International Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region to be held in Lappeenranta in September


The Annual Forum of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) will take place on 28-29 September 2022 in Lappeenranta. The forum will bring several hundred international experts and decision-makers to the city, and it will be one of the most international events held in Lappeenranta in the 2000s.

The City of Lappeenranta and the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) secretariat are cooperating with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland as the main organisers of the Annual Forum of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

The objectives of the EUSBSR are saving the Baltic Sea, connecting the region, and increasing prosperity. The Annual Fora communicate information on the strategy. They are important events for information exchange, discussion and networking. The forum to be held in Lappeenranta will be the 13th Annual Forum, and its theme is:

”EUSBSR Annual Forum 2022: Putting plans into practice a prosperous, connected and green Baltic Sea Region”.

– The theme refers to the practical implementation of the new EUSBSR action plan and how both the various stakeholders in the Baltic Sea Region and ordinary residents and young people can participate in the achievement of the strategy’s objectives, says Development Director Markku Heinonen from the City of Lappeenranta.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto chose Lappeenranta to host the forum

After the decision was made to hold the forum in Finland, several cities expressed interest in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ inquiry about willingness to host the event.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto picked Lappeenranta, which, as the European Union’s 2021 Green Leaf city, had invited the regions of Eastern Finland and many European twin cities as partners.

-We believe that together we have plenty of local things to offer as part of the Baltic Sea-themed dialogue, Heinonen says.

Programme to highlight Europe’s energy self-sufficiency, resilience and climate issues

The main venue of the forum will be Lappeenranta City Hall. The two-day programme will consist of discussions, networking events and evening programmes.

-In view of the situation in Ukraine, the whole Europe is talking about increasing energy self-sufficiency. In addition, the forum will discuss issues such as climate change, resilience, and the role of cities and territories in promoting the common objectives of the Baltic Sea Region, Heinonen says tentatively about the programme.

The programme and speakers will be confirmed during the spring and registration for the forum will open later this spring.

The aim is to organise the event live in Lappeenranta

The Annual Forum is held in a different EUSBSR member state every year.  The 2021 Annual Forum of the EUSBSR in Lithuania was organised in a virtual format due to the coronavirus pandemic.

-We now hope to be able to have a physical event in Lappeenranta, and that international guests will find their way to us. We believe many are looking forward to enjoying the event live and be able to genuinely network with other participants. This will also allow us to boost the occupancy of our hotels even after the busy summer season, Markku Heinonen says.

-We are also prepared to produce the event in a virtual format if the situation so requires.

The programme and other additional information will be updated on the Lappeenranta forum website:

Read more about the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region:

Further information:

Markku Heinonen
Development Director, City of Lappeenranta
tel. +358 40 581 1998

Helena Tuuri
Ambassador for Baltic Sea Affairs, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
tel. +358 295 350 321