Adventures of the ERB Ivy volunteers

Hi everyone!

Here are Milena and Danilo, two young Italian Ivy volunteers (lost) in Poland.

No, we didn’t know each other before and we are not doing the same project. Actually we don’t even live in the same city.

But last week there was a very interesting event in Gdansk, the “Communication Training for project manager”, organized by the South Baltic Interreg, and we have met there.

We couldn’t stop to talk about our different experiences:

I am an Interreg Project Partner the at International Permanent Secretariat Euroregion Baltic in Elblag, while Danilo is an Interreg Reporter at Joint Secretariat INTERREG SOUTH BALTIC PROGRAMME, in Gdansk.

What does it means?

Well, in few words, Danilo is mainly involved in communication and dissemination of information concerning INTERREG projects, cross-border cooperation and so on;

Regarding me,  instead, my tasks are more related to support and implement 2 INTERREG projects: CaSYPot, which aims is to find a common Youth Strategy among the Baltic Regions, and InterConnect, which focuses on new and more efficient public transport services.

Where do we live?

We are both in Poland; Danilo lives in Gdansk, one of the largest cities in Poland, on the Baltic Sea. It’s an international city, full of students, tourists and young people. There is a river that goes into the city centre, which reminds me of Navigli in Milano, just to give you an idea.

I live in Elblag, not far from Gdansk. Ok, we don’t have the sea, but we have beautiful parks and forests. When the weather is nice I go with my super-bike among trees and wild vegetation.

What’s next?

Honestly, we don’t know exactly, but for sure this experience has brought us a lot. We are both thinking of staying in Poland for the future, or maybe for a few years.

Danilo has even managed to learn a bit of Polish, which, believe me, is not easy at all!

We want to say thanks to IVY for this experience, thanks to Euroregion Baltic International Permanent Secretariat and Joint Secretariat Interreg South Baltic Programme to host us,

we are learning a lot from You, from the organizations and from the people are behind them.

Register for the IX Kaliningrad Partner Regions Forum (18-19 June 2019, Kaliningrad)

Our Partner Region invites all the ERB Members and Stakeholders to participate in the event organized by the Agency for Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation of the Kaliningrad Region – IX Partner Regions Forum in Kaliningrad, which will happen on 18-19th June.

The first Kaliningrad Partner Regions Forum was organized in the Kaliningrad Region in 2008. Thereafter this event became the annual one. The Forum is the international meeting providing the opportunity for the regional actors with a large number of participants to discuss international and international collaboration, gained experience and results of cooperation, consider new plans and propose new activities. The Forum is organized by the Government of the Kaliningrad Region.

You can download the programme below:

Traditionally the Forum hosts the representatives of Russian region, partner regions of the Kaliningrad Region, including the ones from Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, Germany, Belorussia, also the Government of the Kaliningrad Region invites the representatives of the Federal Ministries of the Russian Federation, the Republic of Poland and the Republic of Lithuania. Annually the Forum gathers about 300 participants.

The actual topics of common development are discussed at the Forum round tables, over the years the different issues of entrepreneurship, tourism, ecology etc. have been discussed. It has been already become a good tradition to discuss international programs and projects within the Forum. Typically this round table enjoys popularity among the Forum participants.

The additional formal events often are organized on the sidelines of the Forum, e.g. signing of documents on international and interregional cooperation. Also the meetings of the Joint Monitoring Committee of the Program Lithuania-Poland-Russia 2007-2013, the meetings of the Joint Programming Committee of the Program Poland-Russia 2014-2020 took place on the sidelines of the Forum.

IX Kaliningrad Partner Regions Forum will be organized in Kaliningrad on June 18-19, 2019 in the conference halls of the Hotel Radisson (Pobedy sq., 10). The opening session will start at 10.00 a.m. on June 18. Information on the conference halls can be found in the Forum program and at the registration desk.

The Agency for Agency for Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation of the Kaliningrad Region organizing this Forum recommends the participants to book the room in the hotels:

Crystal House :сайт(promocode FORUM)
Radisson : link
Mercure: link
Kaliningrad : link

Moskva : link

The participants of the Forum can also book the rooms in other hotels.

Contacts In case of question, please contact us by telephone +7 (4012)599-261 or e-mail:  


On the 13th and 14th of May CaSYPoT final conference and Euroregion Baltic Forum of Stakeholders was held in Kalmar (Sweden). Approximately 100 participants from all Euroregion Baltic regions including CaSYPoT project partners from Poland, Lithuania, Sweden and Russia had the opportunity to meet and discuss the results of CaSYPoT project. The conference gathered also several youth participants who took the floor to explain the reasons behind answers from the CaSYPoT survey and discussed how the project has influenced youth situation in their home towns.

