Baltic Leadership Programme

BLP in Gdansk, 30.11.2016A well-functioning skill supply is essential for the competitiveness of the Baltic Sea Region. Skill shortages are already a reality in several member states and the demographic trend is pointing towards an ever-increasing problem. The Baltic Leadership Programme (BLP) Labour Mobility aims at creating a meeting place for relevant actors to discuss opportunities and challenges related to mobile labour market in the Baltic Sea Region. On 30 November 2016, the first module of the programme started in Gdansk, Poland. The programme is a joint effort by the Swedish Institute, the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), the Norden Association, Policy Area Education and Horizontal Action ’Capacity’ within the European Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). BLP-Labour Mobility gives an important input to the further development of the Baltic Sea Labour Forum. BLP-Labour Mobility will be implemented in 2016/17 by starting its first module in Gdansk yesterday, on 30 November, and be finalised with a third module in June 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The programme gathers about 30 participants representing trade unions, employer organisations, state agencies and cross-border services. The result of the programme will be recommendations on how labour mobility can be supported, identifying and removing hindrances but also how the return of needed labour force can be supported, so called “brain circulation”. These recommendations will be ready to be presented at a Round Table in June 2017, involving the Ministers of Labour and Employment of the CBSS Member States. Some of the highlights from the first day were group discussions focusing on building a contextual map of the topic, and an inspiring presentation by Franz Thönnes (MP, former Parliamentary State Secretary, Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the German Bundestag) on “Visions for the Baltic Sea”, accompanied by remarks from Anders Bergström (Strategist, Norden Association). This busy and fruitful day ended with a tour of and a theatre workshop at the European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk.