We suspended our activities due to Covid-19
emergency but now we’re ready to get back to you with new webinars and
Rent-an-Expert service! We hope you are all fine and that you’re ready to be engaged
We are planning different thematic webinars
with the support of experts from the fields. You can participate for free
enrolling in our Moodle platform first, and then in the right course. There you
can find the link to connect to Zoom platform, you will connect to your peers
and you’ll have access to the material prepared for each specific webinar.
We are the masters of the capacity building! Therefore, if after the webinars you feel you’d need more support on specific topics, we can provide support hiring an expert for you.
The support can be requested by single organizations’ teams. We will help you to connect with others, find the right expert and organize ad hoc sessions for you.
Are you ready for our first webinar on sustainable cycling tourism? We will start on 10th June, more info and registration link will come on Monday! Stay tuned!
We are super excited to announce that our project has been extended until the end of the year! What does it mean for you?
Even more webinars with our experts who will help you in creating new, original projects or improving those already started. Also, check out #Umbrella training and rent-an-expert sessions on-line! Soon we will come back with the first dates and information on the topics. If you’re looking for some specific topic or have any suggestions – just let us know!
Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 and the pandemic situation we decided to postpone the Umbrella project final conference that was planned on 18-19th May in Gdańsk, Poland. We hope that the event will take place in fall and we will let you know the exact date as soon as we confirm the new dates.
Please stay safe and all the best from Umbrella and Euroregion Baltic Team!
Newsletter No 3
The FilmNet project is one of the few projects implemented in the Interreg South Baltic program, which used such a method as “Job Shadowing” (JS). What is it? How can it be used? What are the benefits?
concept of Job Shadowing comes from business and means “accompanying internship”. It
involves learning by observing the work of others, more experienced employees.
Hence, moreover, the name – a person who determines with the help of this tool
accompanies the employee being watched – is like a shadow. This is also the
difference between JS and professional internship or volunteering – here, the
delegated person does not provide work for the organization or institution,
does not make the decisions and actively participate in meetings. Of course,
can be involved in various activities, but this doesn’t impose any obligations
on this person.
is a relatively new phenomenon but can bring direct benefits to both companies
and employees. What about projects within international cooperation?
It turns out that this tool is very rarely
used – although it could be more often applied, especially in projects related
to employee mobility or capacity building of partner organizations. In Interreg
programs, it is used only marginally, in Erasmus + slightly better – but also
to a limited extent. Meanwhile, according to many reports, it is the ability to
directly track the work of foreign teachers and experts which provide the best
In Interreg programs, where we talk
about exchange of experience, good practices, building organizational
potential, contacts between people – job shadowing can be a great tool, opening
both people and organizations
FilmNet project is one of those unusual activities where the Job Shadowing instrument
was used. Almost every partner accepted employees of partner organizations
within their institution. The visits took place in October at the Institute for
New Media in Rostock, (Germany) and in November 2018 at FilmRegion Sydost in Växjo, (Sweden), in September 2019
at Center of European Meetings “Światowid” in Elbląg, (Poland) and
last – on 24 -28.02.2020 at the Business and Tourist Information Center in
Rietavas, (Lithuania). Each of these events lasted five business days.
were the results?
Employees of the Polish CSE
“Światowid” could “get inside” other solutions and
experiences in the field of film education, e.g. see how film clubs work in
Sweden, mini film funds for young filmmakers. They gained inspiration for
innovative initiatives and projects of a film nature, e.g. in the functioning
of the Swedish project “Filmriket” the platform related to the
promotion of film production among children and young people.
Partners from Rostock (Institute for New
Media) emphasized the positive aspect of professional exchange with partners
abroad in the form of obtaining a different perspective and the opportunity to
reflect on their work, meet new project partners and establish relationships
with them. It was essential to include some of the experience gained into the
daily practice of their organization, primarily related to the creation of a
network of film festivals for children and young people (based on the
experience of the Youth Cinema Network through participation in Job shadowing
The possibility of intensive exchange with
festivals throughout the Baltic Sea region was also gained. The experience and
knowledge gathered in this way allowed to slightly modify the program of this
year’s German film festival FiSH, which was to begin in 2020 with a competition
for young filmmakers in the entire Baltic Sea region!
can you prepare yourself as an organization and your employees to use such a
We have a few hints…
How long can job shadowing take? From 2 to 60
days, depending on your needs. Partners from the Institute for New Media
suggest limiting the shadowing period of work to 3 days. They always combine it
with specific work processes, e.g. selection committees, future workshops,
media camps. It is worth that the organization sent an employee of its
institution identifies its areas for improvement – then it is easier to
organize such observation. We do not send our observers either when there is a
lot of work in the host organization (the so-called “hot period”), or
when we have a “hot season” – there is nothing to observe.
In fact, we should not force a particular
scenario – job shadowing is an observation of our daily work, habits,
organizational culture – just the life of the organization.
So, we encourage you to take an example from the FilmNet project and the wider use of such a tool as Job Shadowing!
The contents of this Newsletter are the sole responsibility of the
authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union,
the Managing Authority or the Joint Secretariat of the Interreg South Baltic
In Interconnect Interreg South Baltic project, we support the idea of sustainable public transport in the South Baltic Sea. See how easy & pleasurable a journey can be in our coproduction video clip, promoting the #InterCombiTicket connection between Rostock and Nykøbing Falster
This month Umbrella is coming back with the Success Story on INTERCONNECT project. Interconnect supports new and more efficient public transport services both in and between the coastal regions of the South Baltic area – to give the residents and tourists broader and more sustainable options for realising their mobility needs.
Today, the public transport offer in the South Baltic area hardly meets customer expectations for the comfort of making regional and cross-border journeys. Communities of the coastal regions see no clear benefits of choosing public transport over a car for longer trips:
dissatisfied with a shortage of tickets allowing multimodal rides (e.g. bus-ferry-train) across the regional borders,
difficult access to one-spot passenger information
a lack of tailor-made products.
This is particularly visible on ferry links, which see a steadily growing number of cross-border car travels due to customised services and price packages for motorised passengers, while the market segment of foot passengers remains marginal.
Public transport authorities in the South Baltic area require more knowledge about regional and cross-border mobility needs in their communities – both now and in the future – and need deeper expertise on how to match them with sustainable solutions. The usual planning and management tools, market incentives and promotion campaigns in the regional communities to change the travel behaviour tend to fail, as they are usually not preceded by a mapping of no-car travel preferences.
Although many interesting public transport services and products in the South Baltic area have been developed locally, the experience is very scattered and the good practice has not been effectively exchanged at the region-to-region level so far. In addition, some South Baltic regions lack public transport systems and organisations to manage this process.
Read below some useful tips and info from the project partner responsible for the Communication in Interconnect. Answers provided by Ms Ania Dudziak, Project Officer at Euroregion Baltic, Poland.
What has been valuable or what was the most significant asset for you as a person to be a part of this project?
Being a part of this project has given me new self-development opportunities and has widened my knowledge about cross-border cooperation. But most of all, it gave me a chance to meet many great people from different countries.
What have you discovered from working with other nationalities? Is there something you discovered and you considered as a surprise (for its originality, something you discovered about your the country that you did not know before?)
When working in an international environment, you can always discover something new and surprising, something to learn from. I guess every nationality has a lot to bring “onboard the project”, whether it’s cultural, social, or legal issues. The beauty of working with other nationalities is the possibility of creating something unique that might reach beyond any kind of borders.
If newcomer: What was your experience as a newcomer in the Partnership?
As a newcomer in both partnership and international projects, I was amazed by how well people from different environments/institutions can work together, overcoming any boundaries and sharing their experience and knowledge to gain common goals.
What has your organization gained from the project?
The Interconnect project partnership is about being a part of changes that affect our everyday life, e.g. sustainable transport, mobility etc. The partnership gave us a great chance to extend the contact network of experts, local institutions and companies to cooperate with in the future. It is also a significant opportunity to share know-how and international experience in implementing technical solutions when it comes to a particular area of regional development.