The conference started with the presentation of the international results of the CaSYPoT survey by representatives of Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University and Klaipeda University. These results were used as basis for project activities, such as development of youth strategies and implementation of tools for better dialogue with youth.

The conference continued with several sessions devoted to spreading CaSYPoT project results:

  • Local youth strategies – from municipalities of Svetlogorsk (Russia), Slupsk (Poland), Emmaboda (Sweden) and an action plan from Klaipeda (Lithuania)
  • Euroregion Baltic Youth Strategy,
  • Tools for dialogue with youth,
  • Capacity building process in CaSYPoT
  • New youth project ideas

As well as sharing good examples of work with youth participation and youth issues from Euroregion Baltic area and beyond, such as:

Participants had also the opportunity to get to know local examples from Kalmar municipality during study visits to two youth clubs: UNIK and Funkabo gender smart youth club.

Representatives of Youth discussed together with adults and experts the results emerging from the survey, as the political interest, leisure time, health, schools, trust and safety. Young people said that opportunities and projects for youngsters are not well known, in all the cities. They feel the need of a stronger dissemination through different channels, better adjusted to reach youth.

On the last day of the conference organised were the Euroregion Baltic Board meeting and partner meetings of CaSYPoT and YCGN projects. During this session CaSYPoT project partners jointly evaluated the project work as a summary of 3 years of cooperation.

This conference was also the occasion to think about the future. Ms Agata Ludwiczak and Mr Marcin Zuchowski from Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic coordinated a workshop devoted to developing a following-up project focusing on youth participation based on achievements of CaSYPoT and SB YCGN projects. All participants were invited to give ideas for the topic of a new project, which application is planned for this autumn.

Register until 30th May for the 10th EUSBSR Annual Forum in Gdańsk!

Please use this link to register:

The main topic of this year’s Forum is Circular and sharing economy as an answer to demographic changes and environmental challenges in the Baltic Sea Region.

The programme for the two-day event includes 19 seminars on a wide range of topics that support the thematic focus of the Forum. During the seminars, you will be able to see the potential for the development of the Circular Economy in the Baltic Sea Region in areas such as food, health, tourism, transport, cities, bioeconomy, industry, education, migrants, labour market and demography.

The Forum also offers the opportunity to participate in the Networking Village where participants can have a direct contact with those responsible for the work of EUSBSR.

Please follow the Forum’s website and see you in Gdansk!

And make sure you watch the clip inviting you to the Forum!

UMBRELLA & EUSBSR HA Capacity joint event – Participation Day in Gdańsk!

Dear friends of the Baltic Sea Region,

The successful collaboration between organizations and people in the Baltic Sea Region requires broadest possible mobilization and participation of stakeholders in all respective countries. European Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) requires strong bottom-up participation and a sense of “ownership” by various stakeholders. This applies to both policy shaping and practical implementation.

The participation of citizens and organizations at all governance levels, across sectors and across all borders is a prerequisite for the positive development of cooperation within the EU and an important part of the EU’s cohesion policy. Like previous years, even this year´s Participation Day is arranged In connection with the Annual Forum.

The Participation Day is an important opportunity for new stakeholders to get in touch with the cooperation within the EU and to meet colleagues who already have experience of EU cooperation in the Baltic Sea region.

Participation Day is a kind of marketplace where stakeholders can present their ideas, get feedback and guidance from the policy community enabling new stakeholders to participate in the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. Our aim is to reduce the step into the Strategy, making our guiding principle with multi-level governance and cross-sectorial cooperation a reality. We invite representatives of EUSBSR stakeholders, such as local and regional authorities, civil society organisations, academia, business and media, to the Participation Day in Gdansk.


This year’s Participation Day focuses on four thematic areas

• Innovations for a circular and socially coherent economy

• Urban mobility – smart and sustainable

• Antimicrobial resistance and pharmaceuticals in the Baltic Sea Region environment

• Competence supply.

The UMBRELLA project team and HA Capacity as the organisers will do their best to ensure that as many different organisations/networks as possible can attend and present their proposals and views. You are therefore also invited to present in advance short, concise and concrete project proposals, concepts or ideas about the themes of the Participation Day.

Come and join us on 11th June in Gdańsk!

