XII Baltic Sea NGO Forum
2-3 June 2014 in Turku, Finland
NGOs Creating an Active and Innovative Civil Society
The XII BS NGO Forum took place on 2.-3.6.2014. It was organized for the second time in Turku, Finland, within the framework of the Finnish presidency of the Council of Baltic Sea States. 220 participants from CBSS countries attended the event.
The Forum offered a unique opportunity for a wider cross-sectoral dialogue as it brought together representatives of non-governmental organizations, politicians, decision-makers and academia to improve cooperation in the Baltic Sea region by raising the voice of the NGO community on cooperation on the people-to-people level in the region, and by putting every common effort into collaboration on issues of vital importance.
The main topic of the XII BS NGO Forum in Finland was “NGOs Creating an Active and Innovative Civil Society”. Forum participants discussed the importance of inclusion and the extension of the possibilities for NGOs to influence and participate in decision-making in the countries around the Baltic Sea. NGOs are effective actors in developing and strengthening modern societies and their participation in the decision-making process aims at building up and strengthening democratic processes in the Baltic Sea Region making it, thus, highly important.
The Forum’s agenda included working sessions on the following themes: Saving the Baltic Sea, Diverse society: Young immigrants´ experience as to obstacles in relation to inclusion, Bringing out the voice of youth, People as the makers of democracy in the Baltic Sea Region, People with special needs and a Roundtable on youth cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region. During the Forum, a Networking Village and several discussion groups during open sessions were also organized.
Plenary meetings during the Forum focused on: NGOs Creating an Active and Innovative Civil Society, EU – Russia regional cooperation, Funding Baltic Sea NGO cooperation, and EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and Horizontal Action Involvement.