Umbrella 2.0 Report: “Entry points” to EUSBSR Cooperation
Introduced in 2009, the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) was the first EU macro-regional strategy of the European Union. Formally adopted by the European Council after a communique from the European Commission (EC), the EUSBSR is an agreement signed between the Member States and the EC to strengthen cooperation between the countries bordering the Baltic Sea and to meet the many joint challenges as well as benefit from common opportunities facing the Baltic Sea region through three objectives: Save the Sea, Connect the Region and Increase Prosperity.
The Umbrella 2.0 project has been developed precisely to make the EUSBSR more “user-friendly” for the local stakeholders. The Umbrella 2.0 project was initiated by the Euroregion Baltic (ERB) and is implemented throughout 2021 with two partners: Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC) and Baltic Sea States Subregional Cooperation (BSSSC). This project is funded by the Swedish Institute, which has supported Baltic Sea cooperation for many years, especially among the local actors. The project also builds on two previous capacity building projects successfully implemented by the Euroregion Baltic and its Partners within the Interreg South Baltic Programme.
Over the course of two months, the experts conducted a series of 14 interviews with Coordinators of all Policy Areas of the Strategy, attempting on the one hand to gain a broad picture of the current status of local stakeholders’ participation but also to listen to interesting ideas and proposals on what should be done further to integrate them in the works of the Strategy. To this end, we asked several questions through which we have received a great deal of interesting feedback and some concrete proposals for the future of the EUSBSR implementation.
The resulting report is directed both towards the local stakeholders who are newcomers to the Strategy as well as those local actors who are more experienced in Baltic cooperation but would like to organise their knowledge and understanding of how the Strategy can be of use for them. Lastly, we hope that this report will help all institutions directly or indirectly involved in implementing the EUSBSR to learn more about the importance of improved collaboration with the local level of governance to achieve the goals outlined in the Strategy.
Our 4th and the last training on International Project Management will take place on 28th Jan 2022.
In cooperation with our experts from the Swedish Peerstage company – Therese Mithander Udovcic and Daniel Sköld, we prepared a training session for everyone interested in starting new projects and forming new partnerships. This time we will introduce more closely topics like:
work breakdown structure
budget incl. rules and regulations in EU-funded projects!
Sign up here https://bit.ly/3nBAAKC and join us at the ZOOM meeting, where you will get theory and practice using the MURAL board. This will also be a great chance for you to meet other international project experts from the BSR and discuss your possible joint cooperation ideas.
Below you can check how we worked in the previous meeting on the BASIC level.
NOTE: you can take part in the training on 28th Jan even if you did not join the 1st session. You can also download our Umbrella capacity building material developed during the 1st stage of the project supported by the Interreg South Baltic programme. Click here:
On 20th Dec 2021 the final ERB Executive Board meeting in 2021 took place. It was chaired by the ERB President Ms Elin Petersson from Region Blekinge.
ERB Executive Board Members approved the election of Ms Elin Petersson to the function of ERB President and welcomed the new Chair. Ms Petersson addressed the ERB Board Members underlying the importance of continuation of good cooperation in the spirit of mutual trust and goodwill.
ERB Board members discussed the status of current IPS work and activities, results of the meetings of the Conference on the Future of Europe Working Group meetings and agreed on the next steps taken individually by the ERB Member regions related to the CoFoE.
ERB VicePresident, Mr Gustaw Marek Brzezin invited the Board members to the next meeting in March 2022 in Olsztyn, Poland. In 2022 Warmia i Mazury Region will lead the ERB cooperation.
On 17th December representatives of all project partners coming from Sweden, Poland, Estonia and Russia met to discuss the upcoming project activities foreseen for the beginning of 2022. Euroregion Baltic was represented by our expert – Krystyna Wróblewska.
Creative Waves – Women Sisterhood for Change project.
Empowering women in the Baltic Sea Region by meeting traditional crafts, local traditions and customs etc with the digital modern world and its demands for change is our goal. Women active in knitting, weaving, storytelling, herb gathering or traditional cooking gather online with creative and digital women experts to get more confidence, show their achievements and learn about the digital world and tools to help them function in the COVID times and beyond. They also meet at international events (online and in flesh) to exchange experience, learn, even more, look together for Baltic traditions and identity. Hopefully in arranging the events while implementing the project its partners will bring together more experienced women and the youth as well as migrant women – to enrich the exchange and help participants be more rooted, open and self-assured. The project is also to help learn about and implement EU key policies like EU Green Deal, European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The project partners under the leadership of Intercult Productions in Stockholm are: Baltic Sea Culture Centre in Gdańsk, Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic, Estonian Women’s Studies and Resource Centre (ENUT) and a team of women activists from Kaliningrad Oblast. The project lasting from September 2021 to September 2022 is co-finessed by the Council of the Baltic Sea States Small Project Facility
Funded by the CBSS Small Project Facility
Baltic Sea Youth Platform is
an Erasmus+ Programme project aiming at empowering youth and fostering actual
participation in decisions and policy-making in the Baltic Sea Region. It started
on February 1st 2020 and was prolonged from August 2022 until December 2022. Despite
many difficulties and inconveniences caused by the pandemic, the project
partnership supported and got involved in many significant youth-oriented
initiatives throughout the past year, thus promoting the idea of BSYP.
