BALTICSEAreport Newsletter Week 43

Newsletter  /   /  By Redaktion


Sweden still has no government: even a few weeks after the elections Sweden still has no government. Stefan Lövfen, the old head of government, will remain in office until the government is determined. Critics are now talking about government chaos and fraud against voters. The country hasn’t seen such a complicated formation of a government for decades.  A parliamentary majority consisting of conservative and liberal parties and the extreme right-wing Swedish Democrats has so far only been able to agree that they do not want to be governed by a Social Democrat. Ulf Kristersson, the party leader of the Moderate Party, initially received the mandate to form a government from the parliamentary president after Löven’s deselection, but was unable to form a government. Now Löfven is to try to find a majority. The polarisation in Swedish politics makes it difficult to form a coalition, and the electoral success of the extreme right-wing Swedish Democrats – with 17.5 per cent the third strongest force – prevented a majority for one of the two blocs..

Parliamentary elections in Latvia: The centre-right government lost its majority in the parliamentary elections in Latvia at the beginning of October. The populist protest party KPVLV became the second strongest party with a good 14 percent of the votes. The strongest party was the “Harmonie” party, elected by the strong Russian minority in particular, with almost 20 percent. However, it is expected that the previous government forces will form a coalition with one or two other parties, thus preventing the two strongest parties from joining the government bench.  In the meantime, several political parties in Latvia have agreed to join expert groups to discuss specific tasks of the new government. Co-Chairman of Attīstībai/Par! Daniels Pavļuts said that representatives of his party are ready to meet with the NCP. AP has also sent invitations to other parties – KPV LV, NCP, National Alliance, Union of Green and Farmers, New Unity – to meet on Thursday 25 October and work in expert groups..

Communal elections in Poland: In the communal elections in Poland, the national conservative governing party PiS won 32 percent of the vote – five percentage points more than in the local elections four years ago. Nevertheless, it was not the hoped-for landslide victory that many PiS strategists had hoped for, and the party remained weak, especially in the cities. The right-wing conservatives are the strongest faction in nine out of 16 regional parliaments. But their victory was less clear than they had hoped. In many regions it will therefore need coalition partners – and there it has hardly any options. The Peasant Party PSL, which did surprisingly well with 14 to 16 percent, ruled out an alliance.

Lithuania: Lithuania will allow seriously ill patients access to cannabis as of May 2019: Lithuania will allow seriously ill patients access to cannabis as a medicine from May 2019. The Lithuanian parliament has unanimously decided to allow doctors to prescribe medicinal hemp for the treatment of certain health

Protest in Lithuania: Journalists fear for freedom of the press. The reason: the government has had a sound document destroyed in which the head of government Saulius Skvernelis allegedly expresses his criticism of free media.

Poland complains about EU foreign rule: At the German-Polish Forum this Tuesday, the German Federal President expressed his displeasure at his Polish colleague Andrzej Duda. Duda described current relations with the European Union as if the EU were merely a new form of foreign domination. Steinmeier did not allow this to sit on his shoulders. The EU is a voluntary association and not only an economic community, but also a community based on the rule of law. “No one should be surprised that European courts take a stand on domestic disputes,” he said in response to the ruling of the European Court of Justice that Poland must suspend the early retirement of high judges. “The question is whether or not we accept decisions by European courts. Duda, however, stuck to his line of presenting Poland as a victim of European assault. There are reasons why the British want to leave the EU. “The British do not tolerate foreign domination.”

Finland sends top candidates for EU Parliament into the race: The European Conservatives are sending two men into the race for the EPP’s top candidate. Anyone who wins has the prospect of succeeding EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. A former head of government, the Finn Alexander Stubb against the CSU politician Manfred Weber. A Finn against a German.

Danish paradigm shift: Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen outlined a radical change in Danish asylum policy during the opening debate of the Folketings on Thursday. They want to negotiate completely new basic features of the Danish asylum system. The Danish Prime Minister is thus responding to the “paradigm shift” his nationalist coalition partner DF has always called for. This had already had an effect at the beginning of the budget negotiations. Thulesen Dahl showed himself willing to accept that the few refugees who are to be admitted at all in the future should work and continue their education – because according to Løkke’s plans it would be ensured that they would leave Denmark as soon as possible. No matter how close their connection to the country and its people is in the years of their stay in Denmark.

