An interesting year ahead for Interreg Baltic Sea Region. As underlined by Susanne Scherrer, Director of the Managing Authority/ Joint Secretariat, in the course of 2018 projects of the first call will deliver their main outputs, project platforms will pick up their work to maximise the effects of projects’ results and the vast majority of the Programme’s funds will be allocated to the third call project selection. From 5 October 2017 to 15 January 2018, Interreg Baltic Sea Region was accepting new project ideas for a more innovative, better accessible and sustainable Baltic Sea region in the third call for project applications. As many as 269 project idea forms have been submitted throughout this time period.
As for the Baltic Sea cooperation with Russia, the Financing Agreement between the Russian Federation and the European Commission has successfully been concluded and signed. A total of EUR 8.8 million of EU and Russian funding is now available to enable full participation of Russian partners in our cooperation projects and thus closes the circle of countries bordering the Baltic Sea. According to the Financing Agreement, the European Commission allocated EUR 4.4 million from the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) to Interreg Baltic Sea Region for Russian beneficiaries. In parallel, Russia earmarked EUR 4.4 million for the Programme budget. The funding rate for Russian partners is up to 85%. All funds will be implemented based on the same set of Programme rules.
At the same time, the foundation of Transnational Cooperation funding after 2020 is being laid. The document is a good opportunity to take a look at the role that Interreg transnational programmes actually play in the context of the EU’s cohesion policy and at the added value of transnational cooperation from the Baltic Sea region and across Europe.
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As CBSS aims at developing and fostering the concept of a belonging to the Baltic Sea Region through engagement, dialogue, people-to-people contacts, networks and multilevel governance, it has just released a call that put culture at the heart of Baltic Sea cooperation.
On February 14-16, Euroregion Baltic celebrated its 20th Anniversary during a 3 days long series of meetings and conferences hosted by ERB International Permanent Secretariat in Elbląg. The celebration, which saw the participation of nearly 150 guests representing delegations from Russia, Poland, Sweden, Denmark and Lithuania, was a good opportunity to take stock of the situation, capitalise the results achieved over the last 20 years and lay the foundation for a fruitful future cooperation.
On August 18-20 the ReGeneration 2030 Summit is going to be held on the Åland Islands (Denmark).
The summit – organised and led by numerous organisations and partners in the Nordic and Baltic Sea Region – is designed as a meeting place meeting place where the youth discuss and propose solutions to reach the UN sustainable development goals. During the summit, youth will take the lead in discussions about the present and the future of the region exchanging knowledge and experience, reflecting and acting together.
Adopted in December 2017 as a flagship project of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, INTERCONNECT serves as a clear example of a change in the public transport system in the Baltic Sea Region. Indeed, the EUSBSR is implemented, among others, by flagships namely a single project, a set of project contributing to the same action or a process. According to the EUSBSR the label of a flagship can be given to a project/process that fulfils certain criteria: it has a high macro-regional impact; it contributes to meeting the objectives, indicators and targets of the EUSBSR; it is related to the implementation of one or more actions of the policy area/horizontal action concerned.
On December 11-13th CaSYPoT project partners met in the City of Słupsk. The conference saw the participation of delegates representing local and regional bodies, NGOs, universities, cultural associations from Poland, Sweden, Russia, Italy and Lithuania. Welcomed by Mr Robert Biedroń, Mayor of City of Słupsk, and Mr Per Ole Petersen, ERB Vice-President and Member of the Council of Regional Municipality of Bornholm (Denmark), participants gathered for the presentation of the cross-border comparative report and analyse its results as well as to evaluate further steps to take in order to address issues related to youth in the Baltic Sea Region.
On November 20th, IVY volunteer Domenico Misurelli took part in the opening session of the Baltic Sea Youth Dialogue 2017 in Helsinki. Organized jointly by the Aleksanteri Institute (Finland), the Council of the Baltic Sea States and NORDEN Association (Russia), the event is designed as a one-week long series of lectures and workshops, taking place in Helsinki and St. Petersburg.
Launched in 2014, for the first two years it was designed as a joint programme of the CBSS and Körber Foundation Germany which gathered young Europeans from their respective networks, who are interested in the history of the Baltic Sea Region. Organising programmes in border areas of the region, the young participants get to know each other’s cultures, in order to reflect, discuss and explore their shared identity. This year, the Baltic Sea Youth Dialogue is focused on two main topics: Finland’s 100 years of independence and the cultural-historical relations and roots in the Baltic Sea Region
From April to September 2017, the International Permanent Secretariat of Euroregion Baltic hosted Valentina Scandola, an intern from Italy. Enrolled at the Master’s degree in Local Development – University of Padova (Italy), she spent six months at ERB studying the process of integration and cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region. As the graduation day approaches, Valentina has finally submitted her thesis entitled: Multilevel governance and territorial cooperation. Opportunities for local authorities in Euroregion Baltic.