The Baltic Sea region is unique in many ways, in terms of its geographical and climatic conditions and environmental challenges, but also in terms of economic and political characteristics and governance structures. It is probably the world’s most heavily regulated and administered sea. The area has undergone significant changes over the past decades, through the changed political landscape and economic development in the region, and through the enlargement and increased activities of the European Union. The security situation in the region is also continuously changing. All these features give rise to legal issues which are unique to the region, but which have not been subject to comprehensive academic research.There are few limitations as to what research topics could be taken up within the BALEX framework, as long as the questions are of legal relevance and of specific importance for the Baltic Sea region. Research in this field will inevitably highlight the interaction and inter-dependency of different levels of norms (public international law, EU law, national, regional and local laws and regulations) throughout the whole range of legal disciplines, from classical private law issues such as contract law, property and tort law, to public law questions such as environment, safety and security. The research will naturally have close links to other academic fields, such as political and administrative sciences, economics and natural sciences.
Questions related to institutions and multi-layered governance will be of relevance in any legal research on the Baltic Sea. As to substantive themes, particularly interesting legal developments are currently taking place in the areas of environmental regulation, fisheries, energy, maritime transport and military security. Comparisons to other marine regions, such as the North Sea, the Mediterranean and the Arctic will be made where meaningful parallels can be made.