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The Baltoscandian Confederation (or Baltoscandia) is a geopolitical concept developed by Professor Kazys Pakstas (born June 29, 1893; died September 11, 1960), a Lithuanian scientist in the field of geography and geopolitics. The purpose of this concept was "to promote the idea of a Baltic–Scandinavian union (consisting of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania)".
Development of the concept
Pakstas states in his book The Baltoscandian Confederation that the term Baltoscandia was first used by Prof. Sten de Geer in an article in "Geografiska Annaler" in 1928. In this book Baltoscandia is described in several different dimensions: as a geographical and cultural, as an economic and as a political and military unit. Prof. Kazys Pakstas proposed that one of the ways for the small nations to withstand the influence coming from the large ones is to unite and to cooperate more closely among each other. As he mentions, unification is possible only among nations that are similar by their size, geographical environment, religion, also they have to respect and to tolerate each other.
As the foreign policy of Lithuania has shifted towards Northern Europe even more after Dalia Grybauskaitė has came into post of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, voices questioning the return of the Baltoscandian Confederation idea are on the rise in this country.
For almost 20 years, the Academy of Baltoscandia (Baltoskandijos akademija) has functioned in Lithuania, in Panevėžys. It was founded on 17 November 1991 as the institute of science researches which regularly organizes arrangements dealing with Baltic and Scandinavian cultural, historical and political contacts. Its main aims were to "develop versatile links of the lands and nations in the region of Baltoscandia and to integrate the culture of Lithuania into the cultural space of Baltoscandia". The academy has been liquidated in the end of 2009 because of funding-related problems. The funding was provided by the Municipality of the City of Panevėžys, but the functions of the academy have not met the criteria of the functions of the mentioned municipality.
The main forms of activities of Academia Baltoscandia were:
- to organize conferences and seminars, some of which become traditional;
- to celebrate anniversaries of Independence of all Baltic and Scandinavian countries as well as other national festivities;
- to publish the information bulletin "Baltoskandija";
- to create library "Baltoscandia";
- to create museum "Baltoscandia";
- to gather archive of Baltoscandian contacts;
- to form Baltoscandian consultation-information centre.
NB8 - Nordic and Baltic states. N stands for Nordic, B stands for Baltic and 8 stands for the number of States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden).
- "SCAND 344: The Baltic States and Scandinavia, Spring 2002". Retrieved 16 March 2010.
- SCAND 344: The Baltic States and Scandinavia, Spring 2002
- The Concept of Baltoscandia according to Kazys Pakstas before the war and now (in Lithuanian)
- Lithuania looks towards Northern Europe
- Back to Baltoscandia? (in Lithuanian)
- "Politicians have closed the Academy of Baltoscandia". Retrieved 26 March 2010.