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Identity and Branding

BaltMet Promo will strive to align activities and objectives of other institutions and initiatives aimed at promoting a common identity within the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) and global visibility of the BSR. It will also try to ensure that the different initiatives support and reinforce each other. It will aim at creating political and other support for the Project at different policy levels by positioning the Project in relation to relevant policy areas in the BSR and the EU.

BaltMet Promo activities include Policy Roundtables, consisting of members of the policy-making institutions and businesses that promote the BSR at different levels: local, national, and European, will facilitate a branding dialogue between the Project and key stakeholders. This is important because BSR brand-building efforts have sometimes been considered competing with national brands. BaltMet Promo will strive to lower the barriers for collaboration by presenting the perspective that national and BSR brands can benefit from one another and find synergies.

Place branding and place promotion efforts in the Baltic Sea Region – a situation analysis (pdf)

BaltMet Promo has a coordinating role of Horizontal Actions in the execution of EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region

European Comission has given BaltMet Promo project a coordinating role in the execution of EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. This means that the project coordinates the horizontal activities related to ”regional identity building”, as part of the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

Policy Roundtables function as coordinating group of the Horizontal Action

BaltMet Promo Policy Roundtables have kicked off, and function as coordinating group of the Horizontal Action with the help of Helsinki EU Office and the lead of Baltic Development Forum. The first Policy Roundtable was organized in Vilnius 31 May, 2010 in parallel with the Baltic Development Forum’s annual Summit. The second Policy Roundtable of BaltMet Promo was 14 October, 2010 in Tallinn, back-to-back with the First Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

Final Policy Roundtable discussed on the draft Action Plan

BaltMet Promo had the final Policy roundtable in Gdansk back-to-back event for the Baltic Development Forum’s Summit. The rountable started with food-for-thoughts key-note by Annika Rembe, Director General, Swedish Institute. Marcus Anderson, from Baltic Development Forum presented the draft Action Plan for the Marketing of the Baltic Sea Region to investors, tourists and talents. The Policy Action Plan is created by the BaltMet Promo project. It is summary of experiences drawn throughout the project period 2010-2011, as well as lessons learned from other marketing projects and iniatives in the Baltic Sea Region.

In the project two different reports has been done in the subject: Place Branding and Place Promotion Efforts in the Baltic Sea Region (pdf) and at the Baltic Develpoment Forum Summit published On Identity – No Identity – An Essay on the Constructions, Possibilities and Necessities for Understanding a European Macro Region: The Baltic Sea (pdf)

The draft tackles the questions between competition and cooperation. This Action Plan is policy oriented, i.e. the overall aim is to explain the benefits of regional cooperation in promotional activities, to encourage policy makers in national ministries and government agencies to take dimensions of regional marketing into account and, ultimately, to create conditions conducive to an improvement in this particular field of regional cooperation.

The Action Plan is comprised of four thematic areas, overall marketing and branding, tourism promotion, investment promotion and talent attraction and a section on EU funding.

There are four main arguments in favour our BSR-­level overall marketing and branding:

  • Market size argument – a larger market and more opportunities can be marketed, potentially giving more impact in the marketing communications.
  • Image transfer argument – places that are less known and/or with less positive images can benefit from tagging onto the more positive or known images of other places in the region
  • Economies of scale argument – international marketing is costly, but by pooling resources costs can be cut through economies of scale
  • Product development argument – the possibility of transnational product development

Recommendations are still under discussion. Shall we need a Common brand and communication platform? Perception research? Common tourism strategy? In many ways prioritisation? Regular meetings? These are just few questions to be decided upon. In regards of EU funding: More easier and faster tendering procedures and funding needs to be more long term to provide consistency and durability of projects.

Policy recomendations will be published in BaltMet Promo Final Book that will be published at the BaltMet Promo Final envent in Warsaw 24th November, 2011.

BaltMet Promo and Regional Identity Building

Several projects of Baltic Sea Programme are working to brand and market the Baltic Sea Region. BaltMet Promo project has identified that these are the projects that have most synergies with Promo:


The Baltic Sea Region (BSR) shows a strong knowledge based and innovative economy. Accordingly, SMEs play a significant role as drivers of the innovation process. In the context of future-oriented understanding of territorial co-operation, regional development highly depends on the ability of key-actors to participate in international markets.


BaSIC aims to build a “Baltic Sea Archipelago of Innovation” (recommendation of BaltMetInno). The objective is to create a seamless working environment for fast growth innovative SME all over the Baltic Sea Region, embedded in a reliable network of leading Science Parks and clusters. Emphasis is given to identify, select, train and coach SME-gazelles; to provide them harmonized access to markets and to connect them for access to finance for internationalization and


Economic and demographic development in Baltic non-metropolitan regions is increasingly weak compared to the metropolitan regions. In order to gain balanced regional development, it is important to narrow the gap and support economic performance in non-metropolitan regions.

First Motion

FIRST MOTION (FM) aims at improving the business environment susceptible for innovation and to overcome the weakness of insufficient use of innovation potential and low intensity of joint efforts in the BSR. Building upon the strengths of the BSR, the innovative potential of Baltic SMES in creative industries, IT and culture FM takes advantage on exiting opportunities, makes use of the vast innovation potential of the E-BSR and the formation processes of new competitive cluster in creative industries to define new innovative approaches in the AV media industry for the BSR to become a recognized player in the emerging markets of digital media.


