Baltic Sea Trade Union Network (BASTUN)

BASTUN was founded in 1999 and is a forum for trade unions in the Baltic Sea Region toexchange information and discuss common interests. BASTUN monitors and participates in the activities of all relevant international organisations in the region. BASTUN cooperates with the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC) and is an observer in the Baltic Sea Labour Forum. High level meetings are held approximately every second year.

BASTUN consists of 19 Trade Union confederations in 10 countries in the Baltic Sea Regionand represents more than 10 million trade union members. Salidarnast in Belarus is a strategic partner to BASTUN. All BASTUN member organisations are members of the ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) and the ILO (International Labour Organization).

Our mission

BASTUN promotes social dialogue, collective bargaining, tripartite structures and cooperation and the social dimension as a part of economic development and growth. BASTUN strives to promote humane and equitable societies, social rights, decent working conditions and wages for all in the Baltic Sea Region.

Our values

We believe in fundamental principles and rights at work, cooperation, democracy, freedom, equality, solidarity, and joint responsibility. Together we seek to develop social justice in the Baltic Sea Region. We support the free trade union movement in Belarus.

Our tools

By coming together, organising, and joining forces we make workers' voices heard. We facilitate and develop new initiatives, partnerships, and international contacts. We organise events and conferences and influence political decision makers in the region, coordinate joint projects and raise issues related to the Baltic Sea Region within the international trade union family.

Member organizations

The following organisations are members in BASTUN:

The BASTUN presidency

BASTUN has a rotating presidency, each term of office being for a period of one year. The presidency rotates according to the presidency of the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and runs from the beginning of July to the end of June. The Presidency and the Secretariat form a preparatory and executive body while the BASTUN spring and autumn meetings hold the collective decision-making role.
The Finnish SAK and STTK holds the BASTUN presidency from the beginning of July 2023 until the end of June 2024. Jarkko Eloranta and Antti Palola are the acting presidents for the network.

Presidency priorities 2023-2024

  • Fundamental rights
  • Sustainable Energy and Just Transition
    BASTUN's priorities reflect the political and social situation in the Baltic Sea Region. The network follows political discussion and aims to keep relevant issues for the trade union movement on the agenda of all relevant institutions of the region.

Strategic partnership with Belarus

The Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Union (BKDP) was one of the representative organisations of the Belarusian free trade unions. The BKDP has been a strategic partner of BASTUN since 2006. Since 2021 and the massive crack down on trade unions in Belarus by the Lukashenko regime the trade unionists are reorganised in the Salidarnast Association.
The Salidarnast Association was founded by trade union leaders and activists from Belarus, who were forced to leave the country after the liquidation and repression of democratic trade unions. The charitable association is registered in Germany and based in Bremen.
BASTUN acts as a platform for deepened cooperation between trade unions around the Baltic sea area and our colleagues form Belarus. The aim is to maintain and help to develop the free trade union movement in Belarus according to ILO recommendations. BASTUN follows the situation in Belarus and works for keeping the Belarusian free trade unions on the political agenda in relevant national and international context.


Milla Järvelin

BASTUN coordinator

Linnégatan 14
114 47 Stockholm

+46 (0)72 237 37 23