Umbrella 2.0 Report: “Entry points” to EUSBSR Cooperation

Introduced in 2009, the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) was the first EU macro-regional strategy of the European Union. Formally adopted by the European Council after a communique from the European Commission (EC), the EUSBSR is an agreement signed between the Member States and the EC to strengthen cooperation between the countries bordering the Baltic Sea and to meet the many joint challenges as well as benefit from common opportunities facing the Baltic Sea region through three objectives: Save the Sea, Connect the Region and Increase Prosperity.

The Umbrella 2.0 project has been developed precisely to make the EUSBSR more “user-friendly” for the local stakeholders. The Umbrella 2.0 project was initiated by the Euroregion Baltic (ERB) and is implemented throughout 2021 with two partners: Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC) and Baltic Sea States Subregional Cooperation (BSSSC). This project is funded by the Swedish Institute, which has supported Baltic Sea cooperation for many years, especially among the local actors. The project also builds on two previous capacity building projects successfully implemented by the Euroregion Baltic and its Partners within the Interreg South Baltic Programme.

Over the course of two months, the experts conducted a series of 14 interviews with Coordinators of all Policy Areas of the Strategy, attempting on the one hand to gain a broad picture of the current status of local stakeholders’ participation but also to listen to interesting ideas and proposals on what should be done further to integrate them in the works of the Strategy. To this end, we asked several questions through which we have received a great deal of interesting feedback and some concrete proposals for the future of the EUSBSR implementation.

The resulting report is directed both towards the local stakeholders who are newcomers to the Strategy as well as those local actors who are more experienced in Baltic cooperation but would like to organise their knowledge and understanding of how the Strategy can be of use for them. Lastly, we hope that this report will help all institutions directly or indirectly involved in implementing the EUSBSR to learn more about the importance of improved collaboration with the local level of governance to achieve the goals outlined in the Strategy.

Download the Umbrella 2.0 report here:

About the ERB Water Core Group

WCG Work Plan 2020-2022

List of ERB WCG members: https://www.eurobalt.org/category/water-core-group-board/

Euroregion Baltic Executive Board met in Olsztyn, Poland on 15-16 May 2024. Future was in focus and the Board took decisions a.o. to strengthen cooperation around climate change mitigation, green transition and EU cohesion policy after 2027.

ERB President, René Jaramillo has taken the initiative to issue a joint statement after the meeting. He said, “In a polarized world, more cooperation is part of the solution. We must build a better future, not with words but with actual work. That’s why our cooperation is so important. Together with our partners around the Baltic Sea we develop our regions.”

Among the decisions taken were the establishment of the network for green transistion leaders and the adoption of ERB Joint Position on Cohesion Policy. An important step was also taken in the process of applying for EGTC status, which enables a more formalized cooperation between public entities in the EU member States.

On 14 – 15 February 2024 the Euroregion Baltic Executive Board met in Sweden, Växjö to officially commence its work for the 2024. The meeting was attended by the representatives from the counties of Blekinge, Kalmar, Kronoberg in Sweden, Association of Klaipeda Region in Lithuania, the regions of Pomorskie and Warminsko-Mazurskie, as well as Association of Polish Communes in Poland. Also, ERB Youth Board and ERB Task Force for Climate Change and Green Transition met during these two days.

At the begining of this year’s first Executive Board meeting the ERB President, Mikael Benzon summed up the activities carried out in 2023 and thanked everyone for their engagament and exemplary cooperation spirit. ERB Presidency was then handed over to  to Region Kronoberg and Mr Rene Jaramillo. Mr Rene Jaramillo opened Kronoberg presidency by highlighting the importance for cooperation on a local level, which makes our interregional cooperation fundamentally important as well as the need for more effective communication of our work in Euroregion Baltic. We must be more visible towards our citizens!

Not only did the Executive Board Members discuss the goals and activities implemented in 2023, but also decided on future activities and steps planned in 2024. They heard reports from Mr Łukasz Bielewski, member in the South Baltic Monitoring Committee and Mr Tobias Facchini, Region Kalmar County presented the latest within the Waterman project. The Executive Board Members also discussed further steps in the application process for the status of European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC).

This year’s first Executive Board meeting concluded with presentations Johan Eklund,Chamber of Commerce  and Daniel Silander, Linnaeus University who talked about political and economic challenges and developments in the Baltic Sea Region and the whole European Union.

Under the presidency of Bornholms Regionskommune the 8 members of Euroregion Baltic keep celebrating Euroregion Baltic  2️⃣ 5️⃣ th Anniversary!

At the end of September (26-27th Sep) the Euroregion Baltic Executive Board members met in Brussels, in the Greater Copenhagen EU Office, to further discuss the establishment of ERB EGTC, current state of Interreg South Baltic Programme and the recent work of the ERB Task Force for Climate Change & Green Transition. Participants of the meeting also had an opportunity to listen to experts talking about energy & EU Cohesion policy issues and to meet with friends from Brussel offices to plan future cooperation.

The first day in Brussels started with the ERB Executive Board meeting. Mr Mikael Benzon, ERB President, welcomed the participants and thanked the Greater Copenhagen EU Office for the hospitality and help in planning the meeting. In his  opening speech Mr Benzon underlined that the meeting was held against a background of geopolitical tensions and environmental and climatic changes. He added that economic downturns put a strain on our social and democratic stability and cohesion.

The Executive Board meeting was followed by a presentation on EU Cohesion Policy & Structural Funds by Sven Kastö from South Sweden EU Office.

This years 3rd meeting of Executive Board was also special because for the first time since quite a long time, the representatives of all 8 ERB regions to the ERB Youth Board were present at the meeting.

The second day of the meeting was dedicated to the discussion on Climate Change and Green Transition with representatives from DG Energy. Here you can find a presentation by Mr Roger Waite (Media & Communication Issues, European Commission General Directorate for Energy: EU energy policy).

Finally, all participants had an opportunity to meet the Brussels offices representatives and to discuss on future cooperation.

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.