In 2021 project partners
meetings were held online every two weeks, which contributed to building strong
engagement and developing new initiatives and great ideas for further
On March 1st, BSYP conducted
the Youth Forum within the 2nd EU Macro Regional Strategies week
hosted by DG REGIO. Julia Orluk, ERB’s Youth Board former Chairwoman, who’s
been engaged in the BSYP project from its’ very beginning, was among the
panellists of the bottom-up session
to empower the participation of Youth and Civil Society Organisations in MRS.
In March 2021, the First Interim Report for the Baltic Sea Youth Platform Erasmus+ project was submitted and approved by the Swedish Agency.
In April, the BSYP project
participated in two youth-oriented events:
BSSSC Youth Network on April 14th and Digital Youth Workshop on Green
and Social entrepreneurship co-organized with Youth4Nature.
May 2021 was another busy
month for BSYP. On May 6th BSYP became a part of a youth panel during a CBSS
trafficking conference focusing on human trafficking during the digital era. The
meeting was co-organized by TH-TFB and the 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 the Baltic Sea region
came up with great ideas that evaluated 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 were discussed with
experts from EU Parliament.
On June 22nd, all BSYP project
partners and associated partners joined Partnership Day to work on the platform
vision with ACTER experts. 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 matters connected to the external report.
August 2021 was also filled
with extraordinary events dedicated to Youth, and the BSYP project was proud to
be a part of them. Starting up with 41st Hanseatic Days days on 19th
-21st August, a hybrid event taking place in Riga and online. Among
others, the program included the “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 interactively.
On 28th – 31st
August, BSYP joined the ReGeneration Week 2021 – a hybrid event, where people
participated 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 for 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 August 29th, 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 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 gain insight into international parliamentary cooperation.
Furthermore, BSYP was an
active participant at the EUSBSR Annual Forum 2021. On September 30th, CBSS
organized a panel discussion on Empowering Youth for Green Entrepreneurship,
which became a platform for 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 also had an opportunity to
discuss how to improve the status quo regarding financial mechanisms and
accessibility and provide a more supportive environment for young people to
start their businesses in the BSR. The last day of the Forum was entirely dedicated
to youth issues. Participants joined a 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, held between 4th-28th November, consisted of three
lectures on the following topics: Safe & Secure Region, Sustainable &
Prosperous Region and Regional Identity. All participants of the lectures had
an exciting opportunity to dialogue with experts from the region. The
discussion was followed by two activities: a cross country assignment and a
learning diary. Each activity’s best creative entries were later awarded during
the online ceremony on December 11th 2021.
On November 1st, the Baltic Sea Youth Platform partnership
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 taking 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 November 23rd, CBSS
presented the BSYP during the “Connecting minds across the ages” side
event at 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 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 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 ended. The document is an internal document of the CBSS to continue the discussions on the institutionalization of the BSYP. It was meant to start a debate amongst the CBSS Member States on how financial support of the BSYP could look like after the Erasmus+ Project ends. On November 23rd, the CSO met and discussed the BSYP Vision Beyond 2022 proposal and how to move on with the BSYP.
JOIN US TO INNOVATE THE FUTURE IN BLUE INNOVATION!
19 January 2022 – SAVE THE DATE!
We host an interactive seminar aiming to find possible collaboration partners with organisations, companies and other stakeholders. We would like to present Blekinge as a platform and a living lab for creating innovative solutions to restore the world’s oceans and waters. We discuss the mission strategy of Blekinge, and dig deeper into the areas of blue innovation that support the EU Mission.
You will meet: Erika Augustinsson – Innovation Strategist at Region Blekinge Andreas Larsson – Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Blekinge Institute of Technology Lennart Johansson – Business Developer Maritime Technology at Blue Science Park Tamara Carleton – Researcher at Blekinge Institute of Technology with an emphasis on Global Technological Innovation.
You are welcome to chat with us during the live seminar.
Blekinge has as many rural areas, struggled with an image of being a small and remote region, away from urbanism and financial muscles. We do have a great surrounding nature, a beautiful archipelago and some very future oriented people, companies and organisations, so we thought, why not turn it around?
