Micro-activity on Water Management

Another Umbrella’s micro activity was organized in Elblag on 12th and 13th February. The topic this time was “water and water management” and saw the participation of a group of different institutions and experts in the field of water management from around the South Baltic Sea. The 12th February was dedicated to a presentation of Elblag and the relation with its water, besides the city’s impact on the Zuławy region.

After the presentation, the group moved to EPWiK- Elbląg Water and Sewage Enterprise (Elbląskie Przedsiębiorstwo Wodociągów i Kanalizacji) where they could visit the water purification plant and understand its functioning. Curiosity: the water is purified only thanks to its filtration through different layers of sand and stones, no chemicals are used.

After this first visit, the group reached the Elblag Technology Park (EPT) to visit the Laboratory of Advanced Environmental Analysis. The laboratory is in the process of accreditation for compliance with ISO / IEC 17025 “General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories” and the requirements of the Polish Center for Accreditation. The laboratory consists of five instrumental analysis laboratories, sample preparation rooms, reagent warehouses, as well as office rooms).

Satisfied of this study visit, the micro-activity group joined an official dinner to celebrate the Polish Presidency of Euroregion Baltic, that this year will be held by the Association of Polish Communes of Euroregion Baltic, represented by the mayor of the city of Elblag.
The 13th February, the focus was to discuss the on-going WATERMAN project application for seed money funding in the frame of Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme. Specifically, the project plan, idea and partners which are to be included in the final application. The workshop was moderated by Bornholms Energy&Forsyning and Kommunförbundet Skåne. Umbrella support was also provided with the participation of an expert who assisted the group during the discussions and provided an exhaustive summary and feedback of this first working phase. We do hope in further good cooperation for the effective preparation and submission of the application or, anyway, for the water management discussion, such an important topic especially for Scandinavia in these last years.


EuroRegion Baltic [ERB] in cooperation with UMBRELLA and CONTRA projects invites ERB Water Core Group members and other relevant experts and actors in the field of water management to join the lunch-to-lunch workshop in Elblag 12-13 February. Save the date and check the Agenda!


UMBRELLA project -Training and coaching pack

on 2nd October Umbrella’s partners, Associated Partners and our experts took part in a training held by Whitecom Project Experience. We familiarized with our manuals for trainers and beneficiaries of the project, we got to know each other and we tested ourselves during a practical workshop. Now we know how to train our beneficiaries in the best way! So, join our trainings on project management!

Come and learn how to develop your project idea into a successful project application!

Sign up to take part in free of charge trainings organized by the UMBRELLA project partners in Sweden, Poland, Lithuania and Denmark. They will be held in national languages.

Decide whether you would like to participate in a beginner or advanced course, or both, and use the following link to register:  https://bit.ly/2IuFu7B

Calendar of trainings:

21/10: National training in Kristianstad (SE)

28/10: National training in Chojnice (PL)- Basic

04/11: National training in Hässleholm (SE)

28/11: National training in Gdansk (PL)- Advanced

22/11: National training in Telsiai (LT)

04/12: National training in Ringsted (DK)

05/12: National training in Kalmar (SE)

10/12: National training in Klaipeda (LT)- Advanced

10/01: National training in Alvesta (SE)

24/01: National training in Elbląg (PL)- Basic

28/01: National training in Nida (LT)- Basic

20/02: National training in Roskilde (DK)

The SIA4Y “Right of information access from the youth perspective” workshop took place from 6th-7th March in Elblag, Poland!
The event was organized by the Association of Polish Communes of Euroregion Baltic and brought together 100 young people! There were participants from several Lithuanian cities (Telšiai, Vilnius, Eigirdžiai, Klaipeda), the Russian city of Kaliningrad, Sweden (city of Hässleholm), Poland (Elbląg, Gdańsk, Nowe Miasto Lubawskie, Iława, Dzierzgoń, Olsztyn, Gdynia, Słupsk, Otomin, Warsaw, Przezmark), Italy and Greece!
On 6th March, the participants from abroad arrived in Elbląg! There was a joint dinner and a small local tour by Mr Marcin Żuchowski and Ms Paulina Lieder before the participants’ went to rest and prepare for the forthcoming day!
On 7th March, the workshop ensued in the Town Hall of Elblag. It opened with a speech by Ms. Malgorzata Samusjew, Director of the Association of Polish Communes, workshop host organization. Ms. Valentina Scandola, organizer of the event, introduced the agenda of the day and launched a social media contest, giving later the floor to Ms Magda Leszczyna-Rzucidło, representing the Polish Economic Society Branch in Gdańsk, who introduced the project “SIA4Y- Strengthening Civil Society Participation through Public Information Access for European Youth”.
The day was divided into two main workshop sessions, whose main scope was to bring the topic of “right of information access” in the foreground, also trough a synergy between SIA4Y, CaSYPoT and SB YCGN project. The Association of Polish Communes of Euroregion Baltic, in fact, had a chance to keep a fil rouge with the youth-related activities that have been implemented in the last two years. The first one on “Responsible relationships and youth civic engagement”.
The first session was held by Marcin Żuchowski and Agata Ludwiczak, from the hosting organization. The second session, instead, counted on Mr Sergejus Muravjovas and Ms Ieva Duncikaite’s moderation from Transparency International Lithuania with the title: “Model Your Municipality: Participatory Budgeting Session”.
“Responsible relationships and youth civic engagement” session:
At their first task, the participants were divided into 8 groups and asked to answer questions on 8 youth tools, which had a distinct goal each, and were written on large pieces of paper across 8 separate tables. Each group would then proceed to the next table. The tools were: employment mobility, youth information, Youth Centers, youth media, Schools of the Future, School’s Youth Zone, Baltic Youth Week, SB YCGN local round-table meetings-suggestions.
Before the launch of the second session, the winners of the social media contest were prized with lots of tech prizes and the participants had a lunch break in an adjacent room where a rich buffet was laid out.
“Model Your Municipality: Participatory Budgeting Session”:
In this part, participants were partnered according to their home towns and asked to think of and create the budget for a common project that would benefit their municipalities. The allowed budget for the participants was 100 000 euros and they had to present their idea along with the expenses that it’d require. Afterwards, each group presented the idea they came up with and finally the audience had the chance to vote for the idea they considered most interesting and likely to be implemented. The team from Tricity area presented a beach cleaning system and received the most votes. Special mention should be made of the participants from the Elblag-Kaliningrad group who proposed an international cultural festival and the team from Nowe Miasto Lubawskie who presented a very detailed budget.
The workshop closed with a presentation by Mr Dominik Kwiatkowski about the participatory budgeting in the city of Słupsk and a focus group discussion conducted by Mr Marcin Żuchowski about the situation of youth in their schools. This last session was held in the frame of YCGN project.
In general, it was a really fun and educational workshop and its young participants had the chance to get more informed about their rights and opportunities to communicate with and influence their municipalities!

By IVY Theodora Chatzipanteli

We invite you to submit offers for the provision of National trainings, coaching sessions and training materials for the beneficiaries of the UMBRELLA project – Boosting cross-border cooperation capacities for local actors in the South Baltic Sea, co-financed by the INTERREG VA Poland- Denmark- Germany- Lithuania – Sweden program (South Baltic) 2014 – 2020

All documents necessary to submit an offer are available in the BIP (Biuletyn Informacji Publicznej) at the following link: https://bip.pomorskieregion.eu/zapytania-ofertowe-p14

The deadline for submitting offers is March 27, 2019 at 12.00.

Youth is often defined as the age group from 16 until around 30-34. It can be a time of great opportunities and challenges when people prepare for the responsibilities ahead, including their livelihood, family obligations, and productive engagement with their communities.

