Register for the EUSBSR workshop: Enhancing stakeholder and citizen engagement within the EUSBSR Green Transition
The Swedish Institute, in cooperation with Euroregion Baltic Secretariat, the Union of the Baltic Cities Secretariat and Nordregio, invite you to a webinar exploring different collaborative governance models for enhancing stakeholder engagement in the Baltic Sea Region. The webinar aims to boost stakeholder involvement within emerging EUSBSR initiatives related to the green transition. The programme consists of two parts:
The first part will focus on:
A policy perspective on stakeholder and citizen engagement in the EUSBSR.
An overview of different EUSBSR governance concepts and practices.
Practical learnings from ongoing projects, focusing on concrete stakeholder and citizen involvement tools, methods and practices from the Umbrella 2.0 capacity building programme examining how to engage local stakeholders and CSOs in frameworks such as the EUSBSR.
Hands-on practices coming from regional city networks working on the green transition in the Baltic Sea region
The aim of part one is to provide a good overview of both theoretical and practical examples for cross-sectorial and multi-level stakeholder engagement, including horizontal approaches, such as youth participation to boost green transition.
The second part of the webinar will open up the stage to the audience. Smaller group discussions will be arranged to discuss your possible role in future Baltic Sea Region collaborations. Interactive discussions based on participants own personal experiences will be carried out, focusing on: 1) identifying alternative stakeholder engagement best practice tools and methods; 2) establishing how to overcome the challenges of stakeholder mobilisation; 3) exploring the benefits of engagement and how to incentivise stakeholder to become more proactively involved. The key take-aways part of the discussion will be reported to the Annual Forum organisers.
For more information, please contact Gabor Schneider
Organiser – Swedish Insititute, Umbrella 2.0, Nordregio
The Annual Forum of the Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region is the largest event of the Strategy. It brings together all the stakeholders implementing the EUSBSR as well as other participants who would like to contribute to managing the common challenges the Baltic Sea Region faces. The 12th Annual Forum will take place from 27 September to 1 October. It will focus on green recovery and will invite the participants to REVITALISE the Strategy, to RECOVER after COVID-19 together and to RECHARGE for a greener and more resilient Baltic Sea Region.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions
the 12th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region will be virtual. The Annual Forum will take place online from 27 September to 1 October 2021. The agenda of the Annual Forum will be full of interesting, engaging and inspiring discussions, workshops and presentations. You are most welcome to join!
Planned to take place daily from 13:00 to 14:30 CET:
High-level opening event/ strategic panel discussion on 27 September with the main focus on economic recovery through green and digital transformation.
1st plenary session on macro-regional strategies’ role in setting EU agenda on 28 September. The macroregional strategies have shifted from being a pure platform for regional cooperation to being the hub for identifying challenges a particular region faces and for looking for common solutions. The ongoing embedding process strengthens this change. Therefore, it is important to discuss the ways to increase the EUSBSR’s ability to ensure the relevant issues are included in the EU agenda.
The presentation of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2021-2027 on 28 September. The participants of the Annual Forum 2021 will be the first to learn about the possibilities of the EU funding for transnational projects tackling the challenges the Baltic Sea Region face. The kick-off event will focus on the importance of cooperation across borders in order to develop an innovative, climate-neutral Baltic Sea region and to increase the resilience of its society.
2nd plenary session on macro-regions’ contribution to the Conference of the Future of Europe (focus on social agenda) on 29 September. This session will create links to the ongoing Conference on the Future of Europe. Taking into account the fact that the aims of the Conference of the Future of Europe and the EUSBSR in terms of involvement of citizens coincide, we aim at ensuring EUSBSR’s contribution to this important wide-range debate. This plenary session will focus on the social dimension and the challenges the youth encounters due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The participants will search for the ways the multilateral cooperation could contribute to enabling the young people to participate more actively in the decision-making process.
3rd plenary session on green recovery on 30 September. It will be devoted to the possibilities of the EUSBSR to significantly contribute to the Green Recovery of the EU.
Closing event on 1 October. It will be fully owned by young people. They will be looking for solutions for the environmental issues the Baltic Sea Region encounters. As in the case of the opening event, some of the participants will come to a studio in Klaipėda, the other speakers will join online.
After the registration, you will receive the automated confirmation.
A personal link to the virtual Annual Forum will be sent to the registered participants one day before the event, on 26 September. We kindly ask you to keep this link as it will help you access the event.
Please note that if you answer “no” to the statement “I consent that my name and organisation will be published in the forum participant list”, you will not be able to use the networking tools during the Forum.
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.
According to the EUSBSR website – https://balticsea-region-strategy.eu/, the 12th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR will be held on 27 September – 1 October 2021 by Lithuania. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Forum will be fully virtual.
The Forum is organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Kaunas City Municipality, Klaipėda City Municipality and our Umbrella 2.0 partner – Union of the Baltic Cities.
Annual Forum 2021 fosters green transition through synergies
The topic of the Annual Forum 2021 is GREEN RECOVERY. The event aims at fostering green transition in the Baltic Sea Region through a close partnership and more active involvement of the stakeholders, in particular youth and local communities.
The guiding principle of the Annual Forum 2021 is SYNERGIES. In the context of recent challenges (the COVID-19 pandemic, green and digital transitions), it is worthwhile to combine forces to achieve more: enabling SYNERGIES between national and regional levels; different policy areas; Macroregional strategies; and different stakeholders.
Keywords of the event: revitalise, recover, recharge
The motto of the Annual Forum 2021 is REVITALISE. RECOVER. RECHARGE. The health crisis has had a huge impact not only on health systems but also on economies, social systems, education and our way of life. While still trying to prevent the spread of new variants of the virus and accelerate the vaccination, it is already possible to draw some lessons, cooperation and common action being among the most significant ones. Therefore, the Annual Forum 2021 aims at revitalizing more active involvement of the political level in the implementation of the EUSBSR; making the Strategy contribute to the post-pandemic recovery of the Baltic Sea Region and recharging for the green and digital transition.
We very much look forward to cooperating with all the stakeholders and wider society and hope you will join us for the EUSBSR Annual Forum 2021.
Umbrella 2.0 Partners – Euroregion Baltic, Union of the Baltic and the Baltic Sea States Subregional Cooperation are glad to present the draft agenda for the Awareness Raising Event promoting Baltic Sea cooperation scheduled for 27th April.
The main aim of our event is to inspire and raise awareness on the importance of cross-border and transnational cooperation for all local actors – including the smaller ones and those, who never took part in any international cooperation before. We wish to show you the great benefits of working together with similar actors all around the Baltic Sea but also guide you on how to start this kind of initiatives. We have prepared the event’s agenda that will inform you how our 3 organisations – ERB, UBC, BSSSC could support you in your journey, what are the possibilities and “entry points” available.
We have invited experts coming from: Council of the Baltic Sea States, EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, local NGOs and municipalities from different Baltic Sea countries to ask them for their best practices, advice and inspiration. We also plan a Q&A session with our experts, where you will be able to learn more about the cooperation possibilities and find necessary information for your future collaboration.
Please see the draft agenda for the event below. We hope you will find it interesting and will join us in our journey that starts n 27th April and will continue in the next months’ thanks to the support we received from the Swedish Institute. We plan to follow up this meeting by organising smaller events (hopefully they will be also possible in physical format!) related to specific cooperation topics and EU/BSR policies and agendas.
Thanks to the support of the Swedish Institute, Umbrella 2.0 project partners – Euroregion Baltic, Union of the Baltic Cities and BSSSC are planning to organise in 2021 a couple of events targeting the “newcomers” and bottom-up actors in the Baltic Sea Region. Due to the COVID19 pandemic, we cannot offer any physical networking meeting (yet!), but we plan to organise a full-day digital event – Awareness Raising Event on 27 April 2021!
Mark the date in your calendar and if you would like to receive further information, including the link to the registration form (once we start collecting it), just sign up here – http://bit.ly/UmbrellaBSR by sending us your info we will keep you in the loop and informed about all important activities within the project.
Our goal is to increase the knowledge on BSR cooperation of small and local actors and to make sure that they see the benefits of international cooperation within the EUSBSR, but also in the frameworks of UN SDGs and EU Green Deal.
