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PA Secure at 12th Baltic Excellence Programme in Helsinki

The CBSS Civil Protection Network’s 12th Baltic Excellence Programme (BEP) in Helsinki brought together 40 civil protection experts from 8 countries across the region to delve into topics of preparedness, civil protection, and comprehensive security.

Hosted by the Ministry of the Interior of Finland under the current Finnish presidency of the CBSS, the 12th Baltic Excellence Programme (BEP) brought together 40 experts from eight countries to delve into critical topics surrounding preparedness, civil defence, and comprehensive security.

Since its inception in 2012, the Baltic Excellence Programme (PA Secure Flagship), originally known as the Baltic Leadership Programme, has aimed to establish a network of civil security actors in the Baltic Sea Region. By combining theory with practice, the programme equips participants with the necessary tools and information to navigate cross-border collaboration in an intercultural context.

This year’s event served as a platform for in-depth discussions on a range of pressing issues, from measuring population readiness to withstand different crises to examining the role of businesses in national resilience. Participants explored concepts such as the “72 hours” principle, delved into the significance of self-preparedness and compared civil defence organisational structures across Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, and Finland.

The programme featured a diverse range of activities designed to provide participants with both theoretical insights and practical experiences. With a focus on the Finnish comprehensive security model, the programme included a guided tour of the renowned Merihaka civil defence shelter and featured lectures from esteemed institutions such as the Finnish National Rescue Association (SPEK), Laurea University of Applied Sciences, and the Finnish Environment Institute. Workshops and exercises led by institutions like the Swedish Defence University, Riga Technical University, and the Union of the Baltic Cities Safe Cities Commission complemented the theoretical sessions.

Andriy Martynenko and Julia Fredriksson – Policy Area Secure coordinators, presented PA Secure efforts and invited all participants to join this BSR collaboration format for better exchange of knowledge and new professional connections.

The final day of the event was dedicated to the continuation of the BALTinnoSEC initiative, piloted by the CBSS in Warsaw last year, which fosters dialogue between businesses and security stakeholders. The Confederation of the Finnish Industries offered insights into the role of private companies in contributing to the country’s comprehensive security and emergency supply.

Beyond the formal sessions, participants had the opportunity to bond over cooking in simulated emergency scenarios and enjoy traditional Finnish sauna experiences, fostering camaraderie and collaboration among attendees.