HA Neighbours

Horizontal Action Neighbours is one of the four Horizontal Actions in EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). It was included to the EUSBSR Action Plan in February 2013. The Strategy is an agreement between the Member States of the EU and the European Commission to strengthen cooperation between the countries bordering the Baltic Sea in order to meet the common challenges facing these countries today.

The Strategy has three main objectives (Save the Sea, Increase prosperity and Connect the Region) which all have several sub-objectives. The actions to attain these objectives are coordinated by Policy Areas (PAs) and Horizontal Actions (HAs). Policy Areas focus on thematic issues such as bioeconomy and Horizontal Actions on larger scale matters like the climate or international relations like HA Neighbours.

The set up of HA Neighbours was based on the understanding that close cooperation between EU Member States and neighbouring countries, at national, regional and local level, is vital to tackle jointly many of the challenges in Baltic Sea region, and to exploit fully its development potential.

The main purpose of this HA is to bring together stakeholders in the EU and neighbouring countries, especially the North Western territories of the Russian Federation, in a constructive, mutually advantageous manner. In addition, HA Neighbours seeks to enhance cooperation with Norwegian, Belarussian and Icelandic partners in the Baltic Sea region. The main goal is to to promote dialogue and facilitate cooperation across the borders.


The City of Turku and the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) Secretariat act as the coordinators of the HA Neighbours. HA Neighbours is based on two independent but parallel streams of activities: the extensive work of CBSS to promote regional cooperation between its Member States, and the “Turku Process”, a joint initiative by City of Turku/Regional Council of Southwest Finland, St. Petersburg and Hamburg to promote practical cooperation between EU and Russian partners. The coordination of the Turku Process and therefore HA Neighbours has been delegated to Centrum Balticum Foundation.

Duration and Funding

HA Neighbours is financially supported by the Interreg BSR program.

  • Duration of the project: 7/2016 – 7/2018
  • Total Project budget: 199 240.00 €
  • Of which Interreg Support: 169 354.00 €