Baltic Leaders – Energy, Youth, Europe – youth workshops in Elbląg

In order to unlock the potential of young people and their knowledge of the region they live in, with a particular focus on the need to activate the potential of local peripheries, ERB International Permanent Secretariat organized a series of two workshops entitled “Baltic Leaders – Energy, Youth, Europe”.

The first one, held on 28th September at Gymnasium 8 in Elblag, was not only a unique opportunity to address teenagers aged between 14 and 15 years old about youth opportunities designed by EU but an opportunity to listen to them and understand how they imagine life in the Baltic Sea Region. Indeed, through an activity based on the concept of non-formal education and free exchange of ideas, teenagers were able to discuss three main topics – Leisure, School, Future – expressing their needs, concerns, hopes. What has emerged clearly from the workshop is that, even though interested in the opportunity to be actively involved in the area they live in as well as to take part to EU mobility related initiative in the future, they think that it could be done more to promote them.

The second one, held 29th September at ERB International Permanent Secretariat, was a structured workshop aiming at presenting the activity of ERB to locals, future Youth Exchanges will take place in Denmark and Sweden as well as at gaining information about Leisure, School/Work, Politics/Governance. Opting for a discussion strategy based on non-formal education, the participants – aged between 16 and 40 years old – had the opportunity to talk about recreational activities, the presence of youth councils, the reason motivating them to emigrate, the way how they conceive politics.

What has emerged during this workshop and the discussion with the three experts invited – Pawel Kulasiewicz (Director of the Center for Economic, Social and Institutional Cooperation – The State Higher Vocational School in Elblag), Agata Ludwiczak (Eureoregion Baltic – International Permanent Secretariat), Marcin  Żuchowski (Association of Polish Communes – Euroregion Baltic) – is that youth would like to receive a bigger consideration from politics – the lack of trust toward politicians is deep – and feels the need to have a stronger influence over the decision-making process of young related policies.

During the workshop Ms Ludwiczak had also the opportunity to present CaSYPoT, a project focused on improving cross-border cooperation capacity of actors in the Baltic Area through the creation of a joint knowledge-based strategic youth policy. In order to help with the implementation of the project – management, communication, promotion and dissemination of information – ERB International Permanent Secretariat is currently hosting an IVY volunteer, Domenico Misurelli from Italy. IVY – Interreg Volunteer Youth is a pilot action that offers the possibility to young Europeans aged 18-30 to serve as volunteers in cross-border, transnational or interregional programmes and related projects for 2-6 months. Finally, it was also a chance to introduce the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region aiming at detecting how it tackles youth-related issues and how ERB tries to be in line with it.

The meeting provided ERB with useful information about how young people conceive their role in the society they live in, the degree of engagement and opinions over opportunities offered to them. It is interesting to note that every topic faced showed the necessity for public institutions to provide them with more information as well as to give a concrete opportunity to exert influence in the decision-making process.

Youth Board Meeting in Palanga, 19th September 2017

On 19th September 2017, the ERB Youth Board took part to a face to face reunion in in the margins of the ERB meeting in Palanga (Lithuania).

Turning ten years in 2017, the meeting represented for the YB a chance to set the strategy for the next 10 years and the areas to focus on. Departing from the targets achieved so far, the idea of a formal statute of the YB came to light. The provision would enable the YB to develop a vision and a mission for the future.

As the lack of young people actively engaged in their local communities emerged as the main challenge, few proposal were outlined. Among them, the Youth Exchanges which will take place respectively in Ronne – Denmark (January 2018) and Kalmar – Sweden (June 2018). The first one, entitled Youth 3.0, will be a unique opportunity to assess the impact of IT technologies in daily life; the second one, entitled Youth 4.0, will be focused on the importance of active citizenship as a relevant mean to develop personal skills and create an open-minded environment. Furthermore, a discussion was held about future projects such as the possibility to organize a Youth Exchange aiming at the creation of an artificial island 100% self-sufficient. So far, this project focused on the establishment of a self-sustainable environment has been implemented in French Polynesia.

The meeting was also a good chance to gain more information about the bid of the city of Klaipeda for the European Capital of Youth 2020. Among the 5 shortlisted cities, Klaipeda intends to tackle youth related issues such as unemployment, early school leaving, disenfranchisement creating an environment suitable for creativity, social activism, collaboration, entrepreneurship. In order to strengthen Klaipeda’s campaign, regions and youth councils within the ERB intend to write a letter of support.

