Lene Espersen for European Voice
( Lene Espersen is Denmark's foreign minister.)
For many years, the Baltic Sea region enjoyed sustainable growth. It is now being hit disproportionately hard by the global economic and financial crisis.
This is particularly the case in the three Baltic states, where unemployment has soared to very high levels. Although the economic outlook remains quite gloomy, there are bright spots in the region's economy. Thanks to the exemplary fiscal discipline shown by the Estonian government, Estonia has qualified for admission to the eurozone on 1 January. In Latvia, a tough austerity programme has brought its economy back from the brink.
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Regional co-operation needed for growth