Baltic Sea Region Territorial Monitoring System

Results / Key Messages: “A balanced territorial development”

  • Recent trends in general territorial development in the BSR point towards increasing spatial polarisation further aggravating the already existing unbalanced regional structures.
  • Certain trends however also point in the opposite direction leading to more balanced development and increasing convergence, not least the rapidly decreasing east-west divide economic divide.
  • Employment growth in the BSR prior to the 2008 crisis acted cohesively, the subsequent reduction in jobs however had a sharply polarising effect, testifying of the periphery’s weak resilience in face of external economic shocks.
  • In terms of specific types of BSR territories, the statistical messages are, with certain distortions, fairly clear: these areas are with the exception of coastal areas generally lagging behind in most aspects of socioeconomic development.
  • At the same time harnessing such territories pose considerable possibilities. The economic contribution for example of border regions in the total BSR value-added 2009-2010 was more than 13%, that of sparse regions 11.4%, remote regions for 11.4%, and non-metropolitan regions close to 38%.
  • Bringing all BSR regions that lag behind the EU 2020 employment target up to target levels would imply more than two million new jobs created in the region.