New Interreg South Baltic projects have been selected for funding

As a result of the 6th call for proposals, 9 projects have been selected for funding by the Monitoring Committee (MC) of the Interreg South Baltic Programme 2014-2020. On 15th and 16th May 2019 in Palanga (Lithuania), the delegates selected for funding the following projects:
Specific Objective 2.2. Increased use of green technologies in order to decrease the pollution discharges in the South Baltic area
•    BSAM ¬ Baltic Smart Asset Management
•    Liquid Energy – Liquefied (bio-)gas as a driving force for development and use of green energy technology
•    WISA – Water Innovation System Amplifier
•    BAPR – Baltic Phytoremediation

Specific Objective 3. Improve the quality and environmental sustainability of transport services in the South Baltic area
•    Secmar – Secure Digitalisation for Sustainable Maritime Transport

Specific Objective 4. Increase the share of skilled labour force working in blue and green economy sectors of the South Baltic area through joint cross-border actions
•    JOHANNA – Joint staff Qualification in SB Destinations to increase the skilled workforce in the SBS and by that ensure a sustainable SCS development in the SBS
•    AquaVIP – Aquaculture Virtual career development Platform for the South Baltic region

Specific Objective 5. Improve the cooperation capacity of local South Baltic area actors through participation in cross-border networks
•    CROSSROADS – Crossroads in History
•    South Baltic Creative Clusters – Initiating a network of interacting creative clusters in the SB Region

The total eligible budget of the 6th call project selected for funding by the Monitoring Committee is 10 695 451,50 EUR.

We are especially proud, that the CROSSROADS project received the funding, as it was one of our #UMBRELLA project beneficiaries, who received our support via microactivity and further expert help while preparing the application.

 The Minutes of the 7th Monitoring Committee meeting of the Interreg South Baltic Programme 2014-2020 (pdf) 223.0 KB

Photo from the Interreg South Baltic official website

Baltic Sea Youth 2030 meeting in Gdańsk

On the 6th and 7th of May the Baltic Sea Youth 2030 meeting took place in Gdansk.

Several Youth organizations have contributed and young people have had the opportunity to build the future plan together with experts  on youth and cooperation.

ERB was present, along with CBSS, BSSSC, ERB, Latvian Youth Council, Swedish Youth, Council, Leontief Centre, Nordisk Institute på Åland/Ålands Natur och Milljö, ReGeneration 2030, International Cooperation Burau at the Office of the Marshal of the Pomorskie Voivodeship, Morena Association, as well as LSU and  LJP representatives who joined online.

It was a crucial meeting to start a more systematic process of coordination amoung youth in the Baltic Sea Regions, to share with all the participants what has been done so far and  which steps to be taken for the future.

The topics discussed focused on the practical instruments to engage young people and to improve communication between youth organizations.

Young people underlined the real need to have the opportunity to meet several times a year, in addition to online meetings, to build a strong cooperation within the Baltic Sea Regions.

The wokshop on the second day, brought some real ideas for the possibilities and applications that youth can catch in the frame of Erasmus + program. Thanks to the experts present, youth have started to draw the initial ideas that will be developed in the future.

Young people are planning to create a video and a letter for all organizations, politicians and adults who can and want to actively contribute, in order to ask their support.

Let’s make our voice heard!

Text by our IVY volunteer – Milena Pallotta


How are young people’s lives in 6 different municipalities of the Baltic Sea Region like? What are the similarities and differences and how can the data collected through the CaSYPoT project be used to inform further activities and youth strategies?

Young people from Klaipeda in Lithuania, Słupsk and Bartoszyce in Poland, Svetlogorsk and Gusev in Russia and Emmaboda in Sweden participated in the CaSYPoT survey, one of the most important surveys ever done on the youth situation in the Baltic Sea Region! A short summary of the results will be presented during CaSYPoT project’s final conference in Kalmar from 13-14.05.2019!!

The registration for the CaSYPoT final conference and the ERB Forum of Stakeholders on 13-14.05.2019 in Kalmar is finally OPEN!

Deadline : 26.04.2019 !!

For further information and travel advice, please contact Ms Zofia Makowska, Project Manager CaSYPoT!

BSLF Round Table and CBSS/BSLF Cooperation Group Meeting

(18-19 March 2019, Hamburg)

On the 18th and 19th of March, the kick off meeting by Baltic Sea Labour Forum (BSLF) for Sustainable Working Life (SWL) took place.
The European Social Fund has granted the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) 800,000 Euro for this project, whose aim is to improve working life conditions and life-long learning provisions,as well as systems and policies for elderly, in order to promote active ageing and employability.

