The UMBRELLA project aims at building the capacity of local actors. We believe that this is the most effective way to deliver better and more sustainable policies at the local level. The projects and smaller bottom-up initiatives initiated at that level enable the achievement of the overarching objectives set by the “top-down” framework provided by the EU, called the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR).
That is why the EU funding programmes and organizations that use the resources to support their initiatives are important. And that is why the UMBRELLA project is important—because we help to boost this process. One of the primary objectives of the UMBRELLA project is to provide specific knowledge and skills in the implementation of goals and cross-border cooperation for local and regional entities in the South Baltic Region.
As part of this objective, we have initiated the project to develop a set of educational materials on the subject of project management, consisting of: – Beneficiary Manual (available for download in this post) a handbook for beneficiaries of the UMBRELLA project that introduces them to the subject of project management
— Trainer Manual a handbook for trainers of the UMBRELLA project, who conduct courses and workshops based on Beneficiary Manual
BSYP aims at empowering youth and fostering real participation in decision and policy-making in the Baltic Sea Region.
The BSYP will enable youth organisations to reach their fullest potential by empowering them to develop new ideas and pursue them jointly, under the guidance of the 2030 Agenda framework. The platform will engage youth at different levels, in the design of a common framework for action and a shared Baltic Sea Region (BSR) identity.
The aim of the partnership is, to:
Improve the political impact of youth on Baltic Sea policy-making.
Develop tools for better knowledge transfer.
Facilitate various innovative projects relying on the interests and capacities of youth in a broad range of policy areas.
What will be done?
The BSYP will produce several Intellectual Outputs usable for youth organisations and policy-makers in the BSR and other macroregions to promote the region and its identity. The main output will be a virtual platform for youth, organisations and decision-makers for projects and to interact with each other. The platform will be built according to the needs of the young people in the region and the demands from policy-makers. The platform enables youth to interact, cooperate and communicate across borders and to virtually meet peers and decision-makers in a safe and productive environment. The BSYD will also produce a Baltic Sea Youth Power Box, with toolkits and guidelines for intergenerational dialogue, policy-making, youth engagement and advocacy especially tailored for youth in the region, but with possible transferability to other regions. Furthermore, the youth platform participants will be able to engage in the production of youth inputs for the Baltic Sea Cultural Cities (BSCC) – a flagship project of the Policy Area Culture of the EU Strategy of the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). The platform will collectively produce External Reports to show what projects have been done and how the platform was established. Furthermore, Policy Recommendations for decision-makers in the region to emphasise the political perspective of young people and to ensure their positions and rationales are delivered to those who make decisions about our future, will be produced.
How will it be done?
The Baltic Sea Youth Platform ensures that there is nothing about us, without us!
The Youth Platform will work as an umbrella coordination mechanism for several youth organisations horizontally across sectors in connection to the different policy areas and horizontal actions of the EUSBSR. The Strategic Partners of the Erasmus+ project (KA 205) and other associated partners will meet physically and virtually several times per year to discuss the progress and further steps of the project. There will be at least one Multiplier Event per year to inform external stakeholders about the progress of the project and showcase the Intellectual Outputs. In addition, young people will have a safe space to come up with concrete actions and project ideas to allow for increased participation of youth in society. This will contribute to the development of sustainable policies for future generations and the creation of future experts with the cohesion and stability of our Baltic Sea Region at heart!
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.
The meeting will take place in:
Skåne European Office
Rue du Luxembourg 3
Planned agenda of the meeting:
January 2020Meeting with ERB Members EU
9.00 Welcome and introductions
ERB in a nutshell – presentation by Magda
Leszczyna-Rzucidło, Head of the International Permanent Secretariat
EU Office’s engagement in South Baltic related tasks & initiatives; discussion on common goals for the future cooperation between the ERB and ERB Member regions EU Offices
10.30 Coffee break
Interreg South Baltic
Programme “state-of-the-art” – outcomes of the informal Monitoring Committee
Meeting on 19th Nov 2019, ERB position papers, Joint Programming
Committee, future South Baltic CBC priorities etc.
Interreg South Baltic
Programme discussion on possible joint initiatives, actions and lobbying in
12.00 End of the meeting, joint lunch (ordered to the Office)
Guldborgsund Municipality, together with UMBRELLA Interreg South Baltic project partners is pleased to invite you to attend the 2-day cross-border conference with EUSBSR Tourism PA panel in Sakskøbing (DENMARK) on 25th – 26TH February 2020 (from lunch-to-lunch).
The objective of the cross-border conference is to bring various tourism stakeholders that show a common interest in international cooperation in the region of the Baltic Sea together. The conference offers an excellent opportunity to learn about future trends concerning the on-going discussions on sustainable tourism in the South Baltic Sea, extending your international network, and get inspiration for future international cooperation and projects.
Tuesday 25th February 2020 (12:00-17:00 & dinner)
Presentations and debate about future trends of sustainable tourism and the objectives in the EU Baltic Sea Strategy.
Wednesday 26th February 2020 (9:00-13:00)
Parallel workshops in the areas of:
· Cultural / Heritage Tourism
· Nature / Coastal Tourism
· Food / Gastro Tourism
· Specialised „Microactivity on cycling tourism” – The UMBRELLA project offers an opportunity for experts related to cycling tourism to develop ideas into potential projects. Please let us know specifically if you want to give a presentation about your project idea.
Conference participation is free of charge but there is a limited number of seats. Presentations will be held in English.
The conference is taking place at Hotel Saxkjøbing in the beautiful old town of Sakskøbing in Guldborgsund Municipality. There is easy access from Copenhagen airport by car or train taking approximately 2 hours or from Germany by ferry from Puttgarden or Rostock.
For international participants, the Umbrella project offers a possibility of funding opportunities towards travelling and accommodation expenses.
Hotel Saxkjøbing // Torvet 9, 4990 Sakskøbing, Denmark // https://hotel-saxkjobing.dk/ There is a limited number of rooms at a reduced conference price of 655 DKK for standard rooms and 855 DKK for standard plus rooms. Please contact Anna Topp Gustavsen: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UMBRELLA project:
The event is funded by Interreg SBP Umbrella project with project partners from the South Baltic region. Read about UMBRELLA // http://umbrellaproject.eu/
On 2nd and 3rd December 2019, our Europe for Citizens project partners travelled to Gdansk, Poland, to visit us and engage in a conversation centring around the theme of Solidarity.
What is the Connect Europe project about? This project aims to connect citizens and civil society representatives with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The European values are threatened with increased populism and nationalism around Europe. We want to raise awareness about the EU charter and discuss our fundamental rights as citizens of the EU. It is essential for all the partners in this project to counter these right-wing movements and instead promote a visionary and factual based discussion. In this project, we aim to take a different approach when it comes to communicating EU issues. Our strategic point of departure is starting a conversation about the common, cross-border challenges that will create a fora where common solutions can be discussed in a constructive manner. The topic of a common future is the starting point for citizens-to-citizens dialogue. This will move the discussion from a pro- or against the EU towards a more visionary, value- and fact-based discussion.
In a tour of the city we learned of the hardships, battles and historical events that had taken place in this war-tormemded city – historically a place for outside forces to claim with little disregard for the existing population. But also, a city that should come to play a profound role in the healing of Europe and fall of the communist regime.
The key to this story we found at the old shipyard. Today a peaceful sight and build in its place, the European Solidarity Center, a museum, but in earlier days a centre of deadly worker struggles, a fight for justice and – in the end – the birthplace of free trade unions in Poland. Sparks may have flown here but as it turned out, the same sparks that sprung from the suffering of suppressed workers lighted the fire of democracy and foresaw the end of communism.
The European charter for fundamental rights has a chapter especially suited to converse about in this historical place, Chapter IV, Solidarity and especially Article 28:
Right of collective bargaining and action Workers and employers, or their respective organisations, have, in accordance with Community law and national laws and practices, the right to negotiate and conclude collective agreements at the appropriate levels and, in cases of conflicts of interest, to take collective action to defend their interests, including strike action.
Solidarity was also the name of the first free trade union in Polen, Solidarność, who’s leader, Lech Wałęsa, was later elected for president and awarded the Nobel Peace Price. But in the beginning, it was a social movement that trough civil resistance worked to ensure social change and workers rights.
A place for solidarity
European solidarity centre today houses the story of the struggles of Solidarność and the Polish struggle for democracy. This special day it also housed us, a school class of youngster who was to learn about the story as well as debating amongst themself what the idea of solidarity meant for them.
When asked to reflect upon the meaning of solidarity the students came up with many responses – it’s about teamwork, coming together, acceptance. But also, it is about power and action. The power of the many was not lost on the youth who was inspired by the stories of the past.
As Jacek Koltan, deputy director of European Solidarity Center puts it, one of the most important demands today is the need for physical spaces where we can create a sense of community and debates the struggles of today. The issues we face, such as climate changes and social division, is those of great complexity that we need to come together around if we are to find sustainable solutions.
Perhaps that is also what we need today. New spaces to reflect on our shared interest. Together we stand, divided we fall.
