We would like to present to you one of the outcomes of YCGN project – an ebook on “Youth civic engagement in the South Baltic Region.
The main aim of the YCGN project led by the Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic was to increase cross-border cooperation resulting in building capacity of local actors working with youth and to demonstrate the benefits of soft cross-border cooperation for solving common youth issues. Project objectives were: enhancing cross-border cooperation of young people in partner countries; improving capacity and competencies of local governments and their representatives to engage in civil dialogue with youth, and disseminating project results for the development of future plans for increased youth participation in local and cross-border issues in the SB region.

The issues of civic participation, including youth civic participation, have been present in both the scientific and political discourse for many years. The changes taking place in modern societies and civic activity encourage the search for effective solutions, especially systemic ones, to involve as many citizens as possible in decision-making processes.
The importance of youth issues has been emphasised in a number of European Union documents: the Maastricht Treaty, the Treaty of Lisbon, European Commission White Paper, the European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life, the European Pact for Youth and the EU Strategy for Youth. Young people are also the subject of many national documents: laws, ordinances and strategies of Sweden, Lithuania and Poland. However, neither the European Union policy nor the policies of Lithuania, Poland and Sweden concerning youth and its civic participation can ensure the desired level of youth engagement in decision-making concerning young people as citizens. International projects,
particularly those co-financed by the European Union, have an important role to play in promoting young people’s civic participation. They allow the exchange of knowledge and experience, the creation of new solutions to problems and their implementation at the grassroots level. This was the role of the South Baltic Youth Core Groups Network (SB YCGN) project implemented in the framework of the 2014–2020 Interreg V-A South Baltic Programme by a Polish-Lithuanian-Swedish partnership. One of its outputs is this monograph.

The aim of this study was to show youth civic participation as a social inclusion element in the Southern Baltic region in need of reinforcement, based on the examples of selected municipalities from Lithuania, Poland and Sweden. The authors focused on the diagnosis of key elements of youth civic engagement at local and cross-border level, taking into account the context of national youth policies and the European Union policy. The problem was highlighted from the perspective of two social groups: adult decision-makers represented by employees of local institutions and young people aged 14–24 from the Lithuanian municipality of Telšiai, Polish municipalities of Dzierzgoń, Elbląg, Gdynia, Iława and Nowe Miasto Lubawskie, and the Swedish municipality of Hässleholm. For this reason, the core part of the monograph consists of the results of quantitative studies and qualitative studies conducted on the two populations. The objective of the quantitative studies was to identify and assess the needs of institutions and young people relating to the stimulation of youth civic participation at local and cross-border level, youth engagement in decision-making processes, key barriers to civic participation of young people and effective forms and methods of involving youth in active citizenship. The quantitative studies of institutions and youth were conducted by a Polish-Lithuanian group whose members were Prof. Krystyna Gomółka, Dr.
Izabela Borucińska (Gdańsk University of Technology), Prof. Ligita Šimanskienė and Dr. Jurgita Paužuolienė (Klaipeda University). The qualitative studies were carried out with the aim of supplementing and broadening the knowledge of youth civic participation issues at local and cross-border level, with particular emphasis on political involvement. The authors of these studies were the Lithuanian team composed of Prof. Rimantas Stašys (Klaipeda University) and Dr. Remigijus Civinskas (Vytautas Magnus University).

To read more about the YCGN project –

Seed Money is funding provided by Interreg Baltic Sea Region to support the preparation of projects in line with the Action Plan of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. With Seed Money support, projects can be prepared for any funding source available in the region.

The Seed Money application procedure consists of two steps. In step one, an applicant submits a draft application to Policy Area and Horizontal Action Coordinators who preselect draft applications (typically six weeks after submission). In step two, authors of preselected draft applications are invited to submit full applications to the Managing Authority/Joint Secretariat (typically within six-eight weeks after preselection). The Monitoring Committee selects Seed Money projects for funding typically three months after submission.

Our application is the result of work undergoing in Water Core Group since May 2019. ECG submitted the concept note in Dec 2019 that was positively assessed by PA NUTRI Coordinators and we were invited to submit the full application. On 23rd March we have sent the file and we await the information from the JS. The results are expected in June 2020.

What is the project about?

