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New ERB position paper “FUTURE OF THE INTERREG SOUTH BALTIC PROGRAMME ARGUMENTS SUPPORTING THE CROSS-BORDER-COOPERATION”

Euroregion Baltic

FUTURE OF THE INTERREG SOUTH BALTIC PROGRAMME

ARGUMENTS SUPPORTING THE CROSS-BORDER-COOPERATION

Prepared on 16th October 2019

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 from Russia.

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 following position:

  • ERB 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 Baltic Programme.
  • ERB 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.
  • ERB 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.
  • ERB 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.
  • ERB 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 transnational level.
  • ERB 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.

Vytautas Grubliauskas

President of Euroregion Baltic

See the signed document here:

Summary from the Interreg South Baltic Programme website:

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.

Clip summarizing the SBP Annual Event

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.

Future trends in ENERGY and ELECTROMOBILITY  in the South Baltic Region

Cross-border Conference with PA panel;  25th of October, 2019, Scandic Hotel, Gdansk, Poland.

Invitation

Baltic Institute for Regional Affairs BISER together with UMBRELLA Interreg South Baltic project partners, take immense pleasure in inviting you to attend the Cross-border Conference with PA panel that will take place in Gdańsk (Poland) on 25th October 2019.

The main objective of this conference is to provide beneficiaries with relevant information in specific thematic areas for the preparation of future project applications. This will be a first occasion to investigate the possibility of creating new projects to submit for proposals in the South Baltic Programme or using other funding possibilities in the field of Energy and electromobility.

To be able to do that, the conference will provide you with relevant information concerning the on-going discussion on Energy topics in the South Baltic Sea, Energy & electromobility objectives in the EU Baltic Sea Strategy, to end up with the support you can get from Umbrella-project in the project application phase. Being the conference co-organized with the EUSBSR PA ENERGY Coordinator,  participants will meet with experts in the frame of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. We will also propose a special „Microactivity” aiming experts related to the electromobility.

You can find the draft agenda of the conference below:

Registration is now open at the following link: https://forms.gle/TLwpBJzCbN1L15Rc6

Should you need further details, don’t hesitate to contact:

Magda Leszczyna-Rzucidło

Email: magda.rzucidlo@euroregionbaltic.eu

We invite all the stakeholders interested and working with the energy issues to join us on 25th October in Gdańsk.

Umbrella project, together with the EUSBSR PA ENERGY Coordinator and the Economic Development Department of the Pomorskie Marshall Office, will host a full-day expert conference where we will discuss the issues connected to the:

  • future trends in energy cooperation;
  • environmental management;
  • electromobility.

We invited guests and speakers from the South Baltic area: Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Poland. Our conference will give you a unique opportunity to hear about the recent EUSBSR PA ENERGY projects, future plans and developments, learn from the success stories from successful transnational project consortiums working in the area of energy and endless opportunities for the networking and finding partners for your future cross-border activities.

If you would like to become one of the speakers during our event and present your thematic case-study or project idea – please contact BISER team, conference organisers: biser@biser.org.pl

We will also share info on how can we help you within UMBRELLA project network to reach your goals, i.e. by providing expert knowledge, helping you with the project application etc.

Registration for the meeting will start soon, and we will inform you about this via our website and social media, so stay tuned!

Another month and yet another Success Story from the South Baltic Programme! This time we wish to inspire you by presenting the BalticMuseums: LoveIT! – Brand, gamification and Apps for museums and tourist attractions project!

Hi, my name is Jurgita Eglinskiene. I’ve been working in international projects at the Lithuanian Sea Museum in Klaipeda for many years.

This year, we celebrate our museum’s 40th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of a series of projects with our BalticMuseums community: since 2009 we’ve been cooperating with other museums, universities and IT specialists in the South Baltic region to exploit chances of digitalization in our visitor services. Back in 2009, we had started with clumsy specialized devices for offering eGuide tours, and now, just ten years later, we jointly develop gamified apps to be used on the visitors’ smartphones. Technology changes very fast, and so do opportunities. With the project, we can share developments and will be able to use the visitors’ own electronic devices instead of providing them as a museum. This means we can concentrate on the content of our museum, to produce the stories around it and focus on how to make the visit involving and mind-changing for our guests.

Photo BM2: During the hackathon event at our museum (you see me at the very left) ©Lithuanian Sea Museum

The project “BalticMuseums: LoveIT!” helps us implement new IT services for visitors in our museum. We will have a new multi-lingual app for visitor’s smartphones (Bring Your Own Device BYOD), with gamification elements. To gain input for such app, we wanted to work with external users. We had a chance to take the challenge of organizing a hackathon, a creative programming marathon, in our museum for the first time! With this example, you can understand how much cooperation is worth.

