ERB position on future EU Cohesion Policy after 2020

During the ERB Executive Board meeting in Palanga (18th-19th September) a position paper on the future EU Cohesion Policy after 2020 was signed by Ms. Akko Karlsson, ERB president, and Mr. Per Ole Petersen, ERB Vice-President.

In the document, the ERB adopted four main recommendations regarding a strengthened EU Cohesion Policy, the importance of European Territorial Cooperation and people-to-people projects, improved coordination with macro-regional strategies, and simplified administrative and financial regulations.

ERB supports economic, social and territorial cohesion, recognizing the importance of the European Structural and Investment Funds for growth and jobs underlying, in this frame, the need of distinguishing between cohesion and investment policies.

One point that has been underlined regards the need of adopting shared management instruments for a real involvement of actors at local and regional level, apart from the development of small-scale, people-to-people projects in order to build-up trust in the neighbouring regions.

ERB will strive to align its activities with the macro-regional strategies- with the EUSBSR in this case. Moreover, in this macro-region Russia plays a fundamental role that pushed ERB to commit in carrying on a dialogue with Kaliningrad Region on topics of common interests.

Finally, ERB asked for simplified administrative and financial regulations.

The position is available at this link.

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.

ERB Executive Board meetings in Elbląg

On 22-23rd May 2017 stakeholders of Euroregion Baltic gathered in Elbląg, Poland for the second Executive Board meeting this year.

During the two days of official discussions, youth workshops and expert seminars, ERB partners touched upon a number of issues that are of importance to the organisation’s future work.

The event started with the joint meeting of the ERB Board with the Board of the Association of Polish Communes, one of important ERB member organisations and the host of the meeting. Gathered in historic roundtable hall in the Elbląg’s Old Town, the ERB politicians, civil servants and youth were welcomed by Mr Witold Wróblewski, Chair of Association’s Board and Mayor of Elbląg, who underlined the importance of ERB cross-border cooperation for municipalities and regions of the South Baltic Sea which since 1998 has been facilitating international cooperation, project implementation and trust building among the participating organisations.

The meeting was presided over jointly by Ms Akko Karlsson, ERB President and Vice Chair of Regional Council in Kalmar County, and Mr Wróblewski.

The Board discussed several important issues of ERB cooperation, among them preparations for the 20th anniversary of the organisation, as well as revision of strategic cooperation documents. Concerning the recently held Monitoring Committee meeting of the South Baltic Programme in Binz, the Board welcomed the approval of the Interconnect project and decided to commence work on the resubmission of the Umbrella project, which was rejected despite a very positive assessment by the external experts and Programme’s Joint Secretariat.

Discussing the draft ERB position on the future of EU Cohesion Policy, the Board decided to amend the final draft to better reflect the ERB priorities in the draft.

The Board also welcomed ERB’s participation in the recently approved Swedish Institute project in which together with the CPMR Baltic Sea Commission, it will engage in raising the awareness of Baltic stakeholder about the importance of the UN’s Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals.

Finally, the Board was informed about the activities of the ERB Youth Board which had submitted 4 projects to the last call for proposals in the Erasmus+ project and was actively participating in the preparation of joint conference and seminar at the EUSBSR Forum in Berlin on the issue of youth participation and empowerment.

On 23rd May ERB organised several parallel meetings with two very important concerning water and youth issues. The Water Core Group met to discuss a potential joint project in the South Baltic Programme that could be dedicated to the issues of improved management of existing water resources, while the ERB Youth Board discussed the future project with the Norwegian partners from Hedmark, as well as the organisation of the Berlin conference.The meeting was also attended by the youth from Warmia-Mazury who were selected within the Baltic Leaders project to build capacities of local youth leaders in the Baltic cooperation.

Full minutes of the ERB Executive Board meeting will soon be made available on ERB website.

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

Invitation to joint seminar on youth policies at EUSBSR Forum

On behalf of the Baltic Sea States Subregional Co-operation (BSSSC), Union of Baltic Cities (UBC) and EuroRegion Baltic (ERB) we hereby invite you to join our political seminar – part of the EUSBSR Annual Forum in Stockholm – on 8th November at 15:00 at Brewery Conference Centre (room Arkaden).

In this this seminar we will raise the voice of the young people of the Baltic Sea Region and bring their views and proposals into the discussion on Baltic Sea Region Vision 2030. In addition to the representatives from our youth networks – politicians from local and regional level will be part of the panel.

Young persons are more sensitive to many questions – and through the way they live and communicate they are very aware of changes taking place in the society. This workshop will bring the voice of the young people of the Baltic Sea Region – their views and expertise – into the dialog on preparing the Region for the future. The focus will be on “Moving and deciding quicker with the help of youth!”, and the workshop will touch upon issues such as:
• Governance – involving and including young people
• Prosperity – empowering the youth, youth entrepreneurship, youth employment, keep young talents in the region
• The environment – how to secure a sustainable future for the next generations

The Euroregion Baltic representation in the panel will include:

Ms Akko Karlsson, Vice President of Euroregion Baltic and Vice Chair of the Board of Regional Council in Kalmar County, Sweden

Mr Tautrimas Rupulevičius, Chair of ERB Youth Board, Association Klaipeda Region, Lithuania

Ms Alexandra Winberg, Member of ERB Youth Board, Kumuls Kalmar, Sweden

 

More information about the programme and speakers/panellists, please visit the official EUSBSR Forum website.

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