Ms Agata Ludwiczak, Deputy Head of International Permanent Secretariat from Euroregion Baltic, took part in this event as Observer, together with the other participants from different organisations namely:

From Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference: Bahr Bodo;

from NORDMETALL, Germany: Bauch Anton, Manzke Hans;

from Norden Association in Sweden, Sweden: Bergstrom Anders, Klonova Anastasia;

from Council of the Baltic Sea States: Akhutina Daria, Hemingway Bernd;

from European Social Fund Agency: Krutulyte Viktorija;

from Confederation of Danish Employees: Miβ lbeck-Winberg Christiane;

from Swedish Riksdag / BSPC, Sweden: Niemi Pyry;

from Nordic Council of Minister: Oldgard Jens;

from DGB Bezirk Nord, Germany: Hessler Siglinde, Polkaehn Uwe;

from Employers’ Confederation of Latvia (LDDK): Pumpins Janis;

from European Social Fund Project, Council of the Baltic Sea States: Fry Somers, Råbergh Christian;

from Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation (LPSK): Ruginiene Inga;

from Ministry of Social Affairs and Heaalth, Work and Gender Equality, Finland: Hämäläinen Päivi, Sauni Riitta;

from German Bundestag: Schraps Johannes;

from Max Planc Institute for Demographic Research, Germany: Edel Andreas;

from Lewiathan Confederation of Employers, Poland: Buchholtz Sonia;

from EUSBSR PA Education, Germany: Hahn Sabine;

from REM consult, Germany: Siemen Hauke;

from Council of Nordic Trade Union (NFS): Tabermann Jenny;

from Federal Service for Labour and Employment, Russia: Korchemkina Olga;

from Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Finland: Koivuneva Lippa;

from Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia (LBAS): Liepina Irena;

from Former German Bundestag member, BSLF founder, Germany: Thoennes Franz;

from Academy of Economics Schleswig-Holstein, Germany: Wagemester Hartwig.

Mr Hans Manzke and Dr. Anton Bauch from NORDMETALL and Mr Uwe Polkaehn and Ms Johannes Schraps on behalf of DGB Nord, welcomed all the guests and the meeting officially started. Ms Daria Akhutina presented a report on “current developments in the field of Labour and Employment: activities and ESF Project’BSLF for Sustainable Working Life”, followed by a report on the trade unions presented by Ms Irena Liepina.

The subsequent reports were presented by employer organisations from Poland, Denmark, Latvia and Russia.
Ms Sonia Buchholtz presented the Lewiatan Confederation, which is the largest employers’ organisation in Poland, with more than 4000 companies involved: “Our mission is to provide some business conditions and support the competitiveness of companies, focusing on stable economic growth, high quality legislation, jobs and social capital. In 2018 the annual GDP growth was over 5%. There is not a lack of demands, but a lack of skills workers. In Poland there are some policies for the elder citizens that change from one that emphasizes ecnomic activities, to one that emphasizes social activities; the work access for elder workers is low.”
Ms Sonia also spoke about the new retirement legislation, work and immigration.

Then Ms Christiane Miβ lbeck-Winberg, from the Confederation of Danish Employees, took the floor, talking about the current situation in Denmark: “In Denmark the percentage of unemployment is 3.8%. People come to Denmark from Romania, Germany and other European countries… on the one hand we need people to come to Europe, to come to Denmark to work, but on the other hand the nationalistic parties want to close down the Danish borders.”

Afterwards Mr Pumpins Janis, LDDK, talked about the issues in Latvia “One of the main problems in Latvia is the lack of a labour force, many people from Latvia emigrate to other countries. Latvia has the worst situation in all the EU cuntries because our population has decreased by 27% in recent years. Our priority as organization is to form labour force with competitiveness skills.”

Last but not least, Ms Olga Korchemkina, State Agency ROSTRUD, from Russia, emphasized the importance of the collaboration and cohesion between EU and Russia: “It is really interesting to see the different approaches that these two counries have, the problems are different and the approaches are different.”

In the afternoon, Bodo Bahr, Secretary General, BSPC presented the report “Norwegian priority for the next Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference”; which was followed by the analysis made by Ms Anastasia Klonova, Norden Association, titled “Youth Employment in light of the knowledge Platform Integrate young people in NEET situation”.
A discussion was initiated on “policy recommendations on behalf of BSLF focused on social policies in light of demographic change, labour market’s needs and active ageing”.

On the second day, 19th of March, the meeting was moderated by Ms Daria Akhutina, CBSS Senior Advisor. It started by illustrating Lithuania’s experience through the presentation of “ESF 54+ initiative”. Therefore Mr Hauke Siemen, REM consult, spoke about the outcomes from the implemented Interreg BSR projects ‘Best Agers’ and ‘Best Agers Lighthouses’, followed by Mr Anders Bergstrom, who presented the EUSBSR PA Education: “Way Forward”.

At the end of the meeting, Mr Somers Fry and Mr ChristianRåbergh underlined the role of the BSLF and BSLF/CBSS Cooperation Group on Labour.

On 12-13th June, BLSF will take part in the EUS BSR Annual Forum in Gdansk, Poland.

In the near future, the Lewiathan Confederation of Employers from Poland will be discussing their participation in the Baltic Sea Labour Forum.


“ Right of access to public information” SIA4Y WORKSHOP

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

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