South Baltic Programme approves 10 new projects

During the last month meeting of the Monitoring Committee of the Interreg South Baltic Programme taking place on Bornholm, the Committee decided to approve 10 new projects for funding.

The following project were approved:

Specific Objective 2.1. Increased development of the South Baltic area’s natural and cultural heritage assets into sustainable tourist destinations

  • ArcheoBalt – Laying fixed foundations for innovative Archeotourism – a new “green” Archeoroute in the Southern Baltic Sea Region
  • SB WELL – Wellbeing Tourism for the South Baltic Region – Guidelines for best practices and Promotion
  • SOUTH BALTIC MANORS – Valorisation of manors for tourism development in rural areas of the South Baltic area

Specific Objective 2.2. Increased use of green technologies in order to decrease the pollution discharges in the South Baltic area

  • COASTAL Biogas – Cluster On Anaerobic digestion, environmental Services and NuTrients removAL
  • WASTEMAN – Integrated Sustainable Waste Management Systems decreasing pollution discharges in the South Baltic area

Specific Objective 3. Improve the quality and environmental sustainability of transport services in the South Baltic area

  • Connect2SmallPorts – South Baltic Small Ports as Gateways towards Integrated Sustainable European Transport System and Blue Growth by Smart Connectivity Solutions
  • INCONE60 – Inland Blue Transport Connector E60
  • PARKING GETS SMART – Improved & digitalised parking management as tool to foster green and multimodal transport in the South Baltic area

Specific Objective 4. Increase the share of skilled labour force working in blue and green economy sectors of the South Baltic area through joint cross-border actions

  • BFA – BALTIC FOR ALL
  • SB BRIDGE – building bridges for green-tech future

 

The resources from the European Regional Development Fund to be allocated to these projects amount to 15 066 852,69 EUR (19% of the Programme financial capacity).

The Monitoring Committee decided also to open the 6th call for proposals from 1 October until 18 December 2018 for the Specific Objectives: 2.2, 3, 4 and 5.

Please visit the Programme’s website for more detailed information about the results of the call.

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

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.