Euroregion Baltic at the IX Kaliningrad partner – regions Forum

The IX Kaliningrad partner – regions Forum took place in Kaliningrad on 18-19 June 2019. Among participant there were Vice-Governor of the Kaliningrad region Mr. A.Rolbinov, Chair of the Kaliningrad region Duma Ms. M. Orgeeva, Ambassador-at-large of the MFA of Russia Mr. M. Vanin, Deputy EU Ambassador to Russia Ms. A.Simkic, director of the Department of Development and Foreign Economic Affairs of the Ministry for Economic Development of Russia Ms. L. Schur-Trukhanovich and other officials.

More than 300 participants from Poland, Lithuania, Belorussia, Germany, Norway, Latvia and the regions of Russia (Kaliningrad, Murmansk, Moscow, Saint-Petersburg,  Archangelsk, Novgorod, Pskov, the Leningrad region and the Komi Republic) took part in the plenary session and thematic sections, discussed practical aspects of regional cooperation in various spheres.

Mr A. Rolbinov in his speech on behalf of the Governor of the Kaliningrad region said: “The Forum is organized on an annual basis which proves the interest of all participating parties in building partnership relations. One of the good examples of such long-term interaction is the implementation of the Cross-border cooperation Programmes “Poland – Russia” and “Lithuania – Russia”. At the moment the contraction of projects is going on, and the interesting fact is that most of them are aimed at tourism development and cultural heritage preservation.

Representatives of the Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic

The Vice-Governor also reminded participants about the forthcoming launch of the free E-visas mechanism for foreign citizens planning to visit the Kaliningrad region: “There will be an opportunity to apply for a visa at the special website and to get entry notice in just  4 days. The E-visa is free and the term of stay is 8 days”.

The Ambassador-at-large of the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs Mr M. Vanin also welcomed the participants: “During some previous years the Forum became an important regional event. It gives impulse to further development of international cooperation between the Kaliningrad region and European countries. Achieving success in establishing regional and municipal links we develop trust between the neighbouring countries. We want the Baltic Sea region to be sustainable and prosperous. The Forum contributes to working out coordinates for practical actions. Ministry of Foreign Affairs is now participation in preparations for launching processes of agreeing on programs for the next financial period 2021-2027”.

A number of pan-baltic organizations were presented including the Euroregion Baltic and BSSSC – Kaliningrad Region is an active partner in both of them. Also, there was a presentation of the outcomes from the recent Baltic Sea Youth Camp organized in Gdańsk, Poland jointly by the: BSSSC, Euroregion Baltic, Union of Baltic Cities and co-financed by the CBSS.

Presentation of the Euroregion Baltic
Youth voice with comments and ideas straight after the Baltic Sea Youth Camp

Several agreements were signed during the Forum. Among them two grant contracts for the implementation of the large-scale strategic projects within the Cross-border cooperation Programme “Poland – Russia”: construction of the bikeway from Zelenogradsk to Svetlogorsk and construction of the wharf in the Svetliy municipality.

UMBRELLA project 2nd Awareness Raising Event in Denmark

On Europe Day, 9th May, UMBRELLA project held its second Awareness Raising Event. What better occasion to talk about EU opportunities for municipalities and educational institutions? These were the main focus groups of the conference that took place in Sorø, a small municipality located in the core of Region Zealand and perfect location to gather stakeholders from all the surroundings The host was Guldborgsund Municipality, represented by our Umbrella’s partners Anna Topp Gustavsen and Frede Danborg, and by the Mayor John Brædder, who spent some welcoming words to provide an overview of the region’s affairs and projects. Co-organizer of the event was CELF- Centre for Vocational Educational Lolland- Falster, represented by Claus Brandt Kristensen.

What was the scope of our Awareness Raising Event? Well, as you might know, Umbrella is committed to increase capacity among local actors in the South Baltic Sea and to do so, information stands at the basis of all our activities. After the first ARE, held in Gdansk in June 2018, many things happened but there’s always need to meet new people and improve the networking, covering all the regions where our partners are located.

Very good point in our ARE was the presentation conducted by “Greater Copenhagen EU Office”, represented by Jesper Blaabjerg Holm who talked about EU funding opportunities, with some hints for the future programming period 2021-2027.

The afternoon session was marked by three parallel workshops on:

  • Renewable Energy, with focus on biomass and biogas thanks to the participation of the Energy Agency for the southeast Sweden and Gate 21 (DK)
  • Cultural Cooperation, that gathered a group from cultural centres and museums that came up with ideas for further cooperation
  • Educational cooperation, moderated by CELF representatives.

Please see all the presentations below:

We hope that the numerous occasions of networking during this day laid the basis for further collaboration and that participants will feel inspired to follow our next events and activities in fall!

CASYPOT FINAL CONFERENCE AND ERB FORUM OF STAKEHOLDERS

On the 13th and 14th of May CaSYPoT final conference and Euroregion Baltic Forum of Stakeholders was held in Kalmar (Sweden). Approximately 100 participants from all Euroregion Baltic regions including CaSYPoT project partners from Poland, Lithuania, Sweden and Russia had the opportunity to meet and discuss the results of CaSYPoT project. The conference gathered also several youth participants who took the floor to explain the reasons behind answers from the CaSYPoT survey and discussed how the project has influenced youth situation in their home towns.

The conference started with the presentation of the international results of the CaSYPoT survey by representatives of Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University and Klaipeda University. These results were used as basis for project activities, such as development of youth strategies and implementation of tools for better dialogue with youth.

