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 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.