What do we do?

Increasing international cooperation is a vastly complex task and to achieve more cooperation one has to tackle a multitude of issues all of which vary in importance to each single stakeholder. HA Neighbours tackles this challenge in different ways. These include the promotion of the EUSBSR, developing processes and projects, increasing and more importantly mobilizing awareness in the stakeholders, staying in contact with other macro-regions and continuosly develop the methods and goals of HA Neighbours.


HA Neighbours promotes the EUSBSR mainly in it´s target countries Belarus, Iceland, Norway and Russia. In practice this means rigorous research of the state of play in each country in relation to the EUSBSR and also perhaps most importantly about available funding and informing the stakeholders as comprehensively as possible. The HA Neighbours´ coordinators stay continuously on top of developments in each country through for example media research and a contact network developed in each country. The dissemination of the information gathered is done via newsletters (which you can subscribe for at our homepage), our blogs, face-to-face meetings, participation and organization of seminars and of course through active social media presence (you can follow us in twitter as well).

Key actions

  • Joint promotion of the added value of Baltic Sea region cooperation “across borders”

  • Mobilising awareness and potential stakeholders in neighbouring countries

  • Developing and implementing practical cooperation processes and flagships beneficial for the development of EUSBSR and HA Neighbours goals

  • Developing dialogue and exchange with other macro-regions/neighbouring regions and relevant organisations

  • Continued dialogue and coordination with key partners of the EUSBSR on development of HA Neighbours


Mobilizing awareness and developing projects

The promotion and communication must also lead to something. Awareness is one thing but to mobilize this awareness in to action is a whole other matter. HA Neighbours strives to provide the stakeholders not only with information but with motivation and real possibilities to act. It is one thing to know that there is funding available for something but it is not so simple for an idea to sprout in to a project and perhaps at a later stage in to a process. The aim of our communications is not only to be informative but motivating. And as for the real possibilities we act as a supporting player to provide the potential stakeholders with assistance in thinking of new ideas, cooking them in to workable recipes of success and also in implementing them. We can also support the stakeholders in the thick jungle of rules and regulations that the EU funding mechanisms are.

In addition to research, communication, promotion and assistance HA Neighbours also develops and implements actions and processes itself within the limits of our other work. These may be AD HOC in relation to specific issues or they might be longer term and more prevalent structures.

If you have an idea for a project that would increase the amount of cross EU border cooperation in the EUSBSR or if indeed you are looking for a NON-EU member in your project, please contact us!

Dialogue with other macro-regions

The Baltic Sea region is one four macro-regions that the EU is developing with similar processes as the EUSBSR. These are the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR)EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP), and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR). All of the strategies have different issues with international cooperation but because of this they have a lot to offer each other in terms of dealing with them. HA Neighbours follows the developments and develops dialogue with the three other strategies and learns from them.

Development of HA Neighbours and the EUSBSR

The EUSBSR is implemented through it´s Action Plan and the objectives of HA Neighbours are set in is as well (read more about the objectives and the action plan). And Policy areas and Horizontal actions derive their tasks follow from those objectives. In HA Neighbours focus area – international  cooperation –  the situations are however ever changing. At times more so in the Baltic Sea region than with the other strategies. So sometimes it is difficult or downright impossible to further certain objectives. The action plan is of course a living document set to be updated from time to time, but it is impossible for such an extensive document always to follow the volatile changes of international politics.

HA Neighbours works around these issues as much as possible and focuses on other objectives when others are unattainable. The most important thin is however that HA Neighbours provides the Strategy, the Action Plan and the relevant stakeholders with expert information in order to update the documents and their own plans. This way we can assure most up to date and most feasible objectives and actions to take and best possbile development of the Strategy and HA Neighbours as result.