The conference continued with several sessions devoted to spreading CaSYPoT project results:

  • Local youth strategies – from municipalities of Svetlogorsk (Russia), Slupsk (Poland), Emmaboda (Sweden) and an action plan from Klaipeda (Lithuania)
  • Euroregion Baltic Youth Strategy,
  • Tools for dialogue with youth,
  • Capacity building process in CaSYPoT
  • New youth project ideas

As well as sharing good examples of work with youth participation and youth issues from Euroregion Baltic area and beyond, such as:

Participants had also the opportunity to get to know local examples from Kalmar municipality during study visits to two youth clubs: UNIK and Funkabo gender smart youth club.

Representatives of Youth discussed together with adults and experts the results emerging from the survey, as the political interest, leisure time, health, schools, trust and safety. Young people said that opportunities and projects for youngsters are not well known, in all the cities. They feel the need of a stronger dissemination through different channels, better adjusted to reach youth.

On the last day of the conference organised were the Euroregion Baltic Board meeting and partner meetings of CaSYPoT and YCGN projects. During this session CaSYPoT project partners jointly evaluated the project work as a summary of 3 years of cooperation.

This conference was also the occasion to think about the future. Ms Agata Ludwiczak and Mr Marcin Zuchowski from Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic coordinated a workshop devoted to developing a following-up project focusing on youth participation based on achievements of CaSYPoT and SB YCGN projects. All participants were invited to give ideas for the topic of a new project, which application is planned for this autumn.

UMBRELLA & EUSBSR HA Capacity joint event – Participation Day in Gdańsk!

Dear friends of the Baltic Sea Region,

The successful collaboration between organizations and people in the Baltic Sea Region requires broadest possible mobilization and participation of stakeholders in all respective countries. European Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) requires strong bottom-up participation and a sense of “ownership” by various stakeholders. This applies to both policy shaping and practical implementation.

The participation of citizens and organizations at all governance levels, across sectors and across all borders is a prerequisite for the positive development of cooperation within the EU and an important part of the EU’s cohesion policy. Like previous years, even this year´s Participation Day is arranged In connection with the Annual Forum.

The Participation Day is an important opportunity for new stakeholders to get in touch with the cooperation within the EU and to meet colleagues who already have experience of EU cooperation in the Baltic Sea region.

Participation Day is a kind of marketplace where stakeholders can present their ideas, get feedback and guidance from the policy community enabling new stakeholders to participate in the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. Our aim is to reduce the step into the Strategy, making our guiding principle with multi-level governance and cross-sectorial cooperation a reality. We invite representatives of EUSBSR stakeholders, such as local and regional authorities, civil society organisations, academia, business and media, to the Participation Day in Gdansk.

Organizers

This year’s Participation Day focuses on four thematic areas

• Innovations for a circular and socially coherent economy

• Urban mobility – smart and sustainable

• Antimicrobial resistance and pharmaceuticals in the Baltic Sea Region environment

• Competence supply.

The UMBRELLA project team and HA Capacity as the organisers will do their best to ensure that as many different organisations/networks as possible can attend and present their proposals and views. You are therefore also invited to present in advance short, concise and concrete project proposals, concepts or ideas about the themes of the Participation Day.

Come and join us on 11th June in Gdańsk!

Poland supports continuation of Interreg South Baltic Programme after 2020

At the beginning of July 2018 the Polish Minister of Investment and Economic development, Mr Jerzy Kwieciński, sent an open letter to the European Commission (EC) on the future the South Baltic Programme.

The Minister also presented the overview and maritime cooperation benefits of the Programme for the last 11 years. In this brochure are presented the joint actions of coastal regions of five countries – Poland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Lithuania and the achievements of the Programme for the last two programming periods. » Read more

Cohesion policy after 2020?

On 23rd March, local and regional leaders of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) gathered together in Brussels with the rapporteur of the European Parliament Jan Olbrycht to discuss about the Cohesion Policy after 2020.

After several discussions on shortenings in the EU budget, what strongly emerged is that the Cohesion Policy should not become marginalized. On the contrary, its strategic role should be maintained and reinforced to persevere in achieving the target of cohesion, namely the reduction of regional disparities in EU. What does it mean? It means to provide EU’s citizens with an improved and balanced quality of life in all the regions, and especially along the borders that are often marginalized. This is fundamental to do not erode the single market and trusty relations among the States and to preserve Europe from an increasing nationalism.
Mieczysław Struk, president of Pomorskie Region (Poland), gave his contribution with a draft opinion on The cost and risk of non-cohesion: The strategic value of cohesion policy for pursuing the Treaty objectives and facing new challenges for European regions .
Despite Brexit and the consequent debates on EU budget, the EU Parliament is calling for support after 2020 for the Common Agricultural Policy and the Cohesion Policy, trying to avoid cuts in the budget and to maintain the current level of spendings. The wish is to support regional development through the ERDF, ESF and the Cohesion Fund. Furthermore, it emerged a need to improve programs like Horizon 2020, COSME, YEI, Erasmus + and LIFE + to strengthen cooperation for economy, competitiveness and youth opportunities. But these are not the only sectors that would need an improvement if it is considered the migration crisis and how to deal with security and defence.
CoR called for a “budget that supports a Europe closer to its citizens” and for a future Cohesion Policy as “pillar of the EU’s future”.
You can read the entire article here: http://cor.europa.eu/en/news/Pages/There-is-no-future-for-Europe-without-solidarity.aspx