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
In the Umbrella project framework, we organized this month another seminars and training on project management. The meetings on 28th Nov in Gdansk, 5th Dec in Kalmar, Sweden and on 10th Dec in Klaipeda, Lithuania.
You can still register for the meetings we will have in January and February 2020, they are all for free, but we have a limited number of places. Register using this link: https://bit.ly/2IuFu7B
Agenda for the training on BASIC/ELEMENTARY level:
Welcome and introduction to the UMBRELLA Project Management Framework – fundamental concepts
UMBRELLA Framework vs. Project Life-Cycle
Estimating Long-Term Effects
Problem and Objectives Tree Analysis
Reviewing Available Funding Programmes
Initiating a Project
How Detailed is the High-Level Planning
Identifying Project Partners
Developing a project logical framework
Work Breakdown Structure
Main planning tools
Sharing the results
New project ideas
Submitting the project application
Developing the project logical framework
Read about our project SIA4Y “Strengthening civil society rights by information access for European youth” both financed in terms of EU programme “Europe for citizens” (2014 – 2020) meeting on 6 and 7th Nov 2019 in Brussels. This convention about Freedom of Information (FoI) was organised by one of the partners – WeCitizens, in partnership with EESC and the University of Louvain, in the framework of the SIA4Y project, 14 speakers of 11 different nationalities intervened during these two half-days.
According to Ms Adlin Hulin, the promotion of freedom of expression is high on the agenda of UNESCO, which has competencies in the field of culture and education.
Transparency International actively fights against corruption. Matilde Manzi, from TI-Europe, explains the slow process of increasing protection for whistleblowers. EU Member states need to transpose a recent EU Directive and should extend its scope. They also need to decide whether anonymous denunciations of crimes are accepted.
Mrs Assya Kavrakova, from ECAS, shows that we have in 2018 an unprecedented increase in civic engagement. Taking into account that young people act differently, we should be quick enough to grasp the opportunity to enhance democracy.
Mr Alvaro Gonzalez Perez presented two initiatives of his European students federation, AEGEE: http://yvote.eu and Generation Climate Europe (http://gceurope.org). The latter fosters youth climate dialogue, in order to reach joint statements and require stronger climate change policies.
Mr Jean-Paul Pinon, CEO of WeCitizens (Belgium), insists on measures that make politicians more accountable. He also advises a general measure to increase the interest of the average citizen for politics: removing the withholding tax (the tax paid directly by the employer to the State, on account of the employee).
Mrs Rachel Hanna, from Assess Info Europe (Madrid), reminds that we must find the right balance between access to data and protection of privacy. Concerning lobby, everything should be transparent.
Mr Jean-Marie Sohier, from Sealord (Belgium), suggests that citizens set commonly accepted policy standards and investigate how politicians comply.
Mrs Eila Heikkilä presents the Ohjaamo system in Finland: a network of One-Stop Guidance Centers that offer support to persons under the age of 30 for various issues (career planning, life management, participation, etc.).
Ms Wilma Haan, CEO of Open State Foundation, reminds also the economic benefits of transparency by public bodies. Her Foundation publishes big databases: Open Spending (financial data of all the local governments in the Netherlands), Open ‘Poen’, Open municipality, Open multilateral, PoliFLW NL/EU.
Mr JP Pinon shows some Belgian initiatives. WeCitizens started publishing a transparency index of political parties, and a database of politicians (PoliticiansOnline.be). Among many other initiatives, the portal Transparencia.be is more directly helping citizens to access documents from public bodies.
Mrs Magda Leszczyna-Rzucidło, explains how they intend to make young people familiar with their right to know, through Youth Advisory bodies like Youth Councils, Youth Boards in various organisations including Euroregion Baltic Youth Board, also represented at this meeting by the YB Chairwoman – Ms Julia Orluk.
Mr Alexander Fanta, an investigative journalist from Netzpolitik (Berlin), gives some examples of how citizens can make an interesting investigation using access to public information. He tells that schools for journalists in his country (Austria) to not really teach the rights of such access.
Mr Johannes Filter, from FragdenStaat.de (Germany), says that involving people will not happen, in the first place, with a heavy investigation about corruption, but with very local questions. To get a youngster more involved in FoI, give him opportunities to find easily information he is personally interested in. FragdenStaat has a webpage allowing students to easily send requests concerning past examination questions for the General University Entrance Qualification.
Guide of good practice
Prof. S. Mrozowska and B. Kijewska, from the University of Gdansk, presented the outcome of their work about FoI, structured in three parts: (I) legal grounds, (II) youth policy and (III) examples of initiatives in the five partner countries.