After its revision in 2015, the Policy Area Culture is one of 13 priorities of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) which was introduced as the EU's first macro-regional strategy in 2009. After having lobbied successfully for this new Policy Area, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland and the Ministry of Justice, Cultural and European Affairs of Land Schleswig-Holstein (Germany) have taken on the role as Policy Area Coordinators. They are supported in the implementation by the BSR cultural initiative ARS BALTICA and the Nordic Council of Ministers and other BSR relevant stakeholders as well as Ministries of Culture form the BSR region.
The Baltic Sea Region has an outstandingly diverse and attractive cultural life and a cultural heritage of great value. The creative and cultural industries contribute to 4.2 % of Europe’s GDP. It is essential to promote BSR culture and creative industries and to showcase the BSR as a common cultural region in order to make the most of these assets. Culture, including creative industries, the arts and the regionally linked cultural heritage are sources of common identity and shared values. Building on these treasures will boost the commitment of the region to the EUSBSR and to territorial cohesion. Recognizing culture as a resource for creativity and innovation by integrating the creative and cultural sector in the EUSBSR will simultaneously enhance its potential for economic growth and employment.
PA Culture focuses on promoting and visualizing BSR culture and creative industries, on preserving and showcasing its cultural heritage and on improving and facilitating cultural cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region. In so doing the Policy Area Culture contributes to the fullfilment of the following overall objectives of the EU Baltic Sea Strategy:
1. Connecting people in the region
2. Improving competitiveness
3. Meeting the targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy