Save the Baltic Sea for real

EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region enabling progress – but is it enough?

Hand in hand with the Informal Baltic Sea Group in the European Parliament, the EUSBSR and the Baltic Sea Commission of the CPMR, SEARICA will organise a discussion on how to save the Baltic Sea just after summer break.

Hazardous substances such as chemical contamination and plastics still pose big threats in the Baltic Sea Area. The EU-Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region has brought together stakeholders that have achieved progress in the last nine years. Is this progress sufficient? We want to update you on the ongoing activities and results from projects in the Baltic Sea Area and initiate a policy discussion and prepare policy recommendations for the future. Our aim is to develop a closer dialogue with relevant bodies and actors in Brussels, especially the European Parliament as the initiator of the first EU macro-regional strategy and convey relevant results and recommendations to the policy level.

The event will take place the 5th of September 2018 from 09.00-12.00 am in Brussels, in  the building of European Parliament. The agenda of the event is available here.

You can register for the event by following this link:http://www.searica.eu/en/events/conferences/save-the-baltic-sea-for-real

ERB in the Annual South Baltic Conference

What a fantastic 2 days in Klaipeda for ERB Delegation, attending the Annual South Baltic Conference Unlocking the potential for blue and Green Growth. The conference was held in Klaipeda, Lithuania the dates 23-24 of May 2018 and it was a valuable experience for the team of Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic, consisting of Sebastian Magier, Malgorzata Samusjew, Agata Ludwiczak, Valentina Scandola and Andreas Karadakis.

The Annual Event of the Programme was dedicated to mark the successful implementation of the Programme and to present to the public the most important and interesting joint projects of the Western part of Lithuania and other regions of participating countries – Denmark, Poland, Sweden and Germany.  Every year, this event takes place in another South Baltic region’s country participating in the Programme.

The opening session was marvellous. The Mayor of Klaipeda welcomed the participants and Anne Thomas, Head of Euroregion Baltic Executive Board gave an inspirational speech, stressing out the importance of working together for common goals.

On the first day the participants of the Event discussed the progress of the Programme and the future prospects of the South Baltic region after 2020. The thematic areas of the event were: sustainable tourism, transport, green technology promotion in the region, increase of the qualification and cooperation skills of employees, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.

Participants of the Event had also the opportunity to take part in the boat tour and see closer a project co-financed by the Interreg South Baltic Programme – the LNG terminal. Another group of participants cycled to the sites of projects that are being implemented in the city of Klaipeda.

During the second day participants were given the chance to attend parallel sessions about 1)communication and dissemination project strategies and 2) clustering of projects.

European and INTERREG projects bring about a positive change in the life of European Citizens and the local communities. During the communication and dissemination session it was stressed that besides good intentions and actions, is equally important for those involved in European projects to effectively communicate and spread the project results and success stories. Also, they were presented efficient communication strategies and more “ catchy tactics to draw the attention of the widen public. 

The session for clustering of projects was very constructive as well! Project clustering across different priorities could provide additional benefits when the results are linked into add value chain – said Arturas Razinkovas-Baziukas, Moderator on project clustering workshop. 

An example of project clustering that was presented as good practice during this session is the cooperation of 2 projects managed form the Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic; CaSYPoT (Capacity Building for Strategic Youth Policy and Transnational Cooperation) and SB YCGN ( South Baltic Youth Core Groups Network). SB YCGN project, sharing similar goals and values with CaSYPoT, is meant of using the survey tool that was developed for the latter to conduct another research that will be finally compared to CaSYPoT’s results. SB YCGN aims to increase capacity building of local actors working with youth, demonstrating the benefits of soft cross border cooperation in solving youth issues. Clustering of CaSYPoT project with GaYa project is worth to be mentioned too. GaYa aims to increase the quality of democratic processes in the Alpine space by enhancing the involvement of young people. The stakeholders of the 2 projects met and exchanged views and insights from their projects providing valuable feedback to each other.

 Green Transport Session had a special interest for Euroregion Baltic since the organization is a partner of INTERCONNECT project. During the workshop it was underlined the importance for the stakeholders in the Baltic Sea to search for good practises and innovation in European (public) transport and especially in other INTERREG projects. Also there was a reflection of the Ten T-days Conference for Sustainable Transport that was held in Ljubljana and the projects that were showcased there. Synergies and cross border cooperation are essential elements in order to be developed a joint integration vision for the European regions and to show the benefits of better connectivity to European Citizens. Last, It was emphasised that the goal of one ticket system for various means of transport across Europe should be a priority.