What if our size, remoteness and our closeness to nature actually could be an advantage? This is where the road towards becoming a region on a mission started. To work with mission oriented innovation we have to start with a system approach to map out the connectivity to our mutual goal. And our small size is also an asset when we move into an innovation development that emphasizes design and experiments a lot more.
Our goal is to be a European demo-region in this field- so that our know how and methods can replicate to other regions and really make an impact. And we want to invite other stakeholders all over the world to join us.
The European Youth Capital (EYC) is a title awarded by the European Youth Forum designed to empower young people, boost youth participation and strengthen European identity.
Each year, a new European city is given the chance to showcase its innovative ideas, projects and activities that aim to raise up young voices and bring a new youth perspective to all aspects of city life.
Do you think your city has what it takes?
Here is your chance, as we are launching the call for applications to be the European Youth Capital 2025.
The EYC titlewill be awarded for the 17th time in 2025.
The first Capital was Rotterdam in 2009, and the last awarded city was Ghent, which will be European Youth Capital in 2024.
Why should a municipality apply to be the next European Youth Capital?
Young people must have an equal opportunity to shape the social, economic and political life in their community. They bring fresh ideas, they rejuvenate local democracy, and their contributions benefit all of the city’s residents. The European Youth Capital project supports both young people and the city to open up these possibilities and lead the way for other European municipalities to follow.
Around the year of the European Youth Capital, the winning city engages young people and celebrates their contributions to urban life. The title allows the city to showcase its commitments and engage residents in inclusive co-creation. It leads to stronger support for youth and their rights, and it improves connection with other European cities which prioritise their young residents.
The application process itself is also an opportunity for municipalities and youth organisations to work together, discuss youth priorities, and receive feedback from an expert group on their proposals.
Public Transport Interconnecting Sustainable Tourism Routes and destinations in the SB area
The project idea springs from the recently finalized Interreg South Baltic project Interconnect. That project resulted in an established network for cross-border public transport (PT) planning as well as developed user-friendly tools for cross-border travel by PT. The network identified the potential to apply PT project result on the sustainable tourism business, with focus on rural areas since the lack of a holistic view on sustainable public transport planning applied on the tourism sector was identified as a problem hampering development.
The aim of this project is to prepare for an Action Plan for a cross-sectoral committed partnership focusing on seamless cross-border public transport applied to the tourism sector. The project will prepare an extended project application for final implementation where funding from Interreg South Baltic programme is of certain interest.
The project involves six partners with Region Blekinge (SE) as coordinating part together with Blekinge Institute of Technology (SE), Innobaltica (PL), The Association of Sea Cities and Municipalities (PL), Association of Klaipėda region municipalities (LT), Тhe State Enterprise of the Kaliningrad region “Avtovokzal” (RU). The partnership is integrated in the political platform Euroregion Baltic, with Region Blekinge assigned to lead mobility core issues. a.
Total budget 489 TSEK part financed by Seed Funding from Swedish Institute for Baltic Sea Cooperation
The project will for example use workshops for demonstration of already developed tools, create technical roadmaps for system development, organize stakeholder seminars with tourism sector and define a vision for the planned solution.
We have a pleasure to announce that Blekinge Region, which currently holds the Presidency in Euroregion Baltic has appointed Ms Elin Petersson, Chair of Regional Development Board in Blekinge Region, as the new president of Euroregion Baltic.
Elin has a long experience in political engagement within local and regional development. She has also a long history of participating in the ERB cooperation, being elected as a Euroregion Baltic Youth Board member already in 2013. Elin is looking forward to using the Blekinge presidency to reinforce the member regions capacity in using EU funds for common regional challenges and opportunities in the work with the South Baltic water management, mobility between our regions as well as youth issues.
International Digital Innovation Camp has been organized online from 15-17th of November 2021 for young people from Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, and Norway to design and validate social entrepreneurship ideas designed by youth for solving specific challenges – loneliness and social isolation of people. The event has been scheduled for three days to introduce participants to the challenge and the context of their work, initiate brainstorming and idea conceptualization in national groups, engage mentors to provide feedback, develop their own presentation and present the solutions developed by young people.
The results were more than AMAZING! <3
So what exactly has happened?
Day 1 (16.11.2021)
The event has started with the short intro from the Digital Innovation Camp organizer, Tharald Lundvall from Junior Achievement Norway. An energizer activity was organized by Even Fjellestad from UiA CoLAB.
