“On the way of cooperation in the South Baltic Sea”

The Association of Polish Communes of Euroregion Baltic and the European Solidarity Centre would like to invite you to the first Umbrella project’s Awareness Raising Event in Gdansk, ECS, on 11th-12th June!

Let’s know more about UMBRELLA: 

Umbrella is a project financed by INTERREG South Baltic. Approved last November, it was officially launched on 14th-15th February and now it is in its initial phase. The project is framed in the priority axis V of the SBP: improve the cooperation capacity of local South Baltic area actors through participation in cross-border networks.

The overall objective of the project is to initiate a process of capacity building involving small municipalities, NGOs and other local/ regional organizations in order to transfer them knowledge and capacities, and to include them in the current cross-border cooperation networks.

Aggregation, spread of common European values and “South Baltic Identity” are the values that move our cross-border cooperation. Therefore, through this Awareness Raising Event we would like to help small local/ regional organizations enter the already existent networks of cross-border cooperation raising their awareness on (grant) opportunities in the South Baltic Region.

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New! UBC’s Bulletin: “Sharing the European Dream”

The new Union of the Baltic Cities’ Bulletin is now edited with important contents on immigrants’ integration. Europe is facing a huge refugee’s crisis nowadays and it is fundamental to undertake proper measures to welcome, provide support and integrate these people in our societies. Read more on-line and discover Cities’ stories and how they approach the reality when it comes to integration.

Cohesion policy after 2020?

On 23rd March, local and regional leaders of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) gathered together in Brussels with the rapporteur of the European Parliament Jan Olbrycht to discuss about the Cohesion Policy after 2020.

After several discussions on shortenings in the EU budget, what strongly emerged is that the Cohesion Policy should not become marginalized. On the contrary, its strategic role should be maintained and reinforced to persevere in achieving the target of cohesion, namely the reduction of regional disparities in EU. What does it mean? It means to provide EU’s citizens with an improved and balanced quality of life in all the regions, and especially along the borders that are often marginalized. This is fundamental to do not erode the single market and trusty relations among the States and to preserve Europe from an increasing nationalism.
Mieczysław Struk, president of Pomorskie Region (Poland), gave his contribution with a draft opinion on The cost and risk of non-cohesion: The strategic value of cohesion policy for pursuing the Treaty objectives and facing new challenges for European regions .
Despite Brexit and the consequent debates on EU budget, the EU Parliament is calling for support after 2020 for the Common Agricultural Policy and the Cohesion Policy, trying to avoid cuts in the budget and to maintain the current level of spendings. The wish is to support regional development through the ERDF, ESF and the Cohesion Fund. Furthermore, it emerged a need to improve programs like Horizon 2020, COSME, YEI, Erasmus + and LIFE + to strengthen cooperation for economy, competitiveness and youth opportunities. But these are not the only sectors that would need an improvement if it is considered the migration crisis and how to deal with security and defence.
CoR called for a “budget that supports a Europe closer to its citizens” and for a future Cohesion Policy as “pillar of the EU’s future”.
You can read the entire article here: http://cor.europa.eu/en/news/Pages/There-is-no-future-for-Europe-without-solidarity.aspx

Save the date: 14th May- 11th Baltic Sea Region Forum

“Baltic Sea Region Cooperation during Challenging Times” is the topic of the 11th Baltic Sea Region Forum organized by Centrum Balticum. The event will take place on 14th May 2018 at Turku School of Economics and it will be an occasion to discuss about topics like digitalization and security.

For more details, please see the BSRForum_2018_programme

Registration is now open here

 

Save the Date- 14th-16th March: Bonus Symposium in Gdansk

Four BONUS projects- Science for a better future of the Baltic Sea Region- are going to reach their conclusion this year. Therefore, the conference that will take place on 14th-16th March in Gdansk, in the form of a symposium, will be an unmissable occasion for scientists, stakeholder and policy-makers. After a presentation of the results of the project, the conference will show new approaches in nutrients management and future scenarios in sustainable ecosystem-based governance in the Baltic Sea.

