Inter-parliamentary activities

Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC)

In January 1991, the first Parliamentary Conference on Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region was held in Helsinki (Finland). In 1999, it was renamed the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference.

The goal of BSPC is to enhance cooperation between the national and regional parliaments of the Baltic Sea region; to promote cooperation with the Council of the Baltic Sea States as well as other governmental and non-government regional organisations; to initiate and provide guidance of political activities in the region, etc.

The permanent members are Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, three autonomous territories, eight regions of these countries, and five inter-parliamentary organisations (Baltic Assembly, European Parliament, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Northern Council).

Twenty-five international parliamentary organisations and NGOs (the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the CIS, the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region, the Parliamentary Association of the North-West of Russia, the Baltic Sea States Subregional Co-operation (BSSSC) conference, etc.) have observer status.

The organisation is governed by the Rules of Procedure of the Parliamentary Conference and the Standing Committee (1999), updated at annual conferences (most recently in 2011). The BSPC meets once a year (usually in August − September).

The working body of the conference is the Standing Committee. The Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the BSPC is usually elected for a term of one year and represents the host country of the next conference. The Rules of Procedure stipulate participation of parliamentarians of Germany and Poland (one representative each), a representative of the Baltic Assembly (representing the Baltic countries), a member of the Federation Council and a State Duma deputy, plus two members of parliament of the Northern Council in the Standing Committee.

The Standing Committee also includes representatives of the parliament hosting the next conference (including regional ones) as non-permanent members. The Secretariat and the Standing Committee of the BSPC are seated in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The delegation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation includes four or five parliamentarians. Both houses form their delegations to the BSPC. The mandates are distributed according to agreements for each BSPC event.