Youth Board

ERB Youth Board members as of 2019:

  1. Yanina Andrushkevich – Member of ERB Youth Board, Kaliningrad Region
  2. Krzysztof Burchat – Member of ERB Youth Board, Pomorskie Region
  3. Damian Ciachorowski – Member of ERB Youth Board, Association of Polish Communes
  4. Mille Sommer – Member of ERB Youth Board, Regional Municipality of Bornholm
  5. Simona Skuodaite – Member of ERB Youth Board, Association Klaipeda Region
  6. Johanna Wyckman – Member of ERB Youth Board, Region Kalmar County

Since its establishment in 1998 Euroregion Baltic has supported and implemented projects and activities which targeted children and youth in a variety of cooperation areas, e.g. education and exchange activities. Drawing competitions such as We Are from the Sea, ecological youth camps, sports events like Euroregion Baltic Youth Games, Youth Film project, Green Circle Schools and Ice Hockey tournament are only some of the several projects that can serve as a good example of the activities in question. Youth issues in relation to cross-border cooperation are of high priority in most of the ERB member regions which therefore agreed that support to youth cooperation and creating a youth structure within Euroregion Baltic should be special priorities in the ERB strategy for 2007 and 2008.

The first step into institutionalising youth cooperation was taken when around 80 young participants from the Danish, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian and Swedish regions in Euroregion Baltic attended the ERB Youth Conference on 20 April 2007 in Elblag and took part in the three parallel workshops on Environment, Intercultural dialogue and Democratic participation. Later that year, on 6th December 2007 the Council of Euroregion Baltic established a new structure within the organisation: ERB Youth Board, responsible for the promotion and facilitation of cooperation actively involving youths from around Euroregion Baltic.

The Youth Board, consisting of girls and boys between 16 and 30 years of age who each represent the eight regions in Euroregion Baltic, also takes active part in the ERB decision-making process. The organisational structure of the ERB Youth Board is specified in the ERB Statutes and has not been significantly changed since the establishment of the Board in 2007. The Youth Board elects a Chairperson and a Vice-Chairperson among its members for the term of one year. The decisions are based on consensus with the presence of more than 50% of the Youth Board members. The Youth Board contributes to the ERB Biennial Action Plan and submits activity and financial reports on the their activities to the ERB Executive Board. The Chairperson of the Youth Board is the member of the ERB Executive Board with a right to vote.

The work of the Youth Board was inaugurated on 22nd February 2008 in Elbląg, Poland when its representatives took part in the meeting of the Euroregion Baltic Council. A day later, on 23rd February 2008 the ERB Youth Board convened its first official meeting and elected Ms Anna Grazova from the Kalniningrad Region for the position of the first Youth Board Chairperson. During subsequent on-line meetings members of the Youth Board discussed the activity plan which was later submitted to the ERB Executive Board and finally approved on 25th April 2008 at a meeting in Svaneke, Bornholm. The activity plan defined the following vision concerning the development of youth cooperation in the ERB: In 2015 Euroregion Baltic will be a region where the youth agenda is an important and integral part of the ERB cooperation, well rooted in the Euroregional and regional structures, and reflected in ERB contributions towards EU policies. Based on this vision, the Youth Board established a series of short and long terms goals of their cooperation. The short terms goals included the creation of a well functioning operational structure that would be capable of developing and implementing cooperation projects.

As a result, the Youth Board would be able to engage youth in the cooperation and promote their perspective and interests in the ERB. As for the long term goals, the Youth Board was to, among others, provide the opportunity for the youth to be involved in the ERB activities, act as a voice for youth in the ERB, increase interaction between regional authorities and the youth, encourage closer cooperation between the youth and local government, eliminate cultural prejudice and facilitate youth mobility.

During 2008 and 2009 the Youth Board managed to create a well functioning structure. With its own internet website and a logo, it became an effective organisation promoting youth issues in the ERB during various seminars and conferences within and outside ERB area. Since 2009 the Youth Board has been managing a joint project within the South Baltic Cross-border Cooperation Programme entitled Youth Cross-border Cooperation and Communication Yc3. The aim of the project is to give young people around the South Baltic area an opportunity to influence politicians on subjects of importance, and to provide a platform for networking where young people would be able to exchange ideas and cooperate on various youth initiatives. Please follow this link to learn more about the Yc3 project.