Johanna Wyckman

Do you want to participate in our Erasmus+ exchange in Kalmar this summer? Are you 18-30 years old? Do you want to learn about entrepreneurship and connect with youth from the Baltic sea region?

Euroregion Baltic Youth Board invites you to Kalmar, Sweden, 31 of July to 5 of August!

Registration here: https://forms.gle/2u9bGLc6WgGHSwYg6

Gustaw Marek Brzezin, Marshal of Warmia and Masuria Region, chaired the meeting of Euroregion Baltic Executive Board, which was held on the 11th of May in Växjö, capital the Region Kronoberg in Sweden. It was the first physical meeting of Euroregion Baltic, after more than two years of Covid-19 pandemic.

Executive Board Members deeply discussed current international situation, especially in Ukraine, and its impact on countries and regions, Baltic Sea Region cooperation and Euroregion Baltic. Kaliningrad Region of the Russian Federation has been formally suspended in Euroregion Baltic and has not participated in the cooperation since the beginning of March. Moreover, Russian partners do not participate in joint projects any more.

On 10th March the Euroregion Baltic Executive Board met online to officially commence its work for the 2022. The meeting was attended by representatives of each member region, apart from Kaliningrad Region which was suspended in ERB cooperation due to current situation in Ukraine.

This year’s first Executive Board meeting was particularly important due to another changing presidency. The previous presidency held in 2021 by Blekinge Region represented by presidents Mr Johan Sandberg and Mrs Elin Petersson was officially handed over to the Warmia and Masuria Region and its Marshal, Mr Gustaw Marek Brzezin, who became the new ERB president.

The Board discussed the ERB goals and activities implemented in 2021
by the ERB International Permanent Secretariat. Also representatives of the Water Core Group and Mobility Core Group presented reports on the activities implemented in 2021. Furthermore future activities and steps planned for 2022 were discussed.

The following priority goals for 2022 have been established:

  • activity within the South Baltic Programme,
  • sustainable development through cooperation,
  • building competences and acting people to people through contacts,
  • youth.

Baltic Sea Youth Platform  is an Erasmus+ Programme project aiming at empowering youth and fostering real participation in decision and policy-making in the Baltic Sea Region. It started on 1st February 2020 and was prolonged from initial August 2022 until December 2022. Despite many difficulties and inconvenience caused by the pandemic, throughout the past year the project partnership  supported and got involved in many great youth oriented initiatives, thus promoting the idea of BSYP.

In 2021 project partners meetings were held online every two weeks, which contributed to building strong engagement as well as to develop new initiatives and great ideas for further cooperation.

On 1st of March BSYP conducted to the Youth Forum within the 2nd EU Macro Regional Strategies  week hosted by DG REGIO. Julia Orluk, ERB’s Youth Board  former Chaiwoman, who’s been engaged in the BSYP project from its’ very beginning, was among  the panelists of the bottom-up session to empower participation of Youth and of Civil Society Organisations in MRS.

In March 2021 the first Interim Report for the Baltic Sea Youth Platform Erasmus+ project was submitted.

In April BSYP project participated in two youth oriented events:  BSSSC Youth Network on 14th April and also in Digital Youth Workshop on Green and Social entrepreneurship co-organised with Youth4Nature.

May 2021 was another busy month for BSYP. On 6th of May BSYP became a part of a youth panel during a CBSS trafficking conference focusing on human trafficking during the digital era. The conference was co-organised by TH-TFB and CAR unit of the CBSS. Next, on 12th – 14th May the CBSS Ministerial Youth Edition was held, where again BSYP was very active. During the event  young people from BS region came up with great ideas which evaluated to the CBSS Vision Statement Beyond 2030, presented to the Foreign Ministers at the CBSS Ministerial on June 1st.

Finally, between 28th and 29th May BSYP joined the BSSSC Youth Spring Event where modern democracy, Baltic sustainability and entrepreneurship where discussed with experts from EU Parliament.

On 22nd June all BSYP project partners and associated partners joined the Partnership Day to work on the platform vision together with experts from ACTER. Project partners discussed  further steps regarding virtual platform development, toolkits and guidelines issues within Baltic Sea Youth Power Box, policy recommendations, youth input to the Baltic Sea Cultural Cities  and other issues connected to the external report.

August 2021 was also filled up with excellent events dedicated to youth and BSYP project was proud to a part of them. Starting up with 41st Hanseatic Days days on 19th -21st August, which was a hybrid event taking place in Riga and online. Among others, program included “Youth Hanza” event which was a virtual meeting of young people from member cities, during which issues of current issues in the region such as the climate and environment, the participation of young people in these processes, as well as the history and traditions of Hanseatic cities were discussed in an interactive way.

