On 6 – 8 May 2019, the Policy Area Secure Steering Group gathered in Stockholm for a workshop on effective strategies for stakeholder engagement, and to discuss updates and future actions in the spring Steering Group meeting.

The workshop “The Baltic Sea Region – an interconnected system: PA Secure – planning for policy impact” offered the participants an opportunity to reflect upon achievements in Policy Area Secure and to discuss the current terms of reference and modus operandi of the Steering Group.  The questions, that the participants tried to answer together included: which connections, with national stakeholders, are needed to intensify the implementation of the Policy Area Secure priorities? What are the challenges in reaching these stakeholders? At the end of the workshop, each participant elaborated a clear action plan on how to approach individual people or groups of stakeholders in their countries to improve the Policy Area outreach.

The workshop was co-organised by the coordinators of the Policy Area Secure (the Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, MSB) and Horizontal Action Capacity (Norden Association and the Swedish Institute) in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR).

The Steering Group meeting, that followed the workshop, focused on the upcoming revision of the Action Plan of the EUSBSR and how the PA Secure sections should be updated, as well as how the monitoring and evaluation of the policy area will be done. The members of the Steering Group also updated each other on recent activities, projects and processes in the prioritised areas of the Joint Position on Enhanced Cooperation in the Civil Protection area.

A web based platform for collaboration between societal security actors in Finland “Tuovi – your portal to security” was presented by Ari Evwaraye from the Finnish Ministry of Interior. Trial access to the platform was offered to the Policy Area Secure Steering Group members to evaluate if a similar system of online communication can be used by PA Secure for exchange of information, documents and materials in between meetings, for initiating new collaborative projects and monitoring ongoing projects.

The Steering Group also prepared for the upcoming meeting of the Directors General for Civil Protection in the Baltic Sea Region on 28 – 29 May in Riga. Among other issues, it was discussed how the potential development of a roadmap for societal security research in the BSR (an initiative and idea developed by the BSR Research Network on Societal Security) should be presented to the Directors General.

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