Save the date: INTERCONNECT Mid-term conference in Elblag 4/5th Sep 2019

We are pleased to inform you that the Mid-term conference will take place in Elblag on 4th of September 2019 (only for the Project Partners and Association Partners) as a joint event with the Warmia-Mazuria conference on the 5th of September.

We welcome all to join us for the conference on the 5th, please see the agenda below.

Agenda of the meeting:

Baltic Leadership Programme on PFAS

Dear ERB Water Core Group Members, 

Please see the information we’ve received from the Swedish Institute. This year they are organizing another Baltic Leadership Programme (BLP) on Per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). They are very contaminated fluorochemicals, with a significant threat to the drinking water and water systems. Fire foams, all kind of sprays,  even takeaway boxes (e.g. pizza packages) or skivaxs often contain PFAS. Municipalities and regions have a tremendous responsibility in the direct implementation/usage of such substance. However, there is deficient awareness of that. I enclose the concept note of BLP on  PFAS. 

Conditions to apply and participate are similar to previous BLP programmes, only this time only specific target audience has been informed about the programme, including our Water Core Group.

SI BLP programmes enable the formation of expert-networks and provide great experts and knowledge. SI covers all costs of the modules, accommodation, food, etc.. However, SI expect that participants pay their travel to the physical modules.

For full module concept and programme please contact Magda from the IPS:

IMPORTANT: SI they expect all applications form no later than 15 August attached with a CV written in English and then the final participants will be chosen.

Euroregion Baltic at the IX Kaliningrad partner – regions Forum

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.

The CaSYPot Project Success Story

The CaSYPot project ended in June after 3 years of collaboration between Poland, Sweden, Russia and Lithuania. On the 13th and 14th of May the caSYPot Final Conference was held in Kalmar, Sweden, in order to summarize the project, to show the results, and discuss with young people, adults and experts on the youth strategy and youth needs.

In the video below, made by Krzysztof Paluszyński from Truso TV you can see the conference and some of the workshops that took place on that occasion, the people who worked together for its realization and the concrete results that emerge from the project.

Ms Agata Ludwiczak, from Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic, is the CaSYPot Communication Project Manager. She emphasized how CaSYPot Project focuses on the collaboration between local and regional authorities, university and NGOs, with the goal of increasing the capacty for transnational cooperation on youth issues in the Euroregion baltic. Thanks to caSYPot Project it was possible to create a common youth strategy for the ERB area, based on the survey that compares the young people’s living conditions in the different regions.

Ms Zofia Makowska, from Kommunförbundet Kalmar Iän, is the CaSYPot Project Manager. She expressed how caSYPot aim to improve youth participation and influence, giving young people the opportunity to be part of the decision-making process. The survey conducted during spring 2017 among 6 municipalities, conducted through the LUPP (Local follow-up of youth policy) method from Sweden, gathers the voices of all young people, despite social divisions or engagement in any clubs or political parties, and it’s a very important tool to raise the level of information about young people, their needs and opinions.

Ms Monika Daglis, from City Hall Słupsk, in Poland, presented the different ideas that the city has as solution for all the problems young people face in the Baltic Region. In particular:

  1. an Interactive Illustrated online Map with places for the young people marked;
  2. a Motivation Center, the place where young people can meet some specialists;
  3. the reactivation of the Youth Council.

Ms Olga Krylova, from Svetlogorsk City Administration, Russia, explained that one of the results of caSYPot Project in the municipality of Svetlogorsk was the creation of the Youth Open Space,called Telegraf, a place where young people can organize events, meetings, and so on.

Ms Johana Wyckman, from Region Kalmar County, as Euroregion Baltic Youth Board Member, spoke about another result coming from the CaSYPot Project: the restructuring of the ERB Youth Board, focused on international relations, mobility, and cooperation between the regions.

