On Friday, 11 September 2009 President of the Republic Tarja Halonen participated in a Baltic Sea meeting for young people that was held on 10-11 September on Harakka Island in Helsinki. President Halonen donated the money that came with her Baltic Sea Award to support the event.The participants in the meeting were young people between the ages of 15 and 20 from Finland, Russia and Poland. At the workshop they were turning their experiences of the Baltic Sea into art. The organizers of the event are the John Nurminen Foundation, the Harakka Nature Centre, the Environment Centre of the St. Petersburg water company (Vodokanal) and the Polish Embassy.
The Baltic Development Forum presented the Baltic Sea Award to President Halonen in December 2008. The jury praised President Halonen for her longstanding work for the common good of the region. It also thanked President Halonen and Prime Minister Vanhanen for the letter they sent to the heads of state and government in the countries around the Baltic Sea. This letter drew attention to the status of the Baltic Sea and invited countries to take part in cooperation.
In addition to the Baltic Development Forum's Baltic Sea Award, President Halonen received the WWF Baltic Sea Leadership Award in August 2008.
Baltic Sea Summit in February 2010
To make Baltic Sea cooperation more concrete, President of the Republic Tarja Halonen, Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen and the Baltic Sea Action Group have launched a joint project called the Baltic Sea Action Summit. The objective is to bring together actors in the public, private and third sectors who make a commitment to take concrete action for the good of the Baltic Sea.
The most visible aspect of the project will be the Baltic Sea Summit, to which all the heads of state and government in the Baltic Sea region will be invited.