On 28th – 31st August BSYP joined the ReGeneration Week 2021 – a hybrid event, where people participated both physically on the Åland Islands and through the streaming tool Coeo. The ReGeneration Week provided an international meeting place for intergenerational dialogues for a sustainable system change. The theme for the ReGeneration Week 2021 was “ReThinking The System”, which highlights the need of a sustainable recovery after the pandemic. ReGeneration Week 2021 offered interactive lectures and workshops, intergenerational dialogues, and provided tools to contribute to a more sustainable life in connection to the five different domains in Anatomy of Action.

On 29th August the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS)/Baltic Sea Youth Platform together with the Swedish delegation to the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC), and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden organized the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Youth Forum in order to promote dialogue between young people of the region and policymakers.

The forum gathered young people and members of parliament from the Baltic Sea Region who discussed how to secure a democratically and environmentally sustainable future. It provided an opportunity for young people to give input to policymakers on the issues at hand and to gain insight into international parliamentary cooperation.

Furthermore, BSYP was an active participant at the EUSBSR Annual Forum 2021. On 30th September CBSS organized a panel discussion on Empowering Youth for Green Entrepreneurship, which became a platform to young entrepreneurs from across the BSR to share their insights on how to start a green business and provide their experience regarding existing obstacles and barriers for receiving funding and building a business model. The panel also gave the floor to representatives of financial institutions and programmes. The participants had also an opportunity to discuss on how to improve the status quo regarding financial mechanisms and accessibility and how to provide a more supportive environment for young people to start their business in the BSR. The last day of the Forum was entirely dedicated to the youth issues. Participants joined plenary session on youth’s involvement, but also heard more about Klaipėda as the European Youth Capital 2021, the role of youth in implementing ambitious green agenda of the EU, the presentation of Lithuanian Sea Museum, creative workshop on SDGs, presentations of sustainable solutions of businesses and many more.

In October CBSS announced a call for the Baltic Sea Youth Dialogue 2021: Looking forward, looking back – 30 Years of Collaboration in the Baltic Sea Region. The dialogue which was held between 4th-28th November consisted of three lectures on following topics: Safe & Secure Region, Sustainable & Prosperous Region and Regional Idetity. All participants of the lectures had an exciting opportunity to be in dialogue with experts from the region. The dialogue was followed by two activities – cross country assignement and learning diary. Best creative entries in each activity were later awareded during the online ceremony on 11th December 2021.

On 1st November the partnership of the Baltic Sea Youth Platform announced the recruitment for the Baltic Sea Talent Pool. Young people (18-30 years old) eager to be active in shaping policies within the region could apply to join one of the working groups: advocacy – responsible for writing policy recommendations and ta king part in the events,  culture – implementing local actions and being part of the development of the Baltic Sea Cultural Cities and Regions Project Or to become a part of BSYP taskforce for child protection policies.

On 23rd November CBSS presented the BSYP during the side event “Connecting minds across the ages” to the NDPHS Partnership Annual Conference.

Finally, on 25th and 26th November the BSYP project partners met physically in Stockholm, for the first time after nearly 20 months. At the two day meeting, organized in the premises of CBSS, representatives from Sweden, Norway, Lithuania, Estonia, Germany and Poland, including many youth representatives, had an opportunity to discuss on the current status of the project, partner contribution, funding options, add-ons to be created, development of intellectual outputs within project as well as Strategy, Vision and Partnership beyond 2022. The second day of the meeting was filled with some great workshops within the Baltic Sea Belongs to Kids project and also very fruitful discussions among members of BSYP Working Groups.

BSYP Partnership meeting in Stockholm
  • BSYP Vision Beyond 2022

As a follow-up of the youth involvement in the first CBSS Committee of Senior Officials meeting in mid-September, BSYP was asked to provide a first draft of a vision for the BSYP after the Project comes to an end. The document is an internal document of the CBSS to continue the discussions on the institutionalization of the BSYP. It was meant as a basis to start a discussion amongst the CBSS Member States on how a financial support of the BSYP could look like after the Erasmus+ project ends. On 23rd November the CSO met and discussed the BSYP Vision Beyond 2022 proposal and how to move on with the BSYP.

The EU Macro-Regional Strategies Week (EU MRS WEEK) is the biggest Brussels-based event dedicated to connect key stakeholders from line Ministries of the four MRS (EUSBSR, EUSDR, EUSAIR, EUSALP)* and beyond, representatives of EU institutions, research and academia, various sectors, civil society organisation and citizens.

The EU MRS Week helps improve public understanding of the added value of MRS, it features debates about their future development, it coordinates exchanges and best practises among the four MRS, and it improves the overall understanding of the broad impact of Cohesion Policy on the Commission priorities (e.g. EU Green Deal, A Stronger Europe in the World).

The third edition follows the motto Engage, Empower, Evolve centered around three topics: Youth, European Green Deal and Social Innovation.

