welcome to bastun - baltic sea trade union network

Representing 11 million trade union members


BASTUN works as a forum where the trade unions of the Baltic Sea Region exchange information and discuss and define common interests. The network aims at political and social influencing, coordinates joint projects and raises issues related to the Baltic Sea Region within the international trade union family. BASTUN is a strategic partner of the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and cooperates closely with the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC).



Maria Grinnik from FNPR Russia and Chairperson of BASTUN Maria Grinnik from FNPR Russia and Chairperson of BASTUN

The tripartite forum for social dialogue Baltic Sea Labour Forum held its annual round table in Hamburg on the 15th November to discuss both youth unemployment and mobility of labour in the Baltic Sea Region.


While many countries in the Baltic Sea Region are affected by high youth unemployment between 20-30%, the figure in Danmark and Germany is significantly lower at around 7-8%. The representative of the Danish Employers Karen Royi presented the vocational education and training system of Denmark and came to the conclusion that the success behind the Danish model is a well functioning apprenticeship system in which the pupil is spending most of the time at the worksite.

But the latest Eurostat-statistics show the other side of the coin: the share of young people who work part-time is very high in Denmark: only 19% of those between 15-24 years old work on a full-time basis.


Tuija Oivo from the Finnish Ministry of Employment and Economy presented the new Finnish Youth Guarantee system which will come into force from January 2013. The youth guarantee guarantees that each person under 25 years of age, and recent graduates under 30 years of age, will be offered work, a traineeship, or a study, workshop or labour market rehabilitation place within three months of registering as an unemployed jobseeker. The youth guarantee also includes an educational guarantee, which guarantees a study place for each young person finishing basic education.


When disussing labour mobility, Mikko Mäenpää, Chairman of STTK Finland stressed the importance of co-operation between social partners, governments, parliaments and organisations in order to

fight the negative side-effects of the free movement of labour in the Baltic Sea Region.

Tangible measures are needed in order to fight grey economy and social dumping and to safeguard workers rights when they work in another country.


The work of the annual round table was concluded by a joint statement.

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The Baltic Sea Trade Union Network held its first meeting under the Russian presidency on the 9-10 October in Moscow with a large participation from all member countries. Maria Grinnik from the FNPR was president of the meeting.


The network  approved the program of the Russian presidency which focuses on ILO and the  Decent Work agenda as well as on the free movement of labour.


The meeting focused on ILO-questions and among others Kari Tapiola, Trine Lise Sundnes and Sergejus Glovackas held presentations to the network. The developments in Central Asia are alarming and new neoliberal tendencies can be observed in many countries of the region. Many trade unions around the Baltic Sea are facing tough times and social dialogue needs to be revitalized.


The President of EAKL Estonia Harri Taliga presented the latest development on the Baltic Organising Academy BOA which has already shown first positive results.


The network supported an observer status of BASTUN in the Baltic Sea Labour Forum, which will organise a round table conference in Hamburg on November 15th. The conference will focus on youth unemployment and the free movement of labour. All BASTUN members are welcome to participate in the conference.



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About bastun

  • BASTUN is a trade union network consisting of 22 Trade Union confederations in the Baltic Sea Region representing 11 million trade union members
  • BASTUN influences political decision making processes and social development in the region, coordinates joint projects, and raises issues related to the Baltic Sea region within the international trade union family.
During the Latvian Presidency 2018-2019 BASTUN will focus on:
  • Mobility of Labour and prevention of Social Fraud
  • Strengthening Social Dialogue
  • Strengthening Tarde Union dencity and organising