Overview of the Euroregion Baltic Youth Strategy

The Euroregion Baltic Youth Strategy was created by Mr Przemyslaw Kulawczuk, Mr Andrzej Poszewiecki and Ms Elzbieta Kolasinka in cooperation with Mr Damian Ciachorowski and the ERB Youth Board and in accordance with research done within the scope of the CaSYPoT project. It was presented by Ms Agata Ludwiczak of Euroregion Baltic International Permanent Secretariat during the ERB Executive and Youth Board meetings in Klaipeda, Lithuania on the 13th and 14th of February respectively. The Youth Strategy’s focus is on recommending measures that will foster collaboration between the countries of the Euroregion Baltic. This aims to tackle the issues of youth migration and regional depopulation as well as the resulting social and economic challenges.

The Euroregion Baltic and its challenges

These issues are shared to a different extent by each of the countries and administrative regions which constitute the Euroregion Baltic. The regions included are Bornholm (Denmark), Kalmar, Kronoberg, Blekinge, Skåne (Sweden), Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, Pomorskie (Poland), Klaipeda (Lithuania) as well as the Kaliningrad region of Russia. Relevant studies illustrate the dramatic results of regional abandonment which are especially pronounced in Poland and Lithuania and less noticeable in Sweden and Denmark.
Unfortunately, it appears that many provinces in the Baltic region are currently in a cycle of limited opportunities, outbound immigration and social and economic abandonment. The youth who are the future of their regions are particularly affected by this. In each region-member of the Euroregion Baltic, high percentages of young people have to deal with unemployment, lack of options in higher education and limited chances of self-realization. The result of this is that the majority want to move to a larger municipality or city.
Currently, each of the regions of the Euroregion Baltic has its own youth policy trying to deal with these issues. Cooperation and sharing experience between the regions are very limited. However, if more cross-border initiatives and collaboration were to be established, that could make the regions more attractive to their youth and create more opportunities.

The new Euroregion Baltic’s Youth Strategy proposal

Euroregion Baltic’s Youth Strategy is focused on understanding the young people’s needs and helping to communicate them. The three main strategic objectives of the new Youth Strategy are : connecting the youth through the promotion of mobility, engaging through development and empowering through the building of identity. First, with an increased mobility it becomes easier for young people to connect across the Baltic Sea and beyond in order to gain work experience, make connections and cooperate with other young people and adult experts. Second, the promotion of development supports the youth by fostering quality, innovation and sustainable development in cities and regions. Finally, by focusing on building identity, the Euroregion Baltic can strengthen the relations between its young people and foster future cooperation and common understanding.
A positive element of the strategy is that it includes in its creation young people alongside politicians, authorities, experts and universities. This will not only help in the implementation of the strategy by the local government but also ensure its success which is directly linked to the youth participation in it.

Euroregion Baltic has several tools in its disposal with which to achieve these objectives like employment mobility, youth information, Students’ Council, Youth Centers, media, school’s first job and many others.

Now it only remains to see which of these can be adopted and put into action on local level!

By IVY Theodora Chatzipanteli

The Euroregion Baltic Executive Board and the Youth Board meetings transpired in Radisson Blue Hotel in Klaipeda, Lithuania from 13-14th February 2019!

On 13th February, the Euroregion Baltic Executive Board meeting took place. Some of its highlights included: the presentation of the Skåne Association of Local Authorities-from Sweden-as the new ERB member, the transfer of the ERB Presidency from Denmark to Lithuania, the approval of the new Head of the Euroregion Baltic International Permanent Secretariat and the ERB Action Plan for 2019. Furthermore, the new Executive Board members were introduced, a new sequence of ERB Presidencies was proposed to start after 2020 and various reports detailing hard-earned results and plans for the future were exhibited.

The inclusion of Skåne  Association of Local Authorities is undoubtedly a very important moment in ERB history. The Association from Sweden represents the 33 most southern municipalities in Sweden. Due to the Swedish local self-government tradition, the municipalities have responsibilities in many important areas such as climate issues and water. The organization also has an office in Brussels which is participating in several working groups such as Blue Growth, Energy and Climate, Water and Digitalization.

