Kick off-meeting of INTERCONNECT project in Karlskrona 4-5 October 2017

The kick-off meeting of the INTERCONNECT project took place in Karlskrona (Sweden) on 4-5th October 2017.  Organized by Region Blekinge, the project’s Lead Partner, the event aimed at organizing the work of the partnership while promoting its practical objectives dedicated to the establishment of sustainable cross-border public transport solutions in the South Baltic area. » Read more

Save the date – 4/5 June 2018: 9th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR

On 4-5 June 2018, the 9th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR will be held in Tallinn (Estonia). Hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia with the Baltic Development Forum in close cooperation with the European Commission, it will see the participation of nearly 700 representatives from governments, international organisations, NGOs, universities, local and regional administrations and businesses. They will be gathered there together to discuss developments and challenges in the Baltic Sea Region.

The main theme of the 9th Annual Forum will be the Baltic Sea Region After 2020. The Forum will be specifically focused on how to improve the implementation of the EUSBSR in the framework of the future EU Cohesion Policy. Therefore, it will be a great opportunity to discuss the current state of the ecosystem in the Baltic Sea as well as provisions to advance the region as a global digital hub.

 

Save the date: 8 November 2018 – “Let’s communicate” seminar in Gdańsk

On 8 November in Gdańsk a seminar entitled “Let’s communicate!” Joint Business Seminar is going to be organized in order to show the benefits and potentials of transnational cooperation for maritime businesses.

The seminar, organized within the framework of EUSBSR, will be a good chance to meet other stakeholders taking part in regional projects and to get knowledge of various opportunities for EU co-financing in the Baltic Sea Region.

The agenda, which will be soon announced, includes thematic panels with the participation of business experts as well as beneficiaries of projects from the maritime sector; individual talks of the participants with experts and a session to facilitate potential meetings among partners of future projects.

The registration is possible here.

 

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.

EC Communication on boosting development in border regions

Boosting growth and cohesion in EU border regions” is the title of the communication that EU Commission adopted in Brussels on 20th September 2017.

The communication is the result of two years long research and dialogue with local authorities across borders and various stakeholders. The aim of the communication is to reduce administrative and legal obstacles of cross-border interaction smoothing cooperation and cohesion among EU internal border-regions. These regions cover the 40% of EU territory accounting for 150 million people.

Since 1990 Interreg program has been supporting cross-border cooperation financing projects and initiatives to improve connectivity and cohesion, boost economic growth and undertake a path of trust through people to people projects. Despite positive results difficulties still persist: lack of information; complicated administrative procedures; lack of coordination; different tax regimes; different living standards.

In order to tackle them, the Commission has developed a “Border Focal Point” aiming at providing key actors with support to address cross-border issues, sharing experiences and good practices, ensuring that the Commission will take into due account the cross-border regional dimension in its future key actions. Within this framework, the Commission intends to address 10 key actions: deepening cooperation and exchanges; improving the legislative process; enabling cross-border public administration; providing reliable and understandable information and assistance; supporting cross-border employment; promoting border multi-lingualism; facilitating cross-border accessibility; promoting greater pooling of health-care facilities; considering the legal and financial framework for cross-border cooperation; building evidence of cross-border interaction to inform decision-making.

As EU internal border regions contribute significantly to the wealth of Europe, evidence shows that by reducing administrative and legal discontinuities much can be gained. This is the reason why EU Commission will continue to contribute to the progress of border regions funding programmes to boost their development.

Partner search – Green Passages as Our Common Heritage and Good

The EcoDefense, an NGO based in Kaliningrad, is looking for partners, possibly Nordic NGOs, for a project aimed to study and protect the tree avenues of Kaliningrad region, to be submitted to the NGO Support Program of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The project is to strengthen civil environmental rights through protection of an important element of our common historical, natural, and cultural landscape, the avenues, through cooperation and good practices transfer by Nordic, Baltic, Polish and Kaliningrad NGOs.

The avenues, or green corridors of Europe, are lines of trees by sides of roads and streets. They present European rich natural and cultural heritage and need to be cared now and preserved for future generations. With their aesthetic, environmental, and economic values, the tree-lined avenues form a living environment for the local communities, serve as an essential element of road infrastructure, and provide valuable ecosystem services.

Unique for Russia, in Kaliningrad region, the avenues are an important and recognizable feature of region’s landscape that belongs to history and nature of the area. They are an integral element of regional identity that connects past and present generations living on this land. Presently, Kaliningrad avenues have no legal protection and are exposed to destruction by regional authorities.

The project will study, adopt and implement skills and expertise of the Nordic countries, Baltic States, and Poland in the field of the avenues protection and regulation to help to develop a legal avenue protection base as well as give Kaliningrad activists necessary cross-border support and mobilize awareness rising cultural, social, and planting initiatives. The project will strengthen cultural landscape protection and build the capacity of NGOs in countries involved.

The project application will be submitted to the NGO Support Program of the Nordic Council of Ministers. The deadline for submissions is October 15, 2017. The program does not require co-financing by the project partners. Only nongovernmental organizations are eligible as project partners under the program.

More information about the project:

Partner search letter from Ecodefense

Project summary from Ecodefense

Youth 3.0 and Youth 4.0 projects approved in Erasmus+

Two Erasmus + projects, submitted by ERB partners in Sweden and Denmark have just been approved: Youth 3.0 and Youth 4.0. They are two of the four ambitious projects submitted last April by a partnership of four organizations in Sweden, Denmark, Poland and Lithuania. The leadership is foreseen for Europe Direct Bornholm for Youth 3.0, and Kumulus for Youth 4.0, organizations both committed in the field of youth cooperation. » Read more

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

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