Reducing the outflows of nutrients & hazardous substances to surface water, groundwater and the Baltic Sea, in particular, is the main concern of water management in the BSR and will remain its foremost task in the future. At the same time, the effects of climate change pose new challenges to water supply: Droughts limit in certain periods the quantity of water for various uses (e.g. drinking water, agriculture). Floods impair the quality of drinking water – and thus indirectly its quantity, too. SMHI has predicted that problems linked to water shortage will become even more severe in the future.
The two mentioned tasks cannot be addressed as a question of either/or. The ambition must be to meet environmental goals at a high level and to secure water supply. Possible synergies between them, however,
were hitherto not widely addressed: If effluent water is retained, re-circulated & re-used, water supply will not only be more secure & climate-resilient. At the same go, this will be an effective way to reduce outflows of nutrients & hazardous substances.

WaterMan develops and promotes circular approaches to reduce outflows of nutrients & hazardous substances to surface water, groundwater and the Baltic Sea in particular, which at the same time contribute to the climate-resilient water supply. Its centre of attention is measures & techniques to re-use water from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and the retention of water before flowing into the Baltic Sea. Thus, less
groundwater resources will be needed for drinking water production & other uses and water supply becomes more climate-resilient.
The project focusses thereby on measures at the local level and on areas in the BSR, where the water supply may be particularly affected by climate change. Main target group are, consequently, municipalities & water
companies that are responsible for local water management.

This month we’ve participated in 12h Baltic Sea Tourism Forum #BSTF in Brussels. One of the panels: Success stories of international tourism cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region was moderated by Magda Leszczyna-Rzucidło, Head of the ERB International Secretariat.

13 November 2019 | Brussels/Belgium 12th Baltic Sea Tourism Forum SHARE | INSPIRE | CREATE

Baltic Sea Tourism Forum In 2008 the then Ministry for Economy, Employment and Tourism and the Tourist Board of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern initiated the first Baltic Sea Tourism Forum (Summit) which took place in Rostock / Germany. Core aims of this touristic rapprochement process were to develop forms of collaboration, which complement the countries’, and regions’ own tourism strategies in a meaningful way and give the Baltic Sea as a tourism destination a better place on the market.

Major aims are:

 Support a sustainable and balanced development of tourism and voice the interest of the tourism economy in the Baltic Sea region.

 Strengthen the sustainable and responsible cooperation of all Baltic Sea region countries and exploit the existing international development potentials more efficiently.

 Provide and secure a permanent platform for information and know-how exchange with the Baltic Sea Tourism Forum at its core for continuous collaboration on the basis of a multilevel process.

 Position the Baltic Sea as a coherent travel destination on the global tourism market and promote the area as an attractive, safe and natural destination for international travellers.

Since 2012, the annual forum is closely linked to the implementation process of Policy Area Tourism in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. It contributes strongly to the aims of the macro-regional strategy, the revised action plan and defined actions adopted by the European Commission in 2015. Objectives of the 12th Baltic Sea Tourism Forum For the first time in the history of the annual tourism conference, the venue is located outside the Baltic Sea region – and for a good reason. With the participation of the European Union, this year’s forum aims to bring together stakeholders from the Baltic Sea region with institutions and representatives in Brussels. In the context of international cooperation successful examples from the Baltic Sea Region will be presented, suggestions for strategic and innovative approaches will be given and insights with regard to the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 provided. Inspiring keynotes on sustainability and the future of tourism will complement the agenda.

Under the motto SHARE | INSPIRE | CREATE the forum underlines the reasons for cooperation beyond national borders in a macro-regional context.

SHARE achievements, as the first session of the day, concentrates on the potentials and challenges of cross-border work by focusing on the overarching macro-regional strategies as well as on examples of interregional project initiatives. The exchange on experiences and future needs aims at helping to clarify commonalities as well as emphasising the advantages of sustainable cooperation at macro-regional level.

A more detailed insight on innovative approaches will be given in the session INSPIRE partners. BSR tourism market data & trends and international product & service development can mean long-term benefits for the tourism sector in the BSR and should be considered as an imperative when positioning the tourism industry on international level.

In terms of the new multiannual financial framework of the EU for the period 2021-2027, the third session is dedicated to CREATE perspectives. The new EU funding period will not just affect international cooperation, as it influences the funds available in programmes such as Interreg, but will also define thematic priorities of EU policy. A comprehensive outlook will provide a better understanding of how conditions need to be adjusted for the future of BSR tourism cooperation.

