appreciated ideas being shared. This format proved to be a good way of energising the online meeting, and there were requests to host a similar meeting, solely focusing on an interactive session in the future. Thus, a meeting with an interactive format is planned for the Steering Group in the beginning of 2021.
The traditional key agenda items, including updates on the implementation of the Joint Position on Enhancing Cooperation in the Civil Protection Area and a roundtable discussion, was encompassed in the meeting as well. Furthermore, Finland and SPEK (Finnish National Rescue Association) gave a presentation on “Roadmap for Joint Position 4” and the Lithuania, as the current Chair of the Civil Protection Network shared details on the upcoming Baltic Excellence Programme Seminar: “Baltic Sea Region: acting together against nuclear risks” on 26 November 2020.
The next PA Secure Meeting is planned to take place in Spring 2021.