The Baltic Sea Region: Cooperation in Human Dimension
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Undoubtedly, soft power is called upon to create a positive image of a country, to evoke feelings of sympathy and trust—for the countries united by common geographical space and borders, it is of vital importance. Despite any tensions that might exist at a political level, citizens in neighbouring countries strive to maintain stability and development through dialogue and interaction.
Recently, the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) cooperation moved into the plane of relations on a people-to-people level. The role of cooperation at a civil society level, including the widest range of actors—cities, universities, businesses, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)—is an important and essential part of the Baltic Sea Region’s transnational cooperation, as it provides a vast potential for creating a favourable social climate, providing stability, and maintaining a good neighbourhood.
To meet challenges and tackle existing threats, even in the midst of a rapidly changing political environment, consolidating forces from all sectors of society and civic organizations plays a crucial role. However, the potential of people-to-people diplomacy as an integral part of soft power and its positive impact remains underestimated and not fully used. The holistic and systematic approach in this regard is lacking, which is often substituted by poorly planned activities with no tangible long-lasting results.