Carmen Gebhard, Patterns of Cooperation: Sorting out the Mess in:

Carmen Gebhard

Unravelling the Baltic Sea Conundrum, page 86 - 88

Regionalism and European Integration Revisited

1. Edition 2008, ISBN print: 978-3-8329-4084-3, ISBN online: 978-3-8452-1239-5

Series: Nomos Universitätsschriften - Politik, vol. 164

Bibliographic information
86 II. Patterns of Cooperation: Sorting out the Mess Despite the proliferation of studies on Baltic Sea regionalism, there still is a clear lack of contributions that would attempt to enumerate and interpret the wide array of regionalist formations, coalitions, projects and initiatives in detail.287 While it would definitely go beyond the scope of this study to trace back the development process of each cooperative formation that emerged in the BSR after the end of the Cold War, it seems useful to at least give an overview to illustrate the organisational and political diversity at hand and to structure the array of organisations present in the region. 288 policy fields and working agenda Name Y ea r of E st ab lis hm en t G ov er na nc e m od el T yp e of a ct or s O rg an is in g pr in ci pl e In st it ut io na lis at io n E nv ir on m en t B us in es s T ec hn ol og y A rt a nd C ul tu re Sp at ia l P la nn in g D eb or de ri ng R es ea rc h – A ca de m ia T ou ri sm M ar it im e is su es H is to ry t oo l In cl us iv e B al ti cn es s L in ka ge t o E U N on -E U m em be rs V is io n or S tr at eg y ACMBS 91 TNA NO SC M - - - + - - + + - - - NL TB S Ars Baltica 91 TNW NO SC L - - - + - - - - - - + NL TB S Baltic 21 96 EPJ all SC L + + + - + - + + + - - FL TB S BaltMet 02 TNW SS LP L - + + - - + + + - - + FL TB V BCF 94 TNW NO LP L - + - - - - - - - - - IL TB S BDF 98 TNW all LP L - + - - - - + - - - + NL TB S BEIDS 98 EPJ NO SC ? + - - - + + - - + - - FL TB S BIF 94 ?289 all LP H + + + + + + + + + - - NL TB ? BPO 91 TNA NO LP L - + + - - - - - + - - NL TB S BRN 99 TNA NO LP L - + + - - - - - - - - NL TB S BSC-CPMR 96 TNA SS IG M + + + - + - - - + - - FL TB290 S BSF 92 TNA all LP L - + + + - - - - - - - IL N S BSSSC 93 TNA SS IG H + - + + + + + + + - - FL TB S CBSS 92 IGA OS IG H + - + + + - + + + - + FL TB S CCB 90 TNA NO LP L + - - - - - - - + - - NL TB S Helcom 74 IRE OS IG M + - - - - - - - + - - FL TB S UBC 91 TNW SS IG M + + + + + + + + + + + FL TB V VASAB 92 IGA all IG M - + - - + + - - - - - IL TB S Table 9: Cooperative Structures and Formations in the BSR: Synoptic Overview 287 Deas provides one of the few positive exceptions in this regard. He tried to identify the structural nature of various micro- and meso-regionalist formations all across Europe, thus offering a valuable contribution to the conceptualisation of the type of regionalism prominent in the BSR. Some factors applied in this chapter were inspired by Deas’ considerations about the nature of “Unusual Regionalism”. See DEAS Iain: From a New Regionalism to an Unusual Regionalism? Mapping the emergence of non-standard regional configurations in Europe. Manchester 2004. See also KERN Christine/LÖFFELSEND Tina: Governance Beyond the Nation-State: Transnationalization and Europeanization of the Baltic Sea Region. In: Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Discussion Paper SPS IV 2004-105. Berlin 2004. 288 Cases where a certain category is not applicable are marked with an ‘?’. 289 The BIF could be categorised as a self-standing institution that was established on the basis of a Finnish domestic initiative. 290 Since 2004, most member states of the BSC-CPMR are also formal members of the EU (except Norway). The BSC does not include Russia. 87 The overview is based on the following categories: Year of establishment: shows to what extent the end of the Cold War can be perceived as a decisive marker in the process of regionalism in Northern Europe; Governance model: distinguishing between – transnational associations [TNA], – intergovernmental associations [IGA], – international regimes [IRE], – transnational fora and networks [TNW], – self-organising [PJ], and – embedded projects [EPJ]. Type of actors: according to governance model, informing about the nature and type of actors involved in the respective formation, distinguishing between – official actors: state- [OS] and sub-state [SS], and – non-official actors [NO]. Organising principle: specifies whether a formation is organised according to an – intergovernmental [IG], – state-centric [SC] or – loose pattern [LP]. This category has to be distinguished from the governance model and thetypification of actors. An intergovernmentally organised formation cannot only include official actors at state or sub-state level. This categorisation depends on the way the respective association administers its activities and on the way it presents itself to the public. Degree of institutionalisation: classifies the level of formalisation – low [L], no institutionalisation, very loose structure; – medium [M], simple structure, e.g. a central management unit or secretariat; – high [H], established and complex structure, formalised division of labour. Policy