The Skåne  Association’s interests coincide with the goals of the new Lithuanian Presidency of the Euroregion Baltic (in the picture) so, it will be interesting to see how cooperation in these subjects will evolve. The Lithuanian ERB Presidency will focus on: blue and green growth (through smart specialization tool-kit), EU Cohesion policy (by effective lobbying and focusing on the South Baltic Programme after 2020) and accessibility/ transport (through the implementation of the Interconnect Project).

These goals were also included in the ERB Action Plan for 2019. It was presented by the new President of the Euroregion Baltic, Mr Vytautas Grubliauskas. The funds, projects connected to the ERB, and success criteria were demonstrated. The new strategy involves events like the Participation Day (in the frame of the EUSBSR Annual Forum) which will take place on 11th June 2019 in Gdansk, right after the Baltic Sea Youth Camp, event that will be attended by 100 young people and representatives of the HA- Horizontal Actions like HA- Capacity Building.

Finally and most importantly, we are glad to have Ms Magda Leszczyna-Rzucidło (in the picture) as the new Head of the ERB International Permanent Secretariat to replace Mr Sebastian Magier who spent almost a decade working dedicatedly for the Euroregion Baltic. Ms Leszczyna-Rzucidło will start her duties in April and until then, Ms Agata Ludwiczak will lead the ERB IPS. Ms Leszczyna-Rzucidło scored the highest result in the interview stage of the recruitment and also received warm recommendations during the Executive Board Meeting. We are looking forward for her arrival in the ERB IPS!

On 14th February, the Youth Board meeting took place. Ms Agata Ludwiczak, from ERB IPS, and Mr Marcin Żuchowski, from the Association of Polish Communes, presented the new Youth Strategy. The strategy is focused around 3 objectives: mobility, development and identity. In order for these objectives to be fulfilled, the use of almost 40 tools was recommended. Some of these tools include youth mobility, the Students’ Council, Youth Centers, youth media, school’s first job and others. Furthermore, there was a discussion on the future of the Youth Board which involved a variety of suggestions and requests for changes in its structure.


In conclusion, the ERB Executive Board meeting introduced certain changes of crucial importance and drew the plan for the future. On the other hand, the Youth Board meeting brought into light many of the alterations needed to be made in order to boost its influence and effectiveness. Both meetings were characterized by openness, cordiality and a sincere wish to discuss and cooperate.

  • The next meeting of the ERB Executive Board and the Annual Forum of the ERB stakeholders will take place in Kalmar on 13th-14th May 2019!

By IVY Theodora Chatzipanteli

The first ever meeting signaling the start of the “ Connect Europe “ project took place in Copenhagen from 21-22 February 2019!
The “Connect Europe” project aims to engage citizens from 7 different European countries in a constructive dialogue about the future of Europe and to support the various EU agendas and values. The project is co-funded by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union and designed to increase transnational cooperation within the EU. This will be accomplished with local talks, national conferences, pan-European campaigns and a final event. Its duration will be 15 months starting on January 1st 2019 and closing on 30th June 2020. It is led by Nyt Europa from Denmark with the joint efforts of Aktiivinen Eurooppalainen Kansalainen Suomi Ry – AEKS (Finland), Democracy International e.V (Germany), Stichting Netwerk Democratie (Netherlands), Stowarzyszenie Gmin RP Euroregion Baltyk (Poland), Plataforma Portuguesa para os direitos das Mulheres (Portugal) and the European Civic Forum.
In its kickoff meeting the participants met to agree on the details and to compile shared topics and materials for local discussions and national conferences. Nyt Europe was represented by Ms Julie Rosenkilde, Mr Jacob Bjelskov Jorgensen and Mr Troels Knudsen, AEKS was represented by Ms Marita Modenius, Democracy International by Ms Daniela Vancic and Ms Anne Hardt, Netwerk Democratie by Ms Anne de Zeeuw, Euroregion Baltic by Ms Agata Ludwiczak, Plataforma Muheres by Ms Ana Sofia Fernandes and the European Civic Forum by Mr Vladimir Sestovic.
On 20th February 2019, the participants met and visited MP Mogens Lykketoft at the Danish Parliament. Mr Mogens Lukketoft is an MP from the Social Democratic Party, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Finance and former President of the UN General Assembly. Mr Lukketoft spoke about subjects like the decreasing popularity of the EU especially in Southern Europe, the EU referendums and the Brexit crisis, the results of austerity as a policy, sustainable development and EU’s potential. Later, several European Parliament activities for citizens were organized consisting of local talks and campaigns.
On 21st February, the partners discussed about the conference themes and project management. Each organization committed to organize an event on one of the 7 Chapters of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights- dignity, freedoms, equality, solidarity, citizens’ rights, justice and general provisions. ERB is covering the topic of solidarity by boosting democratic discussion and bringing as example our cooperation for the achievement of Cohesion Policy thanks to the Interreg projects we have worked on. The participants also discussed about the European Solidarity Corps and closed with the budget, partner agreement and reporting.