Date and Venue Renaissance Brussels Hotel // Rue du Parnasse 19, 1050 Brussels, Belgium www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/brubr-renaissance-brussels-hotel Contact point of the BSTF Baltic Sea Tourism Center Johannes Volkmar // j.volkmar@auf-nach-mv.de // +49 381 40 30 663 Anne Vollerthum // a.vollerthum@auf-nach-mv.de // +49 381 40 30 653


Michael Cramer, MdEP
Asa Bjering, Baltic Sea Commission
Anna Pollock, Conscious.travel
Maciej Hofman, DG EAC | European Commission

Session 1: SHARE achievements

Blanka Belosevic, EUSAIR
Magda Leszczyna-Rzuidlo, Euroregion Baltic
Tomasz Naprawski, Baltic Museum: Love IT!
Ira Lahovuo, Archipelago Access
Niclas Fjellström, Baltic Sea Food
Constanze Metzger, Routes4U

Session 2: INSPIRE partners

Prof. Björn P. Jacobsen | Tjark Schlegel | Christopher Blank, University of Applied Sciences Stralsund
Karin Melbye Holm, Danish Tourism Innovation

Session 3: CREATE perspectives

Ramune Genzbigelyte-Venturi, DG Grow | European Commission
Joanna Mouliou, DG Regio | European Commisison
Andrea Krabbe, PAC Tourism (EUSBSR)
Lidija Bajaruniene, Ministry of Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania

We recommend visiting #BSTC profile: Balticsea.travel for inspiration on your future journeys.

#sustainabletourism #SouthBalticSea

Hi everyone!

Here are Milena and Danilo, two young Italian Ivy volunteers (lost) in Poland.

No, we didn’t know each other before and we are not doing the same project. Actually we don’t even live in the same city.

But last week there was a very interesting event in Gdansk, the “Communication Training for project manager”, organized by the South Baltic Interreg, and we have met there.

We couldn’t stop to talk about our different experiences:

I am an Interreg Project Partner the at International Permanent Secretariat Euroregion Baltic in Elblag, while Danilo is an Interreg Reporter at Joint Secretariat INTERREG SOUTH BALTIC PROGRAMME, in Gdansk.

What does it means?

Well, in few words, Danilo is mainly involved in communication and dissemination of information concerning INTERREG projects, cross-border cooperation and so on;

Regarding me,  instead, my tasks are more related to support and implement 2 INTERREG projects: CaSYPot, which aims is to find a common Youth Strategy among the Baltic Regions, and InterConnect, which focuses on new and more efficient public transport services.

Where do we live?

We are both in Poland; Danilo lives in Gdansk, one of the largest cities in Poland, on the Baltic Sea. It’s an international city, full of students, tourists and young people. There is a river that goes into the city centre, which reminds me of Navigli in Milano, just to give you an idea.

I live in Elblag, not far from Gdansk. Ok, we don’t have the sea, but we have beautiful parks and forests. When the weather is nice I go with my super-bike among trees and wild vegetation.

What’s next?

Honestly, we don’t know exactly, but for sure this experience has brought us a lot. We are both thinking of staying in Poland for the future, or maybe for a few years.

Danilo has even managed to learn a bit of Polish, which, believe me, is not easy at all!

We want to say thanks to IVY for this experience, thanks to Euroregion Baltic International Permanent Secretariat and Joint Secretariat Interreg South Baltic Programme to host us,

we are learning a lot from You, from the organizations and from the people are behind them.

Please use this link to register: registration.strategyforum2019.eu

The main topic of this year’s Forum is Circular and sharing economy as an answer to demographic changes and environmental challenges in the Baltic Sea Region.

The programme for the two-day event includes 19 seminars on a wide range of topics that support the thematic focus of the Forum. During the seminars, you will be able to see the potential for the development of the Circular Economy in the Baltic Sea Region in areas such as food, health, tourism, transport, cities, bioeconomy, industry, education, migrants, labour market and demography.

The Forum also offers the opportunity to participate in the Networking Village where participants can have a direct contact with those responsible for the work of EUSBSR.

Please follow the Forum’s website and see you in Gdansk!

And make sure you watch the clip inviting you to the Forum!

The number of people attending the 15ht European Week of Regions and Cities, that took place in Brussels on October 9-12, proves the success of the initiative. Indeed nearly 6000 participants and over 800 speakers from all over Europe gathered in Belgium’s capital town to share ideas about the current and the future situation of regions and cities in Europe, exchange best practices and discuss cohesion policy. (more…)

The Interreg Baltic Sea Region Monitoring Committee on 23-24 May 2017 decided that 39 new projects be approved in the frame of the Programme’s second call for proposals.
The 39 projects have been chosen among 71 projects submitted, and they can be considered as the continuation of 35 projects implemented in the first call.
EUR 87 million have been allocated from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support these projects, whose well embeddedness in the thematic fields of innovation capacity, natural resources management, and sustainable transport, will contribute to a better innovative, connected and accessible Baltic Sea Region.

