Mr. Hans van den Broek, European Commissioner responsible for relations with Central and Eastern Europe and the New Independent States, presented the range of Community activities being implemented in the Baltic region to the Council of Baltic Sea States Ministerial Conference in Kalmar, Sweden, on 3 July 1996. Community instruments for cooperative activities in the region include the PHARE and TACIS programmes for economic assistance to, respectively, Central and Eastern Europe and the New Independent States. The new TACIS Regulation adopted in June will open up funding to cross-border initiatives involving Russia. Cross-border cooperation in the region could also be funded by the INTERREG Community initiative. Other Community measures being implemented include the "Via Baltica" road from Helsinki to Warsaw, part of the trans-European networks, which will be funded by the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Nordic Investment Bank. The proposed Baltic Green Equity Fund could support environmentally beneficial investments in the region. Mr. van den Broek said that although the EU already had strong ties with the Baltic region, further coordination between EU activities and those of the Baltic states could be strengthened, particularly through the working group on economic cooperation of the Council of Baltic Sea States.
Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden