The Baltic Sea Region: Practicing Security at the Overlap of the European and the Post-Soviet Society of States

  • Thomas LinsenmaierEmail author


The Baltic Sea Region (BSR) has long been considered a model case of a cooperative subregion at the fringes of the European Union (EU) (see Tassinari 2005). Efforts to ameliorate dividing lines along the Baltic rim date back to the Cold War, when the Helsinki process set in motion a rapprochement between East and West. In the post-Cold War period, cooperation in the area further intensified, resulting in a gradual “thickening” of the institutional framework. Successively, myriad cooperative platforms were established, which together form the substrate of BSR regionalism. With consequent rounds of EU enlargement, the Baltic Sea has effectively become an “internal EU sea” (Gänzle 2011, 1)—with one important exception, the Russian Federation. The presence of the latter is consequential as, by means of incorporating Russia, the BSR spans across the regional divide and incorporates an element of (EU-)Europe’s “outside”. In other words, the BSR is located at an overlap of two regional international societies, the European regional international society and a post-Soviet regional international society (Gänzle 2011, 12–16), with Russia being the sole interlocutor of the post-Soviet society in the BSR.1


European Union European Society North Atlantic Treaty Organization Regional Society English School 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Johan Skytte Institute of Political Science, University of TartuTartuEstonia

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