 ERB delegation is back in base full of priceless information and experiences, more wise and nuanced, committed to continue working for the achievement of the common goals in the South Baltic towards the prosperity of the region.

Interreg South Baltic Annual Event
Interreg South Baltic Annual Event
Copyright: INTERREG South Baltic
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Batlic Sea Tourism Centre new website

We are very happy to announce that the Baltic Sea Tourism Center (BSTC) has now online presence at www.bstc.eu. The Baltic Sea Tourism Center is a permanent center of expertise for improved communication and cooperation in tourism in the Baltic Sea Region.

The website addresses the BSTC network as well as political decision makers, institutions, destination management organisations, other Interreg projects etc,on national and regional levels.

Apart from presenting information about the BSTC project itself, the website highlights the future BSTC’s core competencies – partnerships, insights, and skills. The BSTF as well as further events and the latest news will be updated regularly. The current website version will be filled with more content in the course of the next months.

 

 

“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.

» Read more

South Baltic Programme approves 10 new projects

During the last month meeting of the Monitoring Committee of the Interreg South Baltic Programme taking place on Bornholm, the Committee decided to approve 10 new projects for funding.

The following project were approved:

Specific Objective 2.1. Increased development of the South Baltic area’s natural and cultural heritage assets into sustainable tourist destinations

  • ArcheoBalt – Laying fixed foundations for innovative Archeotourism – a new “green” Archeoroute in the Southern Baltic Sea Region
  • SB WELL – Wellbeing Tourism for the South Baltic Region – Guidelines for best practices and Promotion
  • SOUTH BALTIC MANORS – Valorisation of manors for tourism development in rural areas of the South Baltic area

Specific Objective 2.2. Increased use of green technologies in order to decrease the pollution discharges in the South Baltic area

  • COASTAL Biogas – Cluster On Anaerobic digestion, environmental Services and NuTrients removAL
  • WASTEMAN – Integrated Sustainable Waste Management Systems decreasing pollution discharges in the South Baltic area

Specific Objective 3. Improve the quality and environmental sustainability of transport services in the South Baltic area

  • Connect2SmallPorts – South Baltic Small Ports as Gateways towards Integrated Sustainable European Transport System and Blue Growth by Smart Connectivity Solutions
  • INCONE60 – Inland Blue Transport Connector E60
  • PARKING GETS SMART – Improved & digitalised parking management as tool to foster green and multimodal transport in the South Baltic area

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

  • BFA – BALTIC FOR ALL
  • SB BRIDGE – building bridges for green-tech future

 

The resources from the European Regional Development Fund to be allocated to these projects amount to 15 066 852,69 EUR (19% of the Programme financial capacity).

The Monitoring Committee decided also to open the 6th call for proposals from 1 October until 18 December 2018 for the Specific Objectives: 2.2, 3, 4 and 5.

Please visit the Programme’s website for more detailed information about the results of the call.

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

2nd ENCATC Capacity Building Days and Youth in Action Day

Are you up for an exciting opportunity? European Projects Association is inviting students, teachers and early career professionals from across Europe and beyond to participate in the 2nd ENCATC Capacity Building Days and Youth in Action Day organized by ENCATC (European network on cultural management and policy) on 17-19th May in Prague, CZ.

During the three day course, participants will gain knowledge in:

  • European programmes impacting the cultural and creative sector and cultural heritage
  • Innovative practices on cultural management and policy
  • EU policy development
  • Funding opportunities for the cultural sector

This event will be a unique opportunity for participants to learn more about activities planned by the EU, Member States and cultural operators in the framework of this year, as well about funding opportunities and innovative projects.

Registration closes on 13th May! For free registration and event details open the following link: REGISTRATION

Video contest: innovations in the South Baltic region

Are you up for an exciting opportunity? The South Baltic Programme invites the South Baltic Region’s 16-20 years old high school senior and university students (individuals or groups) to participate in a video contest producing a short film (up to 3 minutes) on these topics:

  • Sustainable Tourism
  • Green Technologies
  • Sustainable Transport

The aim of the contest is to promote South Baltic Programme’s projects, innovative solutions, opportunities for improvement linked with these themes, and helping to tackle potential issues, obstacles, lacks. The deadline for the participants to send their video is the 14th of May , 2018 (23:59). 5 winners will be awarded with attractive prizes!! For more information visit the website of South Baltic Programme: https://southbaltic.eu/-/video-contest-innovations-in-the-south-baltic-region

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