Here you can find the list of projects approved: List of approved projects in Baltic Sea Region 2nd call
More detailed information will follow at this link.

The kick-off conference of the South Coast Baltic project took place in Bansin, Germany on 16th May 2017.

Bansin, is situated in the eastern part of the Usedom Island and is part of the seaside resort town of Heingsdorf in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Together, they are two of the best and most popular resorts on the German Baltic seaside. Not by chance, the city has been chosen for the launch of this project, whose aim is to improve the tourist reception in the Baltic Sea.

The first day of the meeting, organised by the Economic Development Corporation Vorpommern for the project and associated partners, was divided into three parts. The first part was dedicated to the presentation of the South Coast Baltic project, to have an overlook of the background of this action, from the implementation of the Marriage project, to future perspective on the Baltic Sea. The second part was taken as a moment for sharing good practices in tourism implementation in other European Regions. The last part consisted in a World Cafe’ in order to allow all the participants, representing different associations, to brainstorm and discuss some specific enquiries.

The SOUTH COAST BALTIC project has been ideated in order to build a long term cross-border destination management through the improvement of boating services and infrastructure, on the basis of the MARRIAGE cooperation network. MARRIAGE project, implemented between 2012 and 2015, had the aim of promoting cross-border destinations on domestic markets, building cooperation and exchange in water tourism management and marketing, and creating a consolidated network in the southern Baltic regions of Vorpommern (Germany), Zachodniopomorskie and Pomorskie (Poland), Kaliningrad (Russia), Klaipeda region (Lithuania).

The scope of SOUTH COAST BALTIC is to provide this network with added value that can reach an extended market. The challenge in these regions, now, is not only to access new target markets, but to provide repeaters and followers with high quality boating facilities and services, that need to be harmonized across the south coast Baltic area, also by means of a joint promotion. As MARRIAGE project struggled to build management competence, now the challenge is to do a step forward in managing strategically the destinations, increasing the quality of infrastructures and services.

SOUTH COAST BALTIC is a very rare case of a tourism project that tries to reconcile recreation (water sports, development of marinas, inland tours) with important issues tackled by the cross-border cooperation, like meeting environmental standards but also encouraging the economic and social development. Thus, there will be the coexistence of actions addressed to protecting natural areas, managing waters, creating interactive loyalty measures (like ‘save the whales’); enforcing receptive and restoration activities, and the creation of a touristic route. It has been thought to promote also cultural and natural sites, cultural events, encourage the consumption of local products, in order to create an inland network and to promote the Baltic Sea Region as a unique touristic destination.

Moreover, with this project an attempt to reach younger generations and families as target groups has been made. The current South Coast Baltic region is experiencing a demographic change as regard to sailing tourism where middle age men seem to have no time for maintaining a boat, while the usual sailors are getting older and older.

Being financed by the INTERREG SOUTH BALTIC PROGRAM, the project can be placed in the priority 2.1- to increase the green and blue potential of the region. But, it is also well-embedded in the EUSBSR since the project aims at connecting the region trough the development of marinas; it works in the field of increasing the prosperity through tourism and cultural activities, and lastly, it contributes to save the sea adopting sustainable measures.

Here you can find the presentation of the conference:2017-05-16_SCB_Kick-off_Overview on project goals & activities


The South Baltic annual event will take place on 12th September 2017 in the region of Zealand, Denmark.
What can you expect from this year’s South Baltic annual event? The Programme prepares an exciting programme that will feature SouthBaltic greentech innovations, debates and funding pitches from Interreg and Horizon2020.

Please mark the date in your calendars.

More details will follow. Stay tuned to South Baltic Programme website!

#southbaltic #Horizon2020 #Interreg

IVY stands for “Interreg Volunteer Youth” and it is a pilot action to  offer the possibility to young Europeans aged 18-30 to serve as volunteers in cross-border, transnational or interregional programmes and related projects. Being solidarity and volunteering at the heart of the IVY, this initiative is part of the European Solidarity Corps. (more…)

The content of this website is the sole responsibility of the author and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union, the Managing Authority or the Joint Secretariat of the South Baltic Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020. The project UMBRELLA is partly financed from the Interreg South Baltic Programme 2014-2020 through the European Regional Development Fund.