Baltic Sea Youth Platform is an Erasmus+ Programme project that aims to empower youth and foster real participation in decision and policy-making in the Baltic Sea Region. The platform will enable youth organisations to reach their fullest potential by empowering them to develop new ideas and pursue them jointly, under the 2030 Agenda framework’s guidance. Moreover, it will engage youth at different levels to design a common framework for action and a shared Baltic Sea Region (BSR) identity. The partnership aims to improve youth’s political impact on Baltic Sea policy-making, develop tools for better knowledge transfer, and facilitate various innovative projects relying on the interests and capacities of youth in a broad range of policy areas.
The BSYP project started on February 1st 2020 and will be completed in August 2022. Throughout the past year, it supported and got involved in many youth-oriented initiatives, thus promoting BSYP.
On 2-3rd March 2020 in Elbląg, the first physical strategic partner meeting took place. Partners from CBSS, BSSSC, UBC, ESN Finland and via Skype Lithuanian Youth Council met to discuss budgetary issues, intellectual outputs, and activities planned for 2020 among many Baltic Sea Youth Camp EUSBSR Forum in Turku.
Over the next months, partners focused on intensive preparations for the Baltic Sea Youth Camp 2020, developing youth working groups, recruiting its members, communicating campaigns, and collecting feedback for the BSYP development purpose.
Between 2-5th June 2020 BSYP participated in the BSSSC Spring Youth Event. On the 5th day of the conference, Ms Kaarina Williams and Aline Meyer from CBSS (BSYP Project Leader) introduced BSYP as a new tool for youth participation in BSR.
Only one week later, on 12-13th June the Baltic Sea Youth Camp 2020 took place. Due to the emerging pandemic outbreak in Europe, the event was held online, instead of primarily planned camp in Turku. The event gathered experts, youth and all enthusiasts of the Baltic Sea Region. It gave them a chance to work on EUSBSR issues and to join the discussion on regional co-operation, climate change, bioeconomy, SDGs, education, culture and youth – leadership and networking.
On July 8th, the first online BSYP working groups meeting was held. Participants who applied for joining Advocacy, PowerBox, Culture and Cities, Research, IT or Communication working group discussed each group’s framework and work plan for the next months.
BSYP was also a partner for the BSSSC Autumn Youth Event organised on 22-24th September, which concerned circular economy and plastic-free Baltic, Baltic identity and culture, intelligent transport and mobility and finally co-operation.
At the begging of October, several local events for young people were organised to familiarise youth with the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. One of the hubs was organised by ERB on October 5th in Elbląg Technological Park. Its purpose was to encourage youth to choose science and technology studying path.
On October 17th the second edition of virtual Baltic Sea Youth Camp took place. Again the event gathered many young people who joined an interactive and fruitful discussion with the participation of many decisionmakers who presented their personal experience within the EUSBSR. The event resulted in development of a very promising EUSBSR Youth Declaration which was later explained by Ms Aline Meyer, BSYP project leader, on the 11th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR digital edition on October 20th 2020, during a panel discussion about merging knowledge, skills and working cross-generationally in the BSR.
At the turn of October and November BSYP was also engaged in the Baltic Sea Youth Dialogue Competition initiative encouraging youth to show their creativity in terms of BSR co-operation.