Mini-lecture was held by Chief architect, town planner, and co-housing idea enthusiast Michael Fuller Gee. He has introduced young people to the problems different society groups face today and the ways in which mindful city planning might solve them. He has spoken about the problem of loneliness and the inability to connect socially for those, who live alone. These problem has been clearly showcased by the Covid-19 pandemics and the rising numbers of depressions and suicides detected. There are different reasons for the single-person household trend and each case is individual. However in the future when there are twice more seniors as we have now, the consequences might not be beneficial, especially for those being unable to move on a long-distance or receive healthcare or other services due to living in distant places and having no support around.
Therefore Michael Fuller Gee has introduced his concept of co-housing and its’ principle’s implementation in the city design as a solution to the emergent problem. Co-housing allows to build communities around the living spaces and combat the feeling of isolation and loneliness among very distinct social groups and even within them. This introduction helped Innovation Camp participants to become more aware of the relation between city planning and the emotional state of its inhabitants.
After the presentation, participants were provided with information on the context of their work. Due to the Covid restrictions and inability to meet in Kristiansand, Norway (initially planned Innovation Camp destination), the video was compiled to show around the Kristiansand and the specific venue – the Kings Center in Kristiansand. The center is an old building being restored to transform it into a co-housing for the elderly, youth, and people with physical disabilities under the same roof. Kings Center has been introduced as an object and the basis for the projects developed by Innovation Camp participants.
Later participants were divided into national groups to work on one of the assignments proposed. They were supposed to design activities and services (e.g. care services, social activities, business activities) that make the co-housing centre an attractive place to live in for:
people with physical disabilities, or
Also, participants were supposed to explain how can their planned solutions be implemented/organized and carried out jointly by the inhabitants.
In national teams, young people started designing their ideas and discussing the possibilities.
Day 2 (16.11.2021)
During Day 2, national teams have continued to work on their project ideas. Each team had a chance to present their draft ideas to the mentors and receive feedback for improvements. Teams have discussed the variety of ideas with mentors from Norway, Denmark and Latvia, and chosen the ones with the highest potential. After consultancy with mentors and within the teams, participants were able to conceptualize the presentations of their developed solution.
Day 3 (17.11.2021)
On Day 3, all teams made their final touches to the presentations and presented their project ideas to the jury and Innovation Camp participants. The final presentations included one team from Latvia, one team from Lithuania, 2 teams from Poland, and 2 teams from Norway. Participants were assessed by the Jury based on the following evaluation criteria: Answering the assignment, Creativity, Feasibility, and Presentation quality.
On behalf of the INDIGISE project network, we applaud and congratulate all three winning teams of the Digital Innovation Camp – Team Poland (1st place), Team Lithuania and Team Latvia (shared 2nd place).
So, what solutions have been developed to ensure the King’s Center co-housing concept succeeds in delivering an inclusive social environment and emotional wellbeing to its inhabitants – youth, people with physical disabilities and youth?
Six teams of young people from Lithuania, Poland, Norway and Latvia have proposed the solutions, that has the potential to improve seniors’, youth’s and disabled peoples’ physical activity and emotional state indoors and outdoors, pointing out the opportunities to place training stations and areas around the King’s center in Kristiansand. The team from Latvia has even introduced the concept of E-sports Academy for seniors, focusing on seniors-customized and ergonomic video gaming and quality leisure time together with young gamers in a cohousing. Other ideas have introduced different concepts of spending time in a community environment by crafting and doing arts together, preparing food and sharing cafe areas, designing common communication platforms and motivation systems of volunteer and other stakeholder engagement in community life. Community gardening has also been chosen by several teams as a great idea to be introduced in a King’s community center to combat isolation, loneliness and improve life quality.
(pictures from the presentation of Innovation Camp participants – presented by the teams from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Norway)
The event has been developed under the INDIGISE project funded by the Erasmus+ programme. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the project coordinator and may not always reflect the views of the European Commission or the National Agency.
The launch of the “SI Baltic Sea Sessions – sharing results, shaping the region” on 8 November 2021 is approaching. Don’t forget to register before noon on 8 November.
The SI Baltic Sea Sessions is a new digital initiative in which we explore results and lessons learnt through projects and programmes funded by the Swedish Institute in the Baltic Sea region. We also explore how the collaborations can be expanded and used as a basis for further funding and ultimately future solutions in the region.
The Swedish Institute plans to arrange four sessions yearly on various topics linked to the development of the Baltic Sea region. Each session deals with a specific topic and showcases projects and initiatives that have contributed to the progress and sustainability of the region. Projects or activities that are presented can involve all SI’s 15 programme countries.
At the launch on 8 November, we will present the initiative SI Baltic Sea Sessions and give a brief overview of the support provided by SI. We will also present examples of successful cooperation built on support from the Swedish Institute which resulted in further EU funding and long-term collaborations.