SMEs represent 99% of all enterprises in the BSR and provide up to 70% of all jobs, being an important economic but also socio-cultural factor for sustainable development of the region. SMEs present the biggest potential for the employment and job creation in the BSR also in future. QUICK aims at unleashing this potential to its full extent by addressing the following challenges undermining the competitiveness of the BSR SMEs.

Baltic Supply

Small markets in the BSR and SME access barriers to European supply markets are key problems addressed by the project. They cause competitive disadvantages for Baltic SMEs and their regions compared to suppliers and regions acting in large regions.
BalticSupply will pursue an integrated and proactive approach to shaping the future of supply logistics and linked innovation policies and competitiveness promotion strategies in the BSR.

Baltic Fashion

There is currently, however, no structure in the BSR offering the targeted, transnational support necessary for fashion SMEs to turn their innovative ideas into economic success. The Baltic

Fashion project is intended to fill this gap. Strengthen the international performance of the BSR fashion sector and its support structures through development of an information platform, cooperation meetings, and joint analyses leading to common sets of actions. Baltic Fashion will not only make a positive contribution to the economic development of the region, but also to its overall sustainability: it will promote eco-friendly production & materials as well as regional production, contribute to women entrepreneurship and strengthen cultural identity.


The critical mass needed to create a strong and attractive global position, and the innovative approaches that are needed to address grand challenges can only be achieved through transnational collaboration. The overall objective of the StarDust project is to address this problem by linking strong research environments, clusters and SME networks – creating a number of globally-leading research and innovation hubs in the BSR in order to achieve stronger critical mass, attractiveness, and a competitive international position. Activities will also foster job and SME growth opportunities, and strengthen social and territorial cohesion for the Baltic Sea Region.

COOL Bricks

The conservation of heritage, in particular historical buildings, is a common goal in the BSR. Due to the common identity in the BSR it is very important to protect the historical buildings to preserve the individual characteristics and therewith the attractiveness and competitiveness of the cities around the Baltic Sea. Furthermore the CO2-reduction is an accepted and common goal in all cities and regions around the Baltic Sea Region (BSR).


Legal background is EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, i.e. to make the Baltic Sea Region an accessible and attractive place, and to improve internal and external transport links (p 49). Transport issues are especially important for BSR since the distances internally and to the rest of Europe are very long and the conditions for traffic are difficult. In the times of economic slowdown, the pace of change in the transport sector is increasing.

BSR InnoShip

Maritime transport constitutes a vitally important part of trade and services for the countries around the Baltic Sea and Europe. Baltic shipping is constantly growing and some of the busiest shipping routes in the world go through the Baltic Sea. Consequently, the sensitive environment of the Baltic Sea is threatened by increasing pollution from the shipping industry. Through international agreements of International Maritime Organization (IMO), EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive, HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) and the EU Strategy and Action Plan for the Baltic Sea Region, the Baltic Sea countries are obliged to take actions to reduce harmful atmospheric emissions and strengthen joint coordinated efforts to make the Baltic Sea a model area for clean shipping.

baltic green belt

The European Green Belt is an ecological backbone of Europe, running through much of the continent from the Barents Sea to the Black Sea and following the route the former iron curtain. The Green Belt initiative started as a grassroots movement when the former military blocks collapsed. The aim was to save the natural assets that had grown alongside the iron curtain. The Baltic Green Belt project aims at closing the longest “missing link” in this network: The southern and eastern Baltic coast. Here, regional Green Belt activities are still relatively scarce, if at allexistent. This “Baltic Green Belt” is unique in that it marks a long seaside stretch in the otherwise predominantly continental Green Belt.


The objective of the Eco-Region project is to contribute to the aim of Baltic 21 to develop the BSR into the world’s first EcoRegion, where economic growth goes hand in hand with environmental integrity and social justice.


In order to make the Baltic Sea region an attractive place to invest, work & live in (strategic objective of INTERREG IV BSR), actors working on labour marked issues came to the conclusion that the already existing interregional labour market in the BSR has more potential as presently utilised.

Agora 2.0

Numerous projects and activities in the past demonstrated the impressive variety of most attractive natural and cultural assets of the BSR. Unfortunately the results of the projects where often only poorly visible for a broader public. The project AGORA 2.0 focusses on fostering the common identity of the Baltic Sea Region by highlighting, developing and marketing natural and cultural heritage as business environment and outstanding strength of the region.

Report your activities

Report your activities on branding or identity building in the region to us baltmetpromo(at)


Place branding and place promotion efforts in the Baltic Sea Region - a situation analysis  (pdf)
Essay: On Identity – No Identity (pdf)

BaltMet Promo publications

EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region


Horizontal Action Leader role
Ms Iina Oilinki, City of Helsinki, Department for International Relations
Tel. +358 9 310 23116
E-mail: iina.oilinki(at)

Policy Roundtables

Mr Marcus Andersson, Baltic Development Forum
Tel: +45 70 20 93 94
E-mail: ma(at)

Part-financed by the European Union
(European Regional Development Fund)