EUGH takes Polish government decision on retirement of Polish judges: Setback for government in Warsaw: After a rush decision of the European Court of Justice, Poland’s highest judge called her retired colleagues back to duty.

Governor of St. Petersburg: Russian President Vladimir Putin has relieved the governor of St. Petersburg, Georgiy Poltavchenko, of his duties. He offered him instead to run Russia’s largest shipbuilding company, the United Shipbuilding Corporation.

Denmark demands clarification from Germany: Could the Danish government have stopped the Cum-Ex fraud in its own country if Germany had informed it in good time?
Denmark: Extension of the border controls by further six months.
Poland: Eklat in the European Minister council.


Baltic Sea with new confrontations: The Baltic Sea has become the scene of the new confrontation between NATO and Russia. The Bundeswehr is to play a leading role in defending the Alliance’s wet flank. Norway is currently undergoing one of the most powerful manoeuvres since the end of the Cold War with around 50,000 soldiers, up to 10,000 vehicles and tanks as well as 65 ships and 150 aircraft. All Nato states – including Germany – as well as the actually neutral Baltic Sea countries Sweden and Finland are thereby.

Climate change creates new trade routes: Climate change melts the Arctic ice and new shipping routes and access to raw materials become possible. This changes geostrategic interests. Russia, who may use the ice-free statement to the east. The world’s largest country is claiming an economic zone that leads straight from its border with Norway to the North Pole and from there back south in an equally straight line to the Bering Strait. This is about half of the total Arctic area. The Russians submitted a corresponding application to the United Nations in 2001, but it has not yet been dealt with. The Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu’s warning shows how serious the Russians are about this claim: “Today the Arctic has become an object of territorial, military strategic and raw material interests for a number of states. This may lead to growing conflict potential in the region.” In 2007, Russian submarines set a Russian state flag at a depth of more than 4000 metres on the seabed at the North Pole.  This is where Russia’s strategic reserve of raw materials is stored. For example, deposits of 7.4 billion tons of crude oil, 50.8 trillion cubic meters of gas, 613 million tons of hard coal and 18.2 million tons of rare earth..

Cyber attacks on Latvian institutions: Russia has carried out cyber attacks on the Latvian foreign and defense apparatus and other state institutions, according to a Latvian secret service. In recent years the Russian secret service (GRU) has tried to access phishing attacks against government computers via e-mail, the Latvian Office for the Protection of the Constitution said.

Swarm of drones over the Baltic Sea: Airbus is testing new air combat techniques over the Baltic Sea with drones. The drones will later support the crew of the aircraft by reconnaissance, disrupting enemy radar and communication and even fighting targets themselves.  The test is still military researc

Intensified German-Lithuanian Defence Cooperation: The Inspector of the Army, Lieutenant General Jörg Vollmer, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Lithuanian Land Forces, Brigadier General Valdemaras Rupsys, signed an agreement on intensified military cooperation at the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence in Vilnius on 21 October. The Lithuanian Iron Wolf Brigade is now assigned to the German Panzer Division, which provides the troops for the mission-equivalent Enhanced Forward Presence in Lithuania.

Cities and regions:

Stockholm: Olympic application before the end. But won’t it be with an application for the 2026 Olympics from Sweden’s capital? The city council decides not to release any taxpayers’ money for the sporting event – so the bid is almost on its way out.

Social housing in Copenhagen: BIG’s local heroes in Copenhagen are now trying to prove that even star architects can build affordable apartments with their Homes for All project. In the northwest of Copenhagen, cheap housing is urgently needed.  The budget: around 8.5 million euros. The buildings are five storeys high, a total of 6,800 square metres, with 66 apartments between 60 and 115 square metres. Floor-to-ceiling windows, lots of wood, south-facing balconies. In the inner courtyard green open spaces shine, on the street side a small public square was created by the curved building form. Passages in the ground floor of the residential building create a connection between street and courtyard for residents and the public.

Copenhagen and Malmö: The Öresund Bridge connects Malmö and Copenhagen. Affordable housing is scarce on both sides of Öresund. Copenhagen in particular has a massive influx of people, with 10,000 people moving here every year. In order to create space, new city quarters are being built.

Turku and Helsinki: Real estate prices fall in Tampere, rise in Turku and Helsinki.

