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Carmen Gebhard, Policy Implementation and Progression in:

Carmen Gebhard

Unravelling the Baltic Sea Conundrum, page 108 - 109

Regionalism and European Integration Revisited

1. Edition 2008, ISBN print: 978-3-8329-4084-3, ISBN online: 978-3-8452-1239-5 https://doi.org/10.5771/9783845212395

Series: Nomos Universitätsschriften - Politik, vol. 164

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108 Eventually, the document recommended that the Commission should develop institutional arrangements to enhance effective coordination of existing policy instruments and that studies should be undertaken and funded by the community in order to develop expertise and assess the potential and needs specific for the region. By way of conclusion, the communication also offered concrete guidelines to frame the implementation process. Special emphasis and detailed instructions were given in the fields of energy, environment and nuclear safety, cross border cooperation, trade, transport and health. II. Policy Implementation and Progression Since its formal launch almost one decade ago, the EU ND has gone through an extensive development of implementation and further conceptual modification and innovation. The course of progression has generally been rather erratic with distinguished activist phases followed by long periods of stagnation. Given the numerous stages that the policy framework has gone through, the following overview cannot be exhaustive. It focuses on major achievements in the overall implementation process, and briefly indicates the respective formal consequences. 09/97 Launch of the Finnish Northern Dimension Initiative (NDI) 12/98 Vienna European Council adopted formally acknowledged the Finnish initiative 06/99 Cologne European Council adopted “Guidelines for the implementation of the ND” “The implementation and further development of the ND should be done in close consultation with the partners through the existing agreements and within regional bodies such as the CBSS and the BEAC. Council recommends that the relevant bodies should consider how to create synergies between the existing EU-programmes.”369 11/99 Commission Communication “Strengthening the ND of European Energy Policy” “Energy has been identified as one of the key sectors in which significant added value of the EU ND is expected. The long term potential for the exploitation of oil, gas and non-energy raw materials (e.g. non-ferrous metal) is huge, but will require substantial improvements in energy and transport infrastructure.”370 11/99 1st Ministerial Conference on the EU ND, initiated and hosted by the Finnish EU Presidency; adoption of an “Inventory of current EU ND activities” 12/99 Helsinki European Council, invited the Commission to prepare a ND Action Plan (AP) 06/99 Feira European Council adopted the 1st “Action Plan for the ND in the external and cross-border policies of the EU (2001-2003)” (ND AP) 2001 The EU ND enters the operational phase 03/01 Establishment of the “Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership” (NDEP) by the IFI active in the region (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Nordic Investment Bank, World Bank), intending to signal the endorsement of a new approach in promoting environmental investments, and in order to coordinate efforts to bring solutions to the legacy of environmental damage in the ND Area.. The European Investment Bank joined the NDEP, when their mandate was extended to environmental loans in Russia.371 369 Guidelines for the implementation of the ND, adopted by the Council of 31 May 1999. DOC 9034/99. 370 Strengthening the Northern Dimension of European Energy Policy. Communication from the Commission. COM(1999) 164, November 1999. 371 For in-depth information, see the official NDEP website www.ndep.org [23 January 2007]. 109 04/01 2nd Ministerial Conference on the EU ND in Luxembourg hosted by the Swedish Presidency in reaction to a Finnish proposal. 06/01 Göteborg European Council endorsed a “Full Report on ND Policies” taking stock of the activities undertaken to implement the Feira Action Plan and also outlining ideas and proposals for the continuation of the ND initiative. 07/02 launch of a Support Fund for the implementation of the NDEP; objective of the Fund was to support the NDEP by mobilising grant funds to leverage IFI loans.372 08/02 3rd Ministerial meeting in Illulisaat/Greenland; discussed guidelines for a 2nd ND AP; 03/03 establishment of the Northern Dimension Research Centre (NORDI) in Lappeenranta 06/03 Commission adopted 2nd Action Plan for the EU ND (2004-2006) 10/03 establishment of the ND Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) 08/04 launch of the Northern Dimension Information System (internet-based) intended to provide a technical means to enable the dissemination of information in the ND context, covering the wide range of activities carried forward under the NDAP; 10/04 1st Senior Officials Meeting (SOM), aiming to assess the implementation of the Action Plan, to review progress to date, to identify areas in which a further stimulus would be necessary 11/05 4th Ministerial meeting held in Brussels, approves “Guidelines for the Development of a Political Declaration and a Policy Framework Document for the ND from 2007” 11/06 Council approves “Political Declaration on the Northern Dimension”373 01/07 The “New” EU ND enters into force 02/07 Parliamentary Conference on the Northern Dimension Table 12: Chronology – the Implementation Process of the EU ND III. Preliminary Evaluation: What Role for the EU ND? The question of whether the EU ND was or still is rather a success story or a failure has recently dominated the academic debate about the policy. If ever the main ambition of the Finnish initiative was to get the “Northern issues” onto the official EU working agenda, then the outcome might certainly be seen as a major achievement. The EU ND has brought some more Europeanness to the North, while before, most “southern” Europeans considered it as something extremely remote and peripheral. To some extent, the EU ND can also be regarded as a result of some kind of new Nordic consciousness, some call it “Northernness”374, after the fall of the bipolar structure of world politics. “That implies for the EU a dilution of the strict distinction between internal and external policy, given the fact that the external borders of the EU are overlapped by that Northernness.”375 Indeed, one of the main objectives of the EU ND was to counteract tendencies towards a new European divide at an early stage.376 372 For more information about the NDEP Support Fund, see Rules of the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership Support Fund. NDEP 02/50 Rev. 1, 30 November 2005. 373 The relaunch of the EU ND in 2006 will be discussed thoroughly in chapter “Promoting the ‘Finnish Perspective’ – Finland’s EU Presidency 2006”, p. 143-. 374 See JOENNIEMI Pertti: The North meets Europe. On the European Union’s Northern Dimension. Working Paper, Copenhagen Peace Research Institute (COPRI). Copenhagen 1999, p. 2. 375 DUBOIS Jeroen: The Northern Dimension as Prototype of the Wider Europe Framework Policy. University of Liverpool, Working Paper. Liverpool 2004, p. 4. 376 See STENLUND Peter: Implementation of a Northern Dimension. In: Northern Research Forum (ed.): North meets North. Proceedings of the First Northern Research Forum, held in Akureyri and Bessastaðir, Iceland. 4-6 November 2002, pp. 126-129, here p. 126.

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Zusammenfassung

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.