This November Euroregion Baltic will organize a conference on solidarity in Poland! Details will be published on our site!

Theodora Chatzipanteli
IVY Euroregion Baltic

Only a few months are left until the Baltic Sea Youth Camp, which will take place in Hotel Orle in Gdansk, Poland from 8-11 June 2019! The Baltic Sea Youth Camp is a three-day festival which promotes friendship, culture and political awareness among its young participants aged 18-25 from the 11 countries of the Baltic Sea Region and Iceland!
The partnering organizations who are making it happen decided to meet, inspect the hotel’s possibilities and form plans for the Baltic Sea Youth Camp. The meeting took place on 30th and 31st January in Gdansk, Poland. With Akershus Fylkeskommune, representing Baltic Sea States Sub-regional Cooperation (BSSSC), from Norway as the lead partner, and several co-partners; namely Euroregion Baltic (Poland), Union of Baltic Cities (Denmark) and Baltic Sea Cultural Centre (Poland), the meeting brought together professionals from several Euroregion Baltic countries.
On 30th January, the participants visited the island Wyspa Sobieszewska where the Hotel Orle, Gdansk is situated. The hotel which will accommodate the Baltic Sea Youth Camp is only 15 km from the center of Gdansk and is easily accessible by public transport and car. Furthermore, it is a large complex so, it is difficult to miss! Surrounded by a pine forest and only several meters away from the beach, the hotel offers many opportunities for various activities (especially sports) as well as every possible facility and comfort that a young person might wish for. There is internet and TV in the rooms and saunas, spa and massage in the first floors.
On 31st January, the main organizational meeting for the Baltic Sea Youth Camp took place. The attendees discussed subjects like participation, inclusivity, selection criteria and the daily schedule which will follow the Camp’s main themes and goals. There was an abundance of proposals for activities and workshops that could take place during the Youth Camp, so selecting the best was quite a challenge! The focus was kept around secular economy, sustainability, ecology and culture. There was a special emphasis on activities that will directly involve the youth and boost international communication and cooperation among the participants of the Camp. Finally, a draft of the schedule was made and the responsibility for each workshop was distributed among the various organizations from each Baltic country.
In conclusion, the organizations involved held a productive meeting which helped map a clear plan for the Baltic Sea Youth Camp. The working process and overall atmosphere were effective, open and cordial and while there is more to be revised, it can be said that this meeting was of crucial importance for the planning of this exciting, international Youth Camp.
Please feel free to find out more about the Baltic Sea Youth Camp 2019 and what it has to offer on its page “ www.balticyouthcamp.org “ as well as its Facebook page “Baltic Sea Youth Camp 2019”!

– Applications for the Baltic Sea Youth Camp 2019 open soon!

Theodora Chatzipanteli
Euroregion Baltic, IVY

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.