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Cooperative security in the Baltic Sea region
The Baltic Sea area has for centuries been a hub of international activity and exchange, embodied in particular by the Hanseatic League, with resulting conditions of intense cooperation and shared prosperity. It is therefore not surprising that, contrary to widespread fears, the situation in the region did not break loose after the bitter divisions imposed by the Cold War: in more ways than one, the region constitutes another 'mediterranean' area, with a potential for political solidarity and common security. In many of the countries on the shores of the Baltic the urge for European reintegration, in economic, political and security terms, has been particularly insistent; in others, less so. Which accounts for the fact that their international institutional statuses remain quite heterogeneous. This does not in itself diminish regional stability, while promoting differentiated formulas of convergence and cooperation that are conducive to overall security.