Our project partners in Gdynia (Poland) – NMFRI Gdynia Aquarium and Experiment Science Center – had already hosted a hackathon in the project. They were supported by two partners from Szczecin (Poland) – University of Szczecin and Netcamp. After that, all learnings were gathered and documented by Stralsund University of Applied Sciences (Germany). With this input and the support of our colleagues from Poland, we could organize our hackathon event.

Then, we extracted our learnings and passed the baton on to Malmö Museums (Sweden) and NaturBornholm (Denmark), who hosted the third hackathon. After that, again, a concept revision was made, and the final hackathon was hosted by Business Academy North and Stralsund University of Applied Sciences (Germany). Here, we opened up and seven museums, which are not partners of the project, participated with their topics in the event. This process helped us to learn as an international team, continuously revising a concept that we created together and then opening it up to others.

Photo BM1: Our team at Lithuanian Sea Museum discusses ideas for an App ©Lithuanian Sea Museum

Apart from working on the BYOD tools and content, we are also preparing a joint brand for our app, so that we can reach a higher impact within the project community and beyond. In our project, we have strong focus on learning and exchange. In online sessions, we also get input from other organizations outside of our project. We reflect our learning and share it online on a knowledge base (www.knowledge.balticmuseums.info).

In addition to the ‘hard’ results from the project, we have other benefits. The project work has encouraged us to approach many things in the museum in a fresh way. To name some examples: for working with the Generic Learning Outcomes concept in the exhibition we got new perspectives from colleagues from Malmö, or analysing User Experience and finding critical points in the visitor journey in our museum was freshly inspired by colleagues from Gdynia. So, we gain not only new tools, but also ideas, and a spirit of sharing, openness and improvement.

Photo BM3: The final “Baltathon – BalticMuseums hackathon” in Greifswald, Germany ©Business Academy North

In our museum, many employees are engaged in the project, from the educational department, PR, IT, and project management. Thus, the project provides inspiration to all our organization. But it does not end there. Due to the project’s dissemination activities, other museums from our region know about the international activities the Lithuanian Sea Museum is participating in and the results that we achieve with it. That strengthens the image of our museum, helps us to be a leader and advisor to the colleagues in Lithuania. We just celebrated the museum’s 40th anniversary and invited our international partners from various projects as well as Lithuanian colleagues. It is was received as a great exchange and inspiration. Thus, we can leverage our experiences beyond our own institution.

Photo BM6: Project partners from Poland share their App ideas ©Weronika Podlesińska

Personally, I became a real friend to many people living far away from me, who work in very different fields.  Without the project, I would never have had a chance to make those friends. Being a member of a project family, makes me feel being an essential part of an international community.  My advice is: Don’t be afraid of joining any international project or community – it always pays off in the sense of new friends, experience and opportunities for new ideas and activities!

Photo BM5: BalticMuseums project team meeting in Malmö, Sweden 

Read more about the project:

www.balticmuseums.info

www.knowledge.balticmuseums.info

https://www.facebook.com/Balticmuseums/

JURGITA ALSO SHARED WITH US HER THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ON WORKING IN SBP CROSS-BORDER PROJECT! READ HER INSPIRING COMMENTS AND LET US KNOW IF YOU HAVE A SIMILAR STORY YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE! WE WILL BE HAPPY TO INTERVIEW YOU AND GET O KNOW BETTER YOUR SOUTH BALTIC PROJECT.

What has been valuable or what was the greatest asset for you as a person to be a part of this project?

I became a real friend to many people living far away from me, who work in very different fields.  Without the project, I would never have had a chance to make those friends. Being a member of a project family, makes me feel being an essential part of an international community.

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 country that you did not know before?)

I’d say, we’ve learnt much of each other, for example: from Scandinavian people – to be properly dressed and prepared for any weather conditions, to be open to everything that nature can suggest and award us with; from German people – to be more active and efficient everywhere: at work, during your holiday or in leisure time; from Polish – never to loose good temper and high spirits. To sum it up, it’s a great inspiration for working with people from different national cultures and work backgrounds!

What has your organisation gained from the project?

The project “BalticMuseums: LoveIT!” helps us implement new IT services for visitors in our museum. We will have a new multi-lingual app for visitor’s smartphones, with gamification elements. To keep up to date with ever-changing tech developments, the work in our interdisciplinary project team of museums, universities and IT specialists is extremely helpful for us. In this field, change happen so fast, that we need to share developments with other institutions to continuously have an attractive offer for our visitors. In addition to the ‘hard’ results from the project, we have other benefits. The project work has encouraged us to approach many things in the museum in a fresh way. To name some examples: for working with the Generic Learning Outcomes concept in the exhibition we got new perspectives from colleagues from Malmö, or analysing User Experience and finding critical points in the visitor journey in our museum was freshly inspired by colleagues from Gdynia. In addition, we had a chance to take the challenge of organizing a hackathon, a creative programming marathon, in our museum for the first time! So, we gain not only new tools, but also ideas, and a spirit of sharing, openness and improvement.

Have you experienced any successful spinout of your project /added value? (have you had any successful surprises of your project?/ have you learnt something you could apply/ suggest in your own country?

During our BalticMuseums hackathon event, the technology of hologram was proposed. The idea had won the competition but was not directly applicable to our BalticMuseums project. Inspired by the hologram solution we created another project. To open up our museum, we place a temporary exhibition in Klaipeda City centre. The hologram technology was applied inside a marine shipping container, showcasing an exclusive shell from the museum’s collection. Thanks to the hologram technology the exhibit was very emotionally touching.

What have we discovered working in cross-border cooperation with other nationalities?

Being in an international partnership for many years, we gained a wealth of experiences that allows us to feel confident in any international contacts, activities or relations. We have developed our point and our position, which allows us to act as an equal, reliable and respectful partner.

And finally – on a strategic level:

How has the project made an impact on your area?

Due to the project’s dissemination activities, other museums from our region know about the international activities the Lithuanian Sea Museum is participating in and the results that we achieve with it. That strengthens the image of our museum, helps us to be a leader and advisor to the colleagues in Lithuania. We just celebrated the museum’s 40th anniversary and invited our international partners from various projects as well as Lithuanian colleagues. It was received as a great exchange and inspiration. Thus, we can leverage our experiences beyond our own institution. The project “BalticMuseums: LoveIT!” allows us to implement new and modern tools which put us in an advanced situation to provide an engaging museum visit to our visitors.

Has your project had an impact at the policy level?

Not yet, but likely in the future. We focus on the promotion of national maritime history. It is discussed and approved in Lithuania, that school programmes and other sources of education lack information and attention to national maritime history. We hope that our tool will have a further impact on the situation.

Tips & tricks

My advice is: Don’t be afraid of joining any international project or community – it always pays off in the sense of new friends, experience and opportunities for new ideas and activities!

This story was delivered to you by UMBRELLA project!

Dear Partners and Friends,

On behalf of the Interreg South Baltic Programme Joint Secretariat Team, we are forwarding an invitation to their Workshop Session on The European Week of Regions and Cities 2019!

JS are organizing this workshop together with the Interreg Italy-France (Maritime) Programme, which will give all of us the opportunity to exchange across our regions.

What we offer you in our workshop

Smaller regions and cities with the support of Cooperation Programmes have co-developed joint solutions together with strong innovation-oriented actors such as universities, incubators or science and technology parks in cross-border cooperation.

After achieving many valuable results we are not at the end of this journey. In group work, all participants of the workshop will identify future challenges in their home regions. All participants will be invited to join the discussions and contribute their own experiences, future challenges and possible ideas.

The results from the discussions will be presented to the Programming Committee creating the next Programme Period 2021-2027 of the Interreg South Baltic Programme.

Please find more information and the workshop’s program here on our website.

Please find the program as well attached to this email.

Registration available here.

Important! Create your EU Login before registering! (Click on EU Login in the upper right corner of the EURegionsWeek’s website.)
As there are limited seats on the Workshop Session, we recommend registering as soon as possible! We recommend making travel arrangements as soon as possible, as prices are rising.

We recommend registering as well for other sessions, as this year’s program of the EURegionsWeek is very interesting!

For more information contact the JS Team!

Joint Secretariat  |  Interreg South Baltic Programme 2014 – 2020

Al. Grunwaldzka 186  |  80-266 Gdańsk, Poland

Tel: +48 58 746 38 55 |  Fax: +48 58 761 00 30

Email: southbaltic@southbaltic.eu | www.southbaltic.eu

Cooperation for blue and green growth-01

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.

We invite you to submit offers for the provision of National trainings, coaching sessions and training materials for the beneficiaries of the UMBRELLA project – Boosting cross-border cooperation capacities for local actors in the South Baltic Sea, co-financed by the INTERREG VA Poland- Denmark- Germany- Lithuania – Sweden program (South Baltic) 2014 – 2020

All documents necessary to submit an offer are available in the BIP (Biuletyn Informacji Publicznej) at the following link: https://bip.pomorskieregion.eu/zapytania-ofertowe-p14

The deadline for submitting offers is March 27, 2019 at 12.00.

Are you up for an exciting opportunity? The South Baltic Programme invites the South Baltic Region’s 16-20 years old high school senior and university students (individuals or groups) to participate in a video contest producing a short film (up to 3 minutes) on these topics:

  • Sustainable Tourism
  • Green Technologies
  • Sustainable Transport

The aim of the contest is to promote South Baltic Programme’s projects, innovative solutions, opportunities for improvement linked with these themes, and helping to tackle potential issues, obstacles, lacks. The deadline for the participants to send their video is the 14th of May , 2018 (23:59). 5 winners will be awarded with attractive prizes!! For more information visit the website of South Baltic Programme: https://southbaltic.eu/-/video-contest-innovations-in-the-south-baltic-region

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.