New parking zones in Copenhagen: At the end of next month new parking rules will be introduced in three districts of Copenhagen, while the city continues its fight against parking congestion. From 28 November, temporary parking zones will be established in the three districts of Nordvest, Valby and Islands Brygge.

A special walkway for smartphone users in Vilnius: On the extra lane, arrows painted on the ground and a very eye-catching pink line point the way for smartphone users.  In order to avoid road traffic accidents, Mayor Remigijus Simasius recently banned the use of mobile phones when crossing streets..

Malmö: Social democrats remain in power.
Stockholm: City council does not want an Applestore.
Helsinki: Skyscraper district planned.
St.Petersburg: Stockmann sells Shopping Center.

Economy and Technologies:

More cod and less herring: In 2019 German fishermen will be allowed to remove less herring from the western Baltic Sea. The permitted catch will be reduced by almost half, according to the EU states. The catch quota for cod in the western Baltic Sea will be increased by 70 percent. Austrian Agriculture Minister Elisabeth Köstinger spoke of a “good and balanced compromise” and a “reasonable solution” that would do justice to the economic survival of the fishermen in the region and at the same time protect fish stock.

US expert Northstream 2 is bad for Germany: North Stream 2 is not only bad for Europe, but also bad for Germany. The EU strategy for a secure energy supply actually envisages relying on as many suppliers as possible, both in terms of suppliers and supply routes. North Stream 2 means exactly the opposite: you increase the import share from one supplier – Russia – and procure more gas via the same route. Other countries, such as China, are focusing on much greater diversification, says Agnia Grigas, energy expert at the US think tank and lobby organization Atlantic Council. Denmark could also thwart plans for the pipeline.

Danske Bank: After a money laundering scandal at Dankte Bank the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority has rejected the designated Danske Bank boss. Jacob Aarup-Andersen will not become the new CEO of Danske Bank as planned. The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) recently lodged an objection.

Transneft takes over port company: The Russian company Transneft, which mainly operates pipelines, takes over the largest Russian port company NMTP for a bargain price because the previous owners are in prison.  NMTP is the Russian abbreviation for the seaport of Novorossiysk, but NMTP has long outgrown the status of a single port – even if it is the largest in Russia. In addition to the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, NMTP also owns the Baltic Sea ports of Primorsk and Baltisk.

Finland: According to Nobel laureate Bengt Holmström, more flexibility of the Finnish labour market is necessary to save the welfare society. Finland is a strange country in which the unions have an extra-parliamentary power to make decisions. The non-members and the unemployed, on the other hand, have no vote. According to him, the trade union movement should be forced to accept worse working conditions if necessary. Of course, it would be better if this could be achieved through negotiations.


BASF builds in Finland: BASF has chosen Harjavalta in Finland as its first site for the production of battery materials for the European automotive market.
Cashless Sweden: Digital payment services such as “Swish” are quite common even at flea markets and kiosks.
Sweden’s National Bank: Announces imminent interest rate increase.
Sweden: Lowest poverty rate in Europe
Finland: The Finns are regarded worldwide as e-Health pioneers. Digital technologies have long been established in the health and social sectors
Estonia: New legislation against money laundering..

Environment and Sustainability:

Denmark out for diesel and petrol: Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said in a speech to parliament: “In just 12 years we will ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars. And in 17 years every new car in Denmark must be an electric car or another completely emission-free car”. The Danish Energy Minister, Lars Lilleholt, had already announced the ban a week earlier during the Climate Council, but had not yet mentioned any time frame.

Discard ban bypassed: Data from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (Ices) suggest that the discard ban on fish, which has been introduced gradually but bindingly since 2015, does not take effect and that inadvertently caught fish will continue to land in large numbers as discards in the sea..

New snail species discovered: Researchers have discovered a newly introduced animal species in the Baltic Sea. The species is a head shield snail originally native to North America. Hundreds of egg clutches can currently be seen along the coast between Wismar and Travemünde. The consequences of their spread to domestic ecosystems are still completely unclear.

Food waste and climate friendliness: As the first nationwide food chain in Denmark, Kvickly has reached an agreement with Too Good To Go to reduce food waste. In addition, the Danish government is planning a campaign to make it easier for consumers to buy more climate-friendly food in addition to a plaque for climate-friendly food. The initiative is to be developed in cooperation with several supermarkets..

