17 year-old Sebastian Bloch Jensen from Gudhjem on Bornholm has been elected today as the Bornholm representative to the ERB Youth Board, to be established in connection with the ERB Council meeting on 6 December 2007 in Gdansk (See the photo: Sebastian Bloch Jensen).
Sebastian is a student at the Bornholm Grammar School, and participated in the ERB Youth Conference organised in April 2007 in Elblag, Poland. He was elected at a public meeting organised by Europe Direct Bornholm during which more than 20 participants were informed about the EU “Active Youth” programme, the European Voluntary Service component for young people and the youth activities taking place in Euroregion Baltic, Baltic Seven Islands and Four Corner Cooperation.
In its 2007-2008 Strategy the ERB Council decided to establish a Youth Board and all ERB member regions are expected to elect a young representative. At the nex ERB Council meeting the ERB Statutes is expected to be revised in order to fully integrate the Youth in the ERB decision-making structures.
The ERB Board have met today in Brussels at the premises of the Pomerania Region. Main focus was to prepare the ERB Council meeting on 6 December and the final Seagull II conference, both taking place in Gdansk.
At the Council meeting the Board will propose establishment of a Youth Board to become a permanent part of the ERB structure, to be fully integrated in the ERB decision-making structures and to have its own annual budget to co-finance joint youth activities.
Changes to the ERB Statutes were agreed in order to include the Youth Board, and at the same time the Board will propose the Council to approve an extension of the Board, allowing each ERB member region to be represented. One of the main arguments are that regions contributing to the joint budget should also be represented in the Board, which is responsible for the implementation of the budget.
2007 and 2008 budgets were approved and all member regions confirmed having accepted an increase of 15% of their membership fee as of 2008, due to inflation since 2004 when the current membership fee level was agreed.
Swedish gvernment has welcomed the initiatives by the European Parliament and the Council of the Baltic Sea States to work towards the development of a Baltic Sea Strategy with a view to its upcoming EU Presidency in the second half of 2009. To see the text, please go to Non-Paper
Monday 13th August 2007 the Water Forum organised a Water Seminar in Halltorps Gästgiveri on the Swedish island Öland, with the participation of around 60 representatives from the 8 member regions of Euroregion Baltic (ERB). Mr Bernt Johnsson, ERB President, and Mayor Roger Kaliff from the City of Kalmar, opened the seminar.
The coordinator of Water Forum, Ms Carolina Gunnarsson from Kalmar Region, then introduced the Water Forum network, the objectives, main actors, the core croup and current projects under development: Modern Water Management, Environmental adopted Farming and a study of climate change and its correlation to water issues.
Mr Boris Chubarenko, Head of Laboratory for Coastal System Study in Kaliningrad Region, presented the current situation and ongoing activities in the Kaliningrad Region, as for river basin management, databases, public awareness and participation.
Mr Niklas Holmgren from the Swedish Water Authority of the South Baltic Water Drainage Basin, presented the current activities as regards the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) in Sweden.
Finally, Ms Anna Thore from the LEADER+ Local Action Group “Kustlandet” in the northern part of Kalmar Region presented their activities and practical work with the coastal waters, fighting problems relating to pollution, the outflow of nutrients, poisoning algaes etc.
ERB Board met in Kalmar on 14th August 2007 on the Swedish island of Oland. The meeting followed the ERB Water Forum that took place the day before, gathering about 60 representatives of regional authorities, water management boards, experts and consultancies.
The Board discussed the implementation of the ERB Strategy for 2007 and 2008, including youth and financial aspects of the cooperation, as well as the status of the Seagull II project. Invitations were also announced to the international scientific-methodical Conference On Regional Problems conference in Klaipeda and the International Business Forum in Kaliningrad.
Following an internal debate, ERB Executive Board agreed on a joint position towards towards the European Commission Green Paper on a Future Maritime Policy for the European Union. Please, go to: Position Paper
Council of the Baltic Sea States adopted a declaration calling for the the development of the Baltic Sea Strategy. To see the text, please go to Declaration
Thursday 21 June 2007 from 11:00 CET: Core Group on-line meeting (Marratech system)
Friday 29 June 2007: Deadline for expression of interests to the first draft project distributed 7 June 2007
Monday 13 August 2007: Water Forum Core Group meeting and seminar in Kalmar Region, Sweden
Tuesday 14 August 2007: Project partner meeting in Kalmar Region, Sweden
ERB Board met in Vilnius following a two-day study visit to Lithuania, including meetings at the Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Vilnius, at Euroregio Sesupe Office in Siakai and at Euroregion Nemunas Office in Mariampole. For the minutes of the meeting, please go to: Minutes
Around 80 of the 120 participants at the ERB Youth Conference 20 April 2007 in Elblag were young people from the Danish, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian and Swedish regions in Euroregion Baltic (ERB). They were welcomed by Deputy Mayor Mr Artur Zielinski from City of Elblag, where the Conference took place in the restored Old Library. Marshal, Mr Jacek Protas welcomed on behalf of the Warmia-Mazury Region. ERB President Bernt Johnson introduced the ERB Executive Board and some of the national representatives, followed up by Mr Jan Marek Ziolkowski from the EU Representation in Warsaw, who introduced the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008.
The Active Youth and Lifelong Learning programmes 2007-2013 were presented, before the participants got a nice Polish lunch and then divided themselves into the three workshops focusing on 1) Environment, 2) Intercultural dialogue and 3) Democratic participation.
After three hours of hard work and a short closing session, the programme included a great evening dinner, music, dance etc.
Lot of aspects were discussed during the conference and especially in the workshops. The ERB Executive Board will now follow up at the next Board meeting to take place in Vilnius 2 June 2007. Vice President Per Ole Petersen in his closing speech indicated that a Youth Board will be established later this year, and will get a full mandate within the ERB Board and Council. A Youth weblog, representation in the 8 current ERB networks and lot of other ideas will now be discussed and concluded in the process to follow.
Photos from Eva-Lisa Ahnström, Europa Direkt Blekinge: Photos