Save the Date! From 1 to 5 March 2021, DG REGIO will host the 2nd EU Macro-Regional Strategies Week (EU MRS Week) that will take place digitally.
Reconnect, Rethink, Recover – the motto of the EU MRS Week gives a straightforward idea on the burning issues that will be tackled throughout the five days:
To Reconnect MRS key implementers, stakeholders and representatives of EU institutions will be key to Rethink the way to cooperate and prioritize MRS objectives in order to best Recover from the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 with concrete actions on the ground.
Therefore, the participants will have the opportunity to attend many sessions on paramount matters, such as the embedding process, MRS supporting the enlargement process or on how EU funding programmes directly managed by the European Commission (e.g. Horizon, Life, …) can support the implementation of MRS. Amongst the opening session with high-level speakers, there will be the occasion to engage with young people from the macro regions as well as with civil society organisations.
Discover below the provisional agenda of the week:
On the 1st of March, you can expect the opening session, followed by bottom-up sessions to empower participation of Youth and of Civil Society Organisations in MRS, and on MRS support to recover from COVID-19
On the 2nd of March, in the morning, the EUSAIR Governing Board and the EUSBSR National Coordinators Meeting will take place while the EUSALP strategy will discuss embedding matters in. In the afternoon, you can join the workshop on the contribution of EUSAIR and EUSDR to the priorities to the Economic and Investment Plan of the Western Balkans .
On the 3rd of March, a cross-MRS embedding workshop is to be expected. In the afternoon, the opening session on EU funding programmes in direct management will gather representatives from the EU Council and from several line DGs of the European Commission to respond on the Council Conclusion of the 3rd report on the implementation of MRS On the 4th of March, six consecutive workshops will bring programmes in direct management closer to MRS 2021-2027 in an exchange between line DGs and MRS key implementers regarding:Horizon Europe, Digital Europe, Connecting Europe Facility, LIFE, Single Market and ERASMUS+
Finally, on the 5th of March, the High level Group Meeting will take place in the morning and in the afternoon, the four MRS Presidencies and Trios will meet and close the EU MRS WEEK.
DG REGIO works in close cooperation with the four Presidencies of the EU Macro-Regional Strategies, namely the German Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR), the Slovak Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), the Slovenian Presidency EU Strategy for the Adriatic–Ionian Region (EUSAIR), and the French Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP).
Stay tuned for more information regarding the registration to the closed and open sessions.
On 13th January 2021 Umbrella 2.0 project partners: Euroregion Baltic, Unione of the Baltic Cities and Baltic Sea States Subregional Cooperation met together with the Swedish Institute representative to officially start the activities in the new project. Read below to get to know our project better and familiarise with the activities we plan to offer to our beneficiaries in the Baltic Sea Region.
UMBRELLA 2.0 – why we applied to SI for the support?
will be a gap year for cross-border cooperation. The South Baltic Programme, a
primary financial tool utilised by Euroregion Baltic to reach its scope, will
launch the new programming period 2021-2027 only at the end of 2021. Only small
project funds will be available. Hence, Euroregion Baltic realised that the Umbrella
project’s success and capacity building process initiated in 2018 could not be
stopped. For this reason, the so-called Umbrella 2.0 proposal was presented to
the Swedish Institute as the natural consequence of Umbrella Project (SBP) and
its willingness to become a recognised brand, active also on a broader Baltic
Therefore, Euroregion Baltic, together with UBC and BSSSC, submitted Umbrella 2.0- Boosting transnational cooperation capacities for multilevel actors in the Baltic Sea Region- that has been approved by the Swedish Institute in Nov 2020 and launched in January 2021.
AIM OF THE
The project’s overarching goal is
to increase awareness and knowledge of transnational cooperation in the Baltic
Sea Region. More specifically, the project aims at initiating a process for the
development of strong multi-actor and multilevel governance partnerships that
can undertake cross-sectoral sustainable solutions while following the
principles and objectives of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EU
Green Deal and UN SDG.
The aims concerning the Baltic
Region are :
To raise awareness of opportunities and benefits of transnational and
cross-border cooperation and increase regional stakeholders’ interest in it;
To empower stakeholders to build strