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Baltic Sea to provide eco ‘model’

Tuesday 18 August 2009

seaThe proposed environmental regeneration of the Baltic Sea should be carried out to such as successful extent that it could be used as a model for other regions, the Swedish Presidency of the EU has announced. The Baltic Sea Strategy, which is expected to be adopted during the coming months, contains an action plan for avoiding what is described as ‘environmental collapse’ in the region as well as improving economic competitiveness and combating human trafficking. The strategy aims to confront the issues raised by the various countries that occupy the region and the lack of a joined-up approach to date.

“My dream is of a clean sea and flourishing trade and commerce,” said State Secretary Maria Asenius. “Every day, some 2500 ships cross the Baltic, and many of them are transporting oil or liquid gas. If we can co-ordinate this shipping better, we can make the Baltic safer from an environmental viewpoint too.”

The plan, first posited back in 2007, was formally presented in June of this year and will take centre stage at a conference in Stockholm next month. After that, it will be expected to enter into action before the end of the year.

“When the European Commission has now presented its proposals, we can’t just sit back and say, well, that was a neat piece of work – we have to go into action together. I’ll be satisfied when we have a clean sea without algal blooming… In ten years’ time I hope we’ll have got much closer to that goal,” she added.

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