On Monday 3 December 2018 the Ministry of the Interior and Europe of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania invited to a discussion meeting to the state capital Schwerin. The topic of the event was the current political development in the Baltic Region and the impact on cross-border cooperation.

After welcoming remarks by the host Siegbert Eisenach, managing director of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the minister of the interior Lorenz Caffier spoke to the guests. Beside a brief overview of recent political developments and observations, he presented examples of how nationalism more and more find its way into policies and social identities in the Baltic Region, and thus contradicting common European values. According to minister Caffier cooperation on a political level has developed towards a more functional and technical character. Against this background he highlighted the importance of the EU INTERREG supporting program as the most significant tool for international collaboration and implementation of cross-border cooperation. INTERREG should go straight to society.

Caffier’s talk was followed by a keynote speech by Dr. Tobias Etzold (Chairman Forum Northern European Politics) and a panel discussion together with Dr. Arkadiusz Marchewka (member of Sejm, Republic of Poland) and Mrs. Annika Annerby Jansson (chairwoman of the regional council of the region Skåne).

From an INTERREG project’s perspective the event brought back the awareness of how important our transnational activities actually are. Even though we might lose track of it during our every-day work, it became clear again that projects of supporting programs are the basic instrument for politics to actually bring their strategies, development intentions and priority issues into life and implement them right into the market.