Mobility and traffic: 

Traffic paradise Estonia: Compared to other European countries, Estonia is in a paradisiacal state. The Baltic state ranks second last in the ranking of congested roads. Estonians spend only 18.66 hours a year in traffic jams. The least congested roads in the EU are in Finland – they spend only 17.89 hours a year in traffic jams, according to a study by the European Commission. This is based on the latest data from 2016. The indicator assumes two 30-kilometre journeys per day (morning and evening) and 220 working days.

Fehmarnbelt crossing could benefit from faster construction: The plans for the Fehmarnbelt crossing will be part of a new law entitled “Law to speed up planning and approval procedures in the transport sector”. The German government wants to use this law to prevent hanging sections that have been in existence for years. Following the Danish example, a so-called “provisional order” is to be made possible by which parts of the preparatory measures for major projects can be started or carried out before the zoning decision has been passed. However, as has now become known, the financing of the Baltic Sea tunnel between Germany and Denmark could stand on feet of clay.  Green MP Konstantin von Notz considers an ECJ ruling to be the “last warning shot”. The court recently ruled on the system of Danish state aid for infrastructure projects. Von Notz considers “far-reaching effects” on the Fehmarnbelt crossing to be realistic: “That would be the final end of the crossing”.  But in Denmark the preparatory construction work is making good progress. The Danish side is waiting for the German zoning decision; it is expected to be taken at the end of the year. Holger Schou Rasmussen, Lolland’s regional mayor, is convinced that nothing will stand in the way of the planned start of construction. While Germany was discussing, “we continued our work”. The archaeological investigation of the future subsoil, for example, is already in full swing: it has been calculated in advance so that surprising finds do not delay the planning in the end. The German railway argues similarly; the areas along the planned rail link to the Beltquerung are also already being archaeologically investigated,

Trans-European networks: The European transport systems are to be standardised as far as possible, for example to make transport faster and less complicated. The energy and telecommunications infrastructure is to be improved. And the Galileo satellite navigation system is being developed – another important point for transport and thus transport and logistics. Transport is by no means limited to roads alone – the TENs are also about networking rail routes, ports, airports, waterways for inland navigation and terminals for freight transport.

Hamburg takes over in Estonia: Hamburger Hafen und Lagerhaus AG HHLA had already completed the takeover of the local terminal operator from the entrepreneur Anatoli Kanajev in June. Now it has been renamed HHLA TK Estonia.
E-Highway: On the German A1 between Reinfeld and Lübeck, a test section is being built for the overhead line for truck
Tallink: New LNG ferry.
Lithuania: Only electronic toll.

Culture & Society:

Museum in Vilnius: The Modernaus Menos Centras, MO for short, has been open in Vilnius since 18 October.  Daniel Libeskind designed the building, which sees itself as a link between the past and the present. The collection depicts the social and societal transformation of the country since the 1960s. On display are works by 226 artists with around 4500 paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, photographs and video works. Some pieces can be seen for the first time. A wide staircase connects the freely accessible sculpture garden with a roof terrace. It is also open to everyone and offers a view over the historic old town of the Lithuanian capital.

Malmö: From pickled sheep’s eyes to maggots in Parmesan: the “Disgusting Food Museum” in Malmö exhibits the strangest dishes from all over the world – and those who dare can try them.
Sweden: Gender Equality is a core concept for Swedish society’s self-image. Wherever deficits in this regard are identified, interest groups immediately become active. Also for example with the Funkalphabet.
Happy people in Schleswig-Holstein: According to the “Glücksatlas”, people in Germany continue to be satisfied with their lives – and this is also due to the good economic situation. Since 2013, the most satisfied people in Schleswig-Holstein have been living between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea – and they have minimally increased their lead to 7.44 points..
New centre for music: The Estonian composer Arvo Pärt is considered one of the most important and most frequently played living composers. In his homeland, a new centre has now been built for the silent superstar of contemporary music, dedicated to the life and work of the musician, who was born in 1935. Around 35 kilometres west of the capital Tallinn, the new Arvo Pärt Centre opened its doors for the first time on Wednesday in Laulasmaa.

On our own behalf: We at the Editorial Staff ofBalticSea Report are always on the lookout for news and current events from the Baltic Sea region.
Please feel free to write to us and inform us about new and interesting topics in the fields of politics, technology, science, tourism, maritime economy, mobility, regional issues etc. around the Baltic Sea.

About the Author

Ähnliche beiträge / Related Posts

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.