How do we orient our actions?

The objectives of HA Neighbours are set in the EUSBSR Action Plan and the actions we take are derived from those objectives. However, there is a lot hidden in the word derive. Who can participate in the planning and what forms does it take? And, of course who has the responsibility of implementing the tasks planned to take us to the objectives? You can learn more about the strategy and how it works on the EUSBSR website, but in order to understand the work of HA Neighbours we endeavour to explain some of the most important parts here.

Each Horizontal Action (HA) and Policy Area (PA) in the strategy have a small group of organizations set as their coordinators and these organizations allocate the tasks to certain personnel the HA (or PA) Coordinators. These organizations form a partnership and the team that plans and implements the actions taken and also participates in the planning of the objectives. Each PA and HA has a Coordination Group or Steering Committee whose members are experts in this field, and come from most if not all the EUSBSR countries. Their task is to coordinate and steer the work of the coordinators and also to work as a network for the HA or PA. We have outlined some important information about these collaboration forms below.

Horizontal Action Coordinators

The Horizontal Action Coordinators plan and implement the tasks that each PA or HA takes. They plan the actions every two years, apply for funding from INTERREG BSR and report to it as well almost like any other EU funded project.

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.

Tasks of the Horizontal Action Leaders

Facilitate involvement of and cooperation with relevant stakeholders from the entire macro-region and in close cooperation with those:

  • Implement and follow-up the Horizontal Action towards targets and indicators defined. Whenever relevant, review of the indicators and targets set.
  • Review regularly the relevance of the Horizontal Action as described in the Action Plan. Propose necessary updates of the Horizontal Action to the European Commission.
  • Facilitate policy discussions in the Baltic Sea Region regarding the Horizontal Action concerned.
  • Facilitate development and implementation of the Horizontal Action concerned.
  • When relevant, convey relevant results and recommendations of the Horizontal Action to the policy level.
  • Ensure communication and visibility of the Horizontal Action.
  • Maintain a dialogue with bodies in charge of implementation of programmes/financial instruments on alignment of funding for implementation of the Horizontal Action.
  • Liaise and cooperate with Priority Area Coordinators and other Horizontal Action Leaders in order to ensure coherence and avoid duplication of actions in the EUSBSR implementation.
  • Monitor progress within the Horizontal Action and report on it.

The Coordination Group

In order to be able to fulfill the responsibilities set above and to be able to achieve the objectives set in the Action Plan the HA Coordinators should as the Action Plan states:

“For this purpose, a steering committee/coordination group should be set-up and chaired by the Horizontal Action Leader(s). A group should be composed of representatives of all Member States and other Baltic Sea Region states, when relevant, as well as experts in the area concerned. A group should meet at least twice a year and support Horizontal Action Leader(s) in implementation of the tasks referred.”

HA Neighbours organizes its face-to-face Coordination Group meetings only once a year in order to limit the carbon footprint of the project. From the right hand side you can find the meetings’ documentation.

Coordination Group Meeting,


The fifth HA Neighbours Coordination Group meeting was held in Tallinn back-to-back with the EUSBSR Annual Forum.

Coordination Group Meeting,


The fourth HA Neighbours Coordination Group meeting was held in Berlin back-to-back with the EUSBSR Annual Forum.

Coordination Group Meeting,


The third HA Neighbours Coordination Group meeting was held in Stockholm back-to-back with the EUSBSR Annual Forum.

Coordination Group Meeting,


The second HA Neighbours Coordination Group meeting was held in Jurmala back-to-back with the EUSBSR Annual forum.

Coordination Group Meeting,


The first HA Neighbours Coordination Group meeting was held in Turku back-to-back with the EUSBSR Annual Forum.