Among the participants to the meeting, there was also Domenico Misurelli as an Interreg Voluntary Youth – IVY program. He will be volunteering for 6 months at ERB International Permanent Secretariat helping with the implementation of the CaSYPoT: management, communication, promotion and dissemination of information. The volunteer will also work with the result of a survey among youth making its outcome more visible. As of the CaSYPoT project conference in Slupsk 11th-13th December 2017, the first draft was introduced to the YB. The conference will be also the opportunity to cooperate with the GaYa project (Interreg Alpine Space) which aims at increasing the quality of democracy in the Alpine area by enhancing the capacity of decision and policy-makers to involve youth as future leaders in democratic systems.

CaSYPoT project meeting in Elbląg

An important CaSYPoT partner meeting took place in Elbląg and Bartoszyce (Poland), on 21st -23rd March 2017. The event, organized by the Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic, was devoted to project partners’ knowledge and experience exchange in working with youth. It followed the three previous project meetings in Emmaboda, Sopot and Kaliningrad. » Read more

ERB featured in Baltic Rim Economies

Euroregion Baltic has been featured in the latest edition of the Baltic Rim Economies (BRE).

In his article for the edition 6/2016 the ERB’s Head of International Secretariat focuses on one of the strategic areas of ERB cooperation under the Russian Presidency ie. the youth cooperation.

The short analysis includes presentation ERB’s concrete actions aiming to strengthen youth engagement in development of policies on local and regional level and also a strategic dialogue with other Baltic organisations – BSSSC and UBC on the development of youth policy in the entire Baltic Sea Region. As for the tools for strategic youth policies, the results of the ERB projects – CaSYPoT – Capacity Building for Strategic Youth Policy and Transnational Cooperation and CaSYPoT-Ru – a parallel project funded by the Swedish Institute allowing direct project participation for partners from the Kaliningrad Region, could be used in further work on the wider Baltic scale.

The article comes at the time when all three organisations – BSSSC, UBC and ERB in a discussion on the next steps which will include a joint seminar at the EUSBSR Forum in Berlin next year, and development of an Erasmus+ project on youth policy reform.

The entire article can be read here – Baltic Rim Economies 6/2016

Baltic Rim Economies (BRE) is published by the Pan-European Institute and deals with the development of the Baltic Sea region. In the BRE review, high level public and corporate decision makers, representatives of Academia, as well as several other experts contribute to the discussion.

Project CaSYPoT-Ru kicks off in Kaliningrad

The meeting in Kaliningrad Russia on 24-25 November 2016 was the next important stage of work on the project CaSYPoT-Ru – Capacity Building for Strategic Youth Policy and Transnational Cooperation. At the meeting discussions on important issues were held and significant solutions concerning the project were developed. » Read more

Young volunteer to boost Euroregion’s working capacity

As of last week the ERB International Permanent Secretariat staff has expanded and now includes a young volunteer from Poland.

Paulina Lieder is a student of Economic Entrepreneurship at the Faculty of Economics of the State School School of Higher Professional Education in Poland where she is currently writing a dissertation in which she is comparing the current status of development of different renewable energy sources in Poland, Germany, Italy and Norway.

Apart from her studies she has already been studying and working abroad. As a part of the Erasmus+ programme she studied at the University of Foggia and later became involved as a volunteer at the university’s International Erasmus Office where she worked for more than 2 months with international students.

At the university in Elbląg she is involved in the work of the SENEKA Student Scientific Association. She speaks very good English and is able to handle varied assignments connected to the daily work of the IPS.

Her responsibilities include assistance in the implementation of the CASYPOT project as well as other tasks related to project development. Once fully integrated in the IPS working structure, she will also support the work of the ERB Youth Board.

ERB International Secretariat hires new Project Manager

It is our pleasure to announce that the International Permanent Secretariat of Euroregion Baltic in Elbląg has acquired an experienced Project Manager to boost its working and project implementation capacity. As of 1st August 2016 Ms Agata Ludwiczak has taken the position of the Deputy Head of International Secretariat responsible for the implementation of the CASYPOT (Capacity Building for Strategic Youth Policy and Transnational Cooperation) project, a new ERB strategic project dedicated to the development of youth policies in the cooperation area.

A graduate of philosophy and international trade at the Universities of Poznań and Gdańsk, Ms Ludwiczak has several years of experience in initiation and management of cross-border project implemented within the South Baltic Programme 2007-2013 and the Lithuania-Poland-Russia Programme 2007-2013. She also has significant experience in working on promotion and dissemination of information within the projects. In addition, she has been working as an independent consultant on preparation of project proposals to various programmes in the area of social policy, culture and entrepreneurship development. Finally, it is also worth mentioning that Ms Ludwiczak is now finalising her PhD studies at the University of Gdańsk with a thesis focusing directly on the implementation of the people-to-people projects within the first edition of the South Baltic CBC Programme 2007-2013.

Please follow this link for Ms Ludwiczak’s contact data.