From 7-11 March 2022, the EU MRS Week will Engage stakeholders from across the four MRS and the EU institutions, to Empower them to take charge of the opportunities MRS offer in order to Evolve their Macro-Regions towards a smart and sustainable future in the 2021-2027 programming period.
With 2022 being the European Year of Youth, the 3rd EU MRS Week puts a special notion on how MRS empower young people to become active citizens and actors of positive change, to promote opportunities provided by EU policies for young people and to include the ideas and visions of young people.

For the first time, a call for stakeholder sessions has been launched around the three chosen topics to form part of the programme around the three chosen topics: Youth, EU Green Deal and Social Innovation.

These sessions will broaden involvement and give various stakeholders from the EU and beyond to possibility to shape the EU MRS Week with the Commission. All stakeholder sessions will be held in digital formats.

The programme will provide room for the stakeholder sessions from Tuesday afternoon (8 March) to Thursday afternoon (10 March), each for a duration of 90 minutes in digital format. More information on the call’s requirements and technical support for selected proposals can be found in the Guide for Event Stakeholders on the event’s website.

Proposals with a cross-MRS approach, which are inspiring, replicable and clearly related to the key objectives of at least one of the four macro-regions will have higher chances to be selected by our evaluation committee.

Which information will need to be provided?

  • Title
  • Agenda
  • Names of speakers and the moderator
  • Concept of the session
  • Short description for the event website
  • Preferred day and time slot

If you are interested, please go to the dedicated website https://eumrsweek.tw.events/, insert the password: EUMRSWEEK and submit your proposals until 6 February 2022.

The results from the call will be communicated on 10 February 2022 to all applicants.

Please feel free to also share this information with your network.

For more information on the available time slots for stakeholder sessions, please see the draft programme:

  • 7 March: Opening session, Youth session, European Green Deal session (afternoon, organised by DG REGIO)
  • 8 March: Social Innovation sessions and speech by Commissioner Ferreira (morning, organised by DG REGIO), Slots for stakeholder sessions in the afternoon (13:30-15:00, 15:30-17:00)
  • 9 March: Slots for Stakeholder sessions (9:00-10:30, 11-12:30, 13:30-15:00, 15:30-17:00)
  • 10 March: Slots for stakeholder sessions (9:00-10:30, 11-12:30, 13:30-15:00, 15:30-17:00)
  • 11 March: 14th High-Level Group Meeting, followed by the 5th MRS Presidency and Trio Meeting (co-organised by the Lithuanian Presidency of the EUSBSR)

Social Entrepreneurship Innovation Camp Methodology Handbook is an outline of the guidelines for organizing innovation camps or similar events with strong focus on social entrepreneurship. This Handbook has been developed in the framework of the INDIGISE project („Promotion of Social Entrepreneurship in the Youth Sector by Digital and Informal Education Tools“, April, 2020 – March 2022), which is focused on young people, who are looking for positive social and (or) environmental changes in society, and (or) feel the need to create own business, but lack support, competencies and finance. Combining the experience of universities’, NGOs’ and business networks’ professionals, and operating with the latest trends in education, INDIGISE project partners from Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Norway provided such support and promoted youth social entrepreneurship in the Baltic Sea Region by digital and informal education tools.

This Manual is a set of interactive and innovative educational material and ICT tools as well as gamification and brainstorming methods dedicated to training, educating and raising awareness on the subject of social entrepreneurship among youth that is recommended to use by EU countries’ schools, universities, NGOs etc. 

The content of the Handbook is of a recommendatory nature, can be easily modified according to the specifics of the innovation event, and contains the following main sections:

  • General parameters about when, where and how to organize the event, who should be the main key players of the innovation camp: their responsibilities and duties.
  • Time schedule: how to prepare for the innovation event on time and properly.
  • How to find and select the most motivated participants and to encourage sponsors, judges, trainers, conventional and (or) social business representatives, moderators, volunteers and other key players to participate in the event.

Social entrepreneurship is a unique idea – mission of the 21st century that, because of different historical and business ecosystem development as well as present attitude in different countries, is perceived and defined differently. Social entrepreneurship is a model of activity, the essential mission of which is to solve social and environmental challenges through commercial activities. Social businesses use innovative and business-based approaches to make life better in our communities or to address environmental issues. 

Innovation camps are a highly effective tool for steering young learners towards developing social business ideas, that may one day be realized, something which is not always easily achieved in a traditional classroom context, as well as the perfect way to educate and motivate academic staff, non-formal education providers, industry experts how to encourage more entrepreneurship education in the classroom.

We believe that with social entrepreneurship innovation camps a social business idea will become more understandable, recognized and attractive!

INDIGISE Project’s Partners:

INDIGISE Project’s Associated Partners:

  • Junior Achievement Norway, Agder (Norway)
  • National Youth Council (Latvia)
  • Baltic Sea NGO Network (Poland)

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The content of this website is the sole responsibility of the author and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union, the Managing Authority or the Joint Secretariat of the South Baltic Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020. The project UMBRELLA is partly financed from the Interreg South Baltic Programme 2014-2020 through the European Regional Development Fund.