Ms Aiste Andruškeviciute, representing Klaipeda City Municipality, underlined the importance for the municipality of Klaipeda of having the CaSYPot survey as a tool for preparing the Klaipeda European Youth Capital application.

Mr Damian Ciachorowski, from Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic, Euroregion Baltic Youth Board member, said as the strategy has the main aim to connect municipalities through actions: in mobility in order to broaden horizons, in development in order to invest in regions and create conditions for the sustainable development, and in identity in order to create a strong regional identity and work together in the future.

Mr Marcin Żuchowski, from Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic, SB YCGN Project Manager, expressed the strong synergy present between CaSYPot Project and SB YCGN Project, in fact the aim of the project is to involve the young people in participatory processes through practical activities, as organization of round table conferences in each member municipalities. in this way it is possible to create a direct contact of young people with the local government authorities and the employees of local governments, in order to boost the participation of young people in the decision-making processes in municipalities.

Ms Julia Orluk, Marshal Office of the Pomorskie Region, Euroregion Baltic Youth Board chairperson, stressed the important result of CaSYPot Project to reactivate the ERB Youth Board, that can have a real impact for young people.

The CaSYPot Project has been very successful, based on a very strong collaboration between regions and with many results, activities for young people, research, innovations coming out from it!!

Participation Day 2019 and UMBRELLA mid-term conference in Gdańsk!

Almost 100 participants from Baltic Sea Region NGOs, academia, municipalities and various transnational projects joined us on 11th June 2019 in Gdansk to take part in 3rd Participation Day.

This years event was organized jointly by the EUSBSR HA Capacity coordinators, Umbrella project, which is led by the Euroregion Baltic, and Union of the Baltic Cities. We invited the stakeholders to come and share their project ideas for future cooperation possibilities in our region.

Please see below the list of projects sent to the organisers and discussed during the event:

  1. Innovations for a circular and socially coherent economy (25)
  • Waste Management and handling Household Waste in the BSR (Sweden)
  • Baltic Sea clusters network for innovation in the maritime industry (Poland)
  • Remote sensing of marine plastic pollution (Poland)
  • Smart Regions 4.0 (Poland)
  • Biking South Baltic – More Emotion (Poland)
  1. Urban mobility – smart and sustainable (7)
  2. Antimicrobial resistance and pharmaceuticals in the Baltic Sea Region environment (6)
  • Operational consortium (Poland)
  1. Competence supply (12)
  • SECiSo – supported education to re-integrate early school leavers (Sweden)
  • STEAM –  increasing the attractiveness of science and technology (Finland)
  • Digital employment – how digital solutions can be used for workers’ continue learning (Finland)
  • EduPython (Poland)
  1. Other proposals (for example; access to clean water, green technologies, rural development) (17)
  • Baltic Cultural Strategy Network – forming a network of those cities in the BSR that have been European Capital of Culture (Sweden)
  • Application of satellite data for environment management (Poland)
  • Enhancing stakeholder participation in the EUSBSR by honing their sustainability skills (Poland)
  • Changes in agricultural production due to climate change (Poland)
  • ESTLAT harbours (Latvia)
  • Coastal hiking (Latvia)
  • Vertical wind power-stations (Poland)
  • Studio visit (Poland).

At first, participants were welcomed by the Vice Marshal of the pomorskie Region and ERB Board Member – Mr Wiesław Byczkowski, followed by Anders Bergstrom, representing both HA Capacity and PA Education as their coordinator. He also explained the concept of Participation Day. They were followed by three inspirational speeches from the representatives of 3 different sectors:

Public sector
Mr. Mikko Lohikoski, Union of the Baltic Cities

• Private sector
Mr. Tomasz Szymczak, Starter Incubator and Gdańsk Entrepreneurship Foundation (ppt here: Participation Day Gdańsk Tomasz Szymczak

• 3rd sector
Ms. Magda Leszczyna-Rzucidło, Euroregion Baltic (ppt here: PD2019 MagdaLeszczynaRzucidloEuroregionBaltic)

After a short break, Anders Bergström, Horizontal Action Coordinator, HA Capacity presented RU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region in brief – presentation here: EUSBSR_HA_CAP_Participation_Day_2019_Gdansk_20190611 

All five workshops are linked to the overall theme of the Annual Forum addressing the growing challenges such as depopulation, ageing, migrations, new production and consumption models, but also new social, cultural, mobility and labour market patterns, which influence our everyday behaviours and attitudes. The introduction by the PA and HA Coordinators provided an overview of existing development processes in the five thematic areas including possibilities to take part in existing
development processes.
1. Innovations for a circular and socially coherent economy – Ms Esa Kokkonen, PA INNO
2. Urban mobility – smart and sustainable
3. Antimicrobial resistance and pharmaceuticals in the BSR environment) PA Health Hazards – AMR and pharmaceuticals in BSR region
4. Competence supply – Daria Akhutina, CBSS
5. Other proposals (for example; access to clean water, green technologies, rural development –  full list of the projects is attached here: EUSBSR_Participation_Day_2019_PROJECTS)

Thank you to all the #UMBRELLA partners for being with us in Gdansk and thank you to all the participants for fruitful discussion, lots of great ideas and fantastic networking sessions!

As for the Participation Day concept – we will see you next year in Finland!

The Baltic Sea Youth Camp

From the 8th to the 11th of June the Baltic Sea Youth Camp took place in Gdansk, Poland.

More then 100 young people aged between 18 and 25, from all over the Baltic Sea Region (Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia Russia, Denmark, Finland, Ukraine, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Germany), participated to the 3days festival. The project, funded by the Council of the Baltic Sea States Project Support Facility, involved several partners: Baltic Sea States Subregional Co-operation (BSSSC, lead partner), Union of Baltic Cities (UBC), Euroregion Baltic (ERB) and the Baltic Sea Cultural Centre (BSCC) in Gdansk, with the support of Policy Area Culture (of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR)).

Short clip summarizing our BSYC event!

The main goals of the camp were to build mutual understanding among the youngsters of the Baltic Sea Region, to raise the voice of the youth and their awareness and knowledge on the sustainable development goals.

The event was thought in order to raise youth participations in the decision-makin process, in fact the camp was the occasion to write the Youth Declaration: “Nothing about us, without us!!” The Youth Declaraton was the common work of all young participants, under the guidance of Martin Rümmelein, a youth representative board member of the BSSSC.

During the camp several workshops and parallel sessions were organized:

  • Sustainable Development Goals presentation, by Olga Zuin;
  • Circular Economy, sustainable cutlery, by Gdańsk University of Technology;
  • Culture as a tool for mutual understanding, by Marcus Hagemann, ARS Baltica;
  • Baltic University Programme – Systemic thinking on Sustainabilit;
  • Idea development: A floating University on the Baltic Sea aligned with the SDGs;
  • Sustainable fashion workshop, by Elco
  • Climate action workshop: What’s my CO2 footprint?;
  • Business role playing game: Maritime spatial planning – you are the decision maker! ;
  • The importance of trans-border cooperation for security in the Baltic Sea Region;
  • EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR);
  • Creative workshop “Windbreaks”: What connects and separates the cultures of the Baltic Sea Region?;
  • Live action role play – “The Abyss” (Sirius Game Studio);
  • Listening to the world through meditation: acoustic ecology or soundscape studies, discipline studying the relationship, mediated through sound, between human beings and their environment;
  • DNA: See the unseen, by Biotechnological laboratory;
  • Polish ecological club – How can we protect the Baltic sea?;
  • ABCD – ARS BALTICA Creative Dialogue;
  • European public sphere debating.

On the last day of the festival, the young people had the opportunity to express their ideas and the Youth Declaration to politicians and authorities.

Furthermore, some representatives of the Baltic Sea Youth Camp, presented the Youth Declaration during the Participation Day and also the 10th 10th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region 2019, which took place in Gdansk on the 11th, 12th and 13th of June.

You can read the full Declaration here:

The 1st Baltic Sea Youth Camp was a success and represents one of the first steps for young people working together for a better world!

UMBRELLA project 2nd Awareness Raising Event in Denmark

On Europe Day, 9th May, UMBRELLA project held its second Awareness Raising Event. What better occasion to talk about EU opportunities for municipalities and educational institutions? These were the main focus groups of the conference that took place in Sorø, a small municipality located in the core of Region Zealand and perfect location to gather stakeholders from all the surroundings The host was Guldborgsund Municipality, represented by our Umbrella’s partners Anna Topp Gustavsen and Frede Danborg, and by the Mayor John Brædder, who spent some welcoming words to provide an overview of the region’s affairs and projects. Co-organizer of the event was CELF- Centre for Vocational Educational Lolland- Falster, represented by Claus Brandt Kristensen.

What was the scope of our Awareness Raising Event? Well, as you might know, Umbrella is committed to increase capacity among local actors in the South Baltic Sea and to do so, information stands at the basis of all our activities. After the first ARE, held in Gdansk in June 2018, many things happened but there’s always need to meet new people and improve the networking, covering all the regions where our partners are located.

Very good point in our ARE was the presentation conducted by “Greater Copenhagen EU Office”, represented by Jesper Blaabjerg Holm who talked about EU funding opportunities, with some hints for the future programming period 2021-2027.

The afternoon session was marked by three parallel workshops on:

  • Renewable Energy, with focus on biomass and biogas thanks to the participation of the Energy Agency for the southeast Sweden and Gate 21 (DK)
  • Cultural Cooperation, that gathered a group from cultural centres and museums that came up with ideas for further cooperation
  • Educational cooperation, moderated by CELF representatives.

Please see all the presentations below:

We hope that the numerous occasions of networking during this day laid the basis for further collaboration and that participants will feel inspired to follow our next events and activities in fall!

Adventures of the ERB Ivy volunteers

Hi everyone!

Here are Milena and Danilo, two young Italian Ivy volunteers (lost) in Poland.

No, we didn’t know each other before and we are not doing the same project. Actually we don’t even live in the same city.

But last week there was a very interesting event in Gdansk, the “Communication Training for project manager”, organized by the South Baltic Interreg, and we have met there.

We couldn’t stop to talk about our different experiences:

I am an Interreg Project Partner the at International Permanent Secretariat Euroregion Baltic in Elblag, while Danilo is an Interreg Reporter at Joint Secretariat INTERREG SOUTH BALTIC PROGRAMME, in Gdansk.

What does it means?

Well, in few words, Danilo is mainly involved in communication and dissemination of information concerning INTERREG projects, cross-border cooperation and so on;

Regarding me,  instead, my tasks are more related to support and implement 2 INTERREG projects: CaSYPot, which aims is to find a common Youth Strategy among the Baltic Regions, and InterConnect, which focuses on new and more efficient public transport services.

Where do we live?

We are both in Poland; Danilo lives in Gdansk, one of the largest cities in Poland, on the Baltic Sea. It’s an international city, full of students, tourists and young people. There is a river that goes into the city centre, which reminds me of Navigli in Milano, just to give you an idea.

I live in Elblag, not far from Gdansk. Ok, we don’t have the sea, but we have beautiful parks and forests. When the weather is nice I go with my super-bike among trees and wild vegetation.

What’s next?

Honestly, we don’t know exactly, but for sure this experience has brought us a lot. We are both thinking of staying in Poland for the future, or maybe for a few years.

Danilo has even managed to learn a bit of Polish, which, believe me, is not easy at all!

We want to say thanks to IVY for this experience, thanks to Euroregion Baltic International Permanent Secretariat and Joint Secretariat Interreg South Baltic Programme to host us,

we are learning a lot from You, from the organizations and from the people are behind them.

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