How has the project made an impact on your area?
A great success of the Interconnect project is the intense cross-border cooperation and pilot work to implement technical solutions in developing a model of paying for public transport journeys in cross-border traffic between Region Blekinge(Sweden) and Pomorskie Voivodeship (Poland), as well as the development of the FALA integrated ticket system in Pomorskie Voivodeship.
Has something changed/ improved thanks to your Project? The process of the implementation of the FALA integrated ticket system in Pomorskie Voivodeship has already started, which will have a significant impact on the ease of use of public transport in this area.
Do you have any good advice for potential new organizations that wish to enter into international projects and CBC networks?
No organization should hesitate to enter into CBC networks and transfer their project ideas to the international level. Reaching international partners gives a project better chances of evolvement and implementation.
The past year was a busy time
for all Interconnect project partners, as it was marked by several meetings and
promotion of the project itself.
The 2019 kicked-off with a partnership meeting in
Karlskrona where representatives of Stena Line, Region Blekinge
and Blekingetrafiken discussed one ticket
solution for the ferry passengers travelling without a car between Blekinge
(Sweden) and Pomorskie Region (Poland).
year also, the following meetings were held:
Rostock workshop (11th
The study visit in Klaipeda
Innobaltica workshop in Gdańsk
(10th October )
Karlshamn regional seminar (18th
The study visit and project
partner meeting in Rostock and Warnemunde (6th December)
Furthermore, the Interconnect
project was presented on several events such as
10th Annual Forum of EUSBSR in Gdańsk, or
the ‘Boosting Cross-Border Region through better transport’ conference in
Brussels, where the moderator noted it as one of
the most interesting ongoing cross-border projects.
The biggest event of the past
year was undoubtedly the Interconnect project mid-term conference held on 5th September
2019 in Elbląg. During the meeting, the following thematic fields were defined:
identification of needs of using alternative means of transport to a personal
car, traveller-friendly offer and strengthening cooperation in the field of
public transportation. The conference tackled all of the three areas, but
considering the selection of speakers, it mainly has focused on the cooperation
of different stakeholders in the field of shaping a traveller friendly offer.
The conference was opened by the Mayor of Elbląg, Mr
Witold Wróblewski, who emphasized the growing importance of cooperation between
different stakeholders and cities. Agata Ludwiczak, the representative of the
Euroregion Baltic, presented the aim of the conference, i.e. including the present
condition of public transport integration on the regional level and the
analysis of the experience of other countries in the Baltic Sea Region.
During the conference
regional experts and municipalities representatives presented best-practices
Models for sustainable transport system – Region
tariff and ticketing integration – Innobaltica and Pomeranian Voivodeship;
Integrated transport in the
agglomeration – benchmarks from the operational point of view – Rostock;
The positioning of public
transport integration in Olsztyn and catchment area Warmian-Masurian
One of the main conclusions of the conference
was that the so-called ‘soft projects’ consisting of developing international
cooperation (e.g. INTERCONNECT) constitute an essential foundation for good
practices popularization. They also contribute to the limitation of risk in the
modern innovative solutions development, e.g. in the scope of tariff-ticket
The September conference also resulted in several open information meetings regarding the modern public transport payment system FALA that will revolutionize travelling in Pomorskie Voivodeship and the city of Elbląg. Responsible for the implementation of the project is the Interconnect project partner – Innobaltica. The tender for the implementation of the FALA system in Pomorskie Voivodeship was announced on 20th December.
At the end of the year, another Interconnect partnership meeting took place. On 5th December, in Rostock, the project partners not only discussed past project activities and future challenges of the project but also took part in a very fruitful workshop on the catalogue of solutions for sustainable public transport.
On 11th December we have participated in the Workshop on future Pomeranian initiatives in the Interreg South Baltic 2020+ Programme organized by the Pomorskie Region contact point and Joint Secretariat.