fields and working agendas: informs about the frequency of policy fields commonly relevant in the BSR regionalist context, such as environment and environmental security, research, art and culture etc. This illustrates the degree of positive functional overlap between the various regionalist formations. Linkage to the EU: classification depends on whether the respective formation holds a – formal [FL], – informal link [IL] or – no link [NL] to the EU or one of its major institutions. Linkage to the non-EU states and actors: informs about whether an association stretches beyond the EU-border, and has thus a trans-border or trans-European quality or objective. It indicates whether ‘extracommunitarian’ actors have been involved and included since the point of its establishment (e.g. Russia, Russian stakeholders or Russian civil society actors, but also former candidate countries). – trans-border [TB] or – non-inclusive [N] 88 Identity or pragmatism, vision or strategy: drawing on the objectives and normative foundations of each formation, this category distinguishes associations pursuing a – vision [V], initiatives and associations that avail themselves of value-laden arguments such as the one of inclusive Balticness or of common heritage, to justify their objectives and activities; this implies i.a. the employment of the abovementioned history tool or other approaches that build on identity-related selfjustification; – or a strategy [S], meaning an approach that is pragmatic and solution-oriented and argumentatively tends to underline challenges instead of common heritage. The scheme is not exhaustive in the sense that it does not include all regionalist formations that emerged in the BSR after the end of the Cold War. It is restricted to the associations and initiatives that have shown enduring operability and have undergone substantial steps of structural consolidation, either in terms of institutional formalisation or by way of producing manifest policy outputs. The scheme shows that a great part of the organisations and initiatives in the BSR operate at the sub-state level: the actors involved represent regions, local entities, cities or non-official bodies and interest groups. Most associations and cooperative formations adhere to the governance model of transnational networks and fora, involving in most cases a low or medium level of institutionalisation. They feature various forms of polities, involving anything from a council, to a simple secretariat or mere intergovernmental meetings or irregular fora. However, only few of them avail themselves of extensive formalisation for the pursuit of their strategic objectives. Intergovernmental patterns of organisation are particularly prominent at both the sub-regional and regional level. Cooperating actors and partners show a high preference of organising themselves according to their nation state affiliation. Generally, the regionalist activities in the BSR seem to be rather practice-oriented and pragmatic, while only few exception show a strong tendency for value-laden argumentation and ‘thick’ normative foundations. Baldersheim and Ståhlberg pointed out that a great number of Baltic Sea organisations could be characterised as “organised partnerships” based on loose structures in order to enable the respective group of actors to solve common problems or to face common challenges.291 When seeking to explain this general tendency for pragmatic institutional solutions one could argue that the creation of regimes instead of supranational constructs certainly provides for enhanced functional and structural flexibility. This organisational choice and strategic orientation is, not least, likely to allay the fears state actors might have in regard to potential infringements on their national sovereignty.292 291 BALDERSHEIM Harald/STÅHLBERG Krister: The Dynamics of Cross-Border Region-Building and Nordic Co-operation. In: Idd. (eds): Nordic Region-Building in a European Perspective. Aldershot 1999, pp. 165-174, here p. 165. 292 See JOHANSSON Elisabeth: EU and its Near Neighbourhood: Subregionalization in the Baltic Sea and in the Mediterranean. In: WILLA Pierre/LEVRAT Nicolas (eds): Actors and Models. Assessing the European Union’s External Capability and Influence. Genève 2001, pp. 200-222, here p. 205.

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Seit 1989 ist es im Ostseeraum zu einer explosionsartigen Entstehung einer Vielzahl von regionalen Initiativen und Zusammenschlüssen gekommen. Der Ostseeraum weist bis heute eine europaweit einzigartig hohe Konzentration an kooperativen regionalen Strukturen auf. Diese bilden gemeinsam ein enges Netzwerk von Vereinigungen, die unter dem Überbegriff der "Ostseezusammenarbeit’ interagieren.

Diese Studie analysiert die Hintergründe dieses regionalen Phänomens oder so genannten „Ostsee-Rätsels“ auf Basis eines Vergleichs zwischen den Regionalpolitiken zweier staatlicher Schlüsselakteure, Schweden und Finnland, wobei der europäische Integrationsprozess als übergeordneter Bezugsrahmen für die Untersuchung dient.