You can find more details at the following links:

bonus2018-first-announcement

http://bonus2018.eu/ 

 

 

ERB position on future EU Cohesion Policy after 2020

During the ERB Executive Board meeting in Palanga (18th-19th September) a position paper on the future EU Cohesion Policy after 2020 was signed by Ms. Akko Karlsson, ERB president, and Mr. Per Ole Petersen, ERB Vice-President.

In the document, the ERB adopted four main recommendations regarding a strengthened EU Cohesion Policy, the importance of European Territorial Cooperation and people-to-people projects, improved coordination with macro-regional strategies, and simplified administrative and financial regulations.

ERB supports economic, social and territorial cohesion, recognizing the importance of the European Structural and Investment Funds for growth and jobs underlying, in this frame, the need of distinguishing between cohesion and investment policies.

One point that has been underlined regards the need of adopting shared management instruments for a real involvement of actors at local and regional level, apart from the development of small-scale, people-to-people projects in order to build-up trust in the neighbouring regions.

ERB will strive to align its activities with the macro-regional strategies- with the EUSBSR in this case. Moreover, in this macro-region Russia plays a fundamental role that pushed ERB to commit in carrying on a dialogue with Kaliningrad Region on topics of common interests.

Finally, ERB asked for simplified administrative and financial regulations.

The position is available at this link.

EC Communication on boosting development in border regions

Boosting growth and cohesion in EU border regions” is the title of the communication that EU Commission adopted in Brussels on 20th September 2017.

The communication is the result of two years long research and dialogue with local authorities across borders and various stakeholders. The aim of the communication is to reduce administrative and legal obstacles of cross-border interaction smoothing cooperation and cohesion among EU internal border-regions. These regions cover the 40% of EU territory accounting for 150 million people.

Since 1990 Interreg program has been supporting cross-border cooperation financing projects and initiatives to improve connectivity and cohesion, boost economic growth and undertake a path of trust through people to people projects. Despite positive results difficulties still persist: lack of information; complicated administrative procedures; lack of coordination; different tax regimes; different living standards.

In order to tackle them, the Commission has developed a “Border Focal Point” aiming at providing key actors with support to address cross-border issues, sharing experiences and good practices, ensuring that the Commission will take into due account the cross-border regional dimension in its future key actions. Within this framework, the Commission intends to address 10 key actions: deepening cooperation and exchanges; improving the legislative process; enabling cross-border public administration; providing reliable and understandable information and assistance; supporting cross-border employment; promoting border multi-lingualism; facilitating cross-border accessibility; promoting greater pooling of health-care facilities; considering the legal and financial framework for cross-border cooperation; building evidence of cross-border interaction to inform decision-making.

As EU internal border regions contribute significantly to the wealth of Europe, evidence shows that by reducing administrative and legal discontinuities much can be gained. This is the reason why EU Commission will continue to contribute to the progress of border regions funding programmes to boost their development.

IVY – Interreg Volunteer Youth open positions in the Baltic Sea Region

If you’re a young European aged between 18-30 years old wishing to have an opportunity as a volunteer abroad the IVY – Interreg Voluntary Youth could be a unique solution. The initiative, part of the European Solidarity Corps, aims at involving young volunteers to support, promote and report achievements of Interreg programmes and projects. It will also make them aware of the many benefits of collaboration among EU internal borders as well as enhance their sense of European solidarity, citizenship and civic engagement.

Among several offers currently available on IVY website, there are two involving Baltic countries such as Germany and Estonia.

As of Germany, the volunteer will help with the implementation of the project “Baltic Blue Growth” as an Interreg Project Partner at the German Coastal Union in Rostock . During the project, the volunteer will learn how human activities affect the environment, how stakeholder groups are formed, how a project like Baltic Blue Growth can be used to share knowledge among Baltic Sea neighbouring countries and improve transnational cooperation. Therefore the volunteer will also participate in project-related events and communication activities. During the project which is expected to last 6 months starting from October – deadline ASAP – the volunteer will receive a financial support of 22 euros per day. 

As of Estonia, the volunteer will contribute to the visibility of the project “SCULT World Sport Volunteers Movement” in Tallin. As an Interreg Project Partner, the volunteer will help to formulate the communication plan working hand in hand with the events team in the preparation of activities and events. The project will last for 6 months starting from September and the volunteer will receive 21 euros per day.

 

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