The workshop was an opportunity to discuss the needs of beneficiaries that can be implemented in the future South Baltic 2020+ program, and their readiness to engage in new EU projects. We also had a chance to present complete UMBRELLA project offer and invite the interested stakeholders and newcomers to reach us and use our project offer.
The workshops were conducted modularly, i.e. a plenary session and a workshop part led by experienced experts. It was also an opportunity to exchange experiences and share your own thoughts on the shape of the future program, improvements in the implementation system and the scope of future projects.
We are happy to report that one of our ERB projects, where we act as a Partner – Interconnect was mentioned a few times as the “best practice” example. The #Interconnect project was noted by the moderator, Mr Adam Mikłajczyk from Pomorskie Marshal Office as an extremely creative example of a project, where intelligent use of the Interreg South Baltic Programme funds supports the implementation of the project’s main assumptions.
For more information on workshops and the presentations from the South Baltic Programme, visit ewt.pomorskie.eu
Program of the meeting
08:00 – 08:30
Registration of meeting participants/coffee break
08:30 – 09:15
Opening of the event – Adam Mikołajczyk Director of DRRP UMWP
Summary of the Interreg South Baltic Program 2014-2020 – Dominika Butkiewicz Head of the Joint Technical Secretariat
Presentation of Umbrella project results – Magda Leszczyna – Rzucidło Head of the Euroregion Baltic Secretariat
Established in 1998 Euroregion
Baltic (ERB), is a politically solid and well-anchored cross-border cooperation
platform in the south-east of the Baltic Sea region, representing regional
authorities and associations of local authorities in nine regions in
five countries. ERB is the first euroregion to have formally included a partner
With reference to:
the Position Paper of Euroregion Baltic on the Future of Cohesion Policy after 2020, adopted on 18th September 2017
the Position Paper of Euroregion Baltic on the Future of the Interreg South Baltic Programme after 2020, adopted on 26th September 2018
presentation during the “The Baltic Sea/Arctic Area post-2020” round table discussion on 12th September 2019
Euroregion Baltic takes the
supports the continuation of the South Baltic Programme as a separate European
Territorial Cooperation instrument, and therefore strongly opposes the European
Commission’s proposal to merge the South Baltic Programme with the Central
believes that the merger of the South Baltic Programme and Central Baltic
Programme would result in creating another, in fact, transnationally oriented
programme, as eight countries and the vast geographical area would be involved
in this cooperation. From ERB’s perspective, this would no longer be the
cross-border- programme in real terms.
opposes the proposal of merging the Central Baltic Programme and South Baltic
Programme, as Central Baltic Programme’s geographical coverage is more urban,
with four state capitals and significant nationwide stakeholders involved, whereas
the South Baltic Programme geography covers more rural/small and medium-sized
towns areas, and the Programme itself is more peripheral. It means that the
socio-economic challenges such as economic and innovative potential,
demography, education and skills development, environmental issues, transport
accessibility etc. would vary considerably in a newly merged programme. This
would put the priority setting process at risk and make the new programme
ineffective in addressing the specific cross-border needs of the area.
supports the idea of bringing the EU closer to its citizens. We firmly believe
that the South Baltic Programme needs to keep its cross-border character, and
in result be able to come much closer to and involve the citizens at mostly
local and regional level.
believes that merging the two programmes will weaken the primary goal and most
endorsed by ERB approach, which should be to address citizens needs in a most
direct way possible. This could also disconnect significant players in South
Baltic area – such as local authorities
and smaller NGO’s. ERB shares the view that local communities and institutions
are more willing to engage in the cooperation on the sub-regional level than on
welcomes the European Commission’s proposal to establish small project funds
within Interreg programmes but recommends that their budgets should not
exceed 20% of the total programme allocation. The beneficiary of a small
project fund shall be a cross-border organisation such as Euroregion, working
together with hosting organisation, a legal entity, such as Association
of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic. ERB recognises that such funds
are the best instrument to implement people-to-people projects as they help in a
straightforward and effective way to build up and maintain trust between people
and regions in neighbouring states.
Sharing knowledge and learning from each other at the Annual Event 2019 of the Interreg South Baltic Programme.
Over one hundred participants from Poland, Lithuania, Germany, Denmark and Sweden – project partners, beneficiaries, representatives of local and regional authorities, as well as representatives of non-governmental institutions (NGO) – met on 24-25 September in Ostróda, in Poland. The motto of this year’s event was “Let’s share and learn”. The event was focused on learning from each other, networking and making plans for the future.
The conference has begun with welcoming words and the Programme’s state of play presented by Dominika Butkiewicz, Head of the Joint Secretariat, who underlined the importance and uniqueness of the Programme and the Baltic Sea as our common heritage. “It is time to find the way to continue looking together in the same direction”, she said.
The subsequent speeches delivered by Gustaw Marek Brzezin, Marshal of the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship and Magdalena Bednarczyk-Sokół, Deputy Director of Territorial Cooperation Department in the Ministry of Investment and Economic Development also focused on the topic of future cooperation.
The Joint Secretariat team’s members prepared an interactive game. The game consisted of 10 stations where each of them concerned a different issue or a task. Participants were divided into 10 groups accordingly. In a friendly and entertaining manner, the players of the game had a chance to get to know each other and to verify their knowledge about the Programme, the South Baltic region, and the projects. The outcomes of the groups’ work proved to be valuable information for everyone.
Later in the conference, the presentation of Manuel Gonzales Evangelista from the Interact Programme touched on capitalisation of projects’ results in practice. The topic triggered lively discussions among participants of the event and had its continuation during workshops the next day.
The second half of the first day of the conference was rich in leisure activities that supported networking and establishing contacts for future cooperation. Three attractions to choose from – the boat trip on the Drwęckie Lake, sightseeing of the Ostróda Teutonic Castle and relax in the South Baltic Chill & Chat Zone were offered to participants before the evening reception. Numerous regional accents, such as performance of the Pearl of Warmia Folk Dance Group, as well as beverages and food from the Warmia region, gave dinner even more flavour. Music lovers had a chance to check on their ear for music in the music quiz which turned to be a great integrating game.
On the second day, the participants met at the morning yoga session led by Lina Lindell from the SB Well project. The project aims at promoting sustainable wellbeing tourism in the South Baltic region. The yoga session was followed by a series of three different workshops taking place in parallel. During the workshop about the future of the Programme post 2020 with an external expert, Wiktor Szydarowski, challenges and expectations were discussed. The Programme’s Swedish Contact Points – Johan Lundbäck, Johanna Rönn and Ulrika Melander – led a workshop dedicated to the durability of projects and long-lasting sustainability of results. The third workshop focused on communication, cooperation and capitalisation of projects’ results. Katarzyna Sempołowicz-Lipska, the Communication Officer of the Programme, together with Magda Leszczyna-Rzucidło from the Umbrella project, continued with an exercise on capitalisation from the interactive game which took place the day before. The projects’ representatives became more aware that common knowledge and experience is a priceless value and a great base for creating new initiatives. The audience was provided with a lot of inspiration for cooperation, as well as how to join forces and promote projects’ results.
The two-day annual event was concluded by Witold Kielich, Head of Territorial Cooperation Office in the Marshal’s Office in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship. He underlined the importance of fundaments of Interreg programmes that have been built so far: „it’s crucial to develop capitalisation activities in order to promote achievements and demonstrate the added-value of cooperation carried out so far, use results in order to improve the quality of implementation, to improve delivery into regional policies, make Interreg more visible with tangible results and as well to provide solid inputs to the EU policymakers – from us, not only managing, national or even regional authorities, but us – project partners and implementers. Such input will be particularly important in the framework of EU Programmes post-2020 discussions”.
Participants of the Annual Event left Ostróda enriched with concrete knowledge, new contacts and inspiring ideas looking forward to seeing each other again next year in Sweden.
The presentation Capitalisation of projects’ results in practice is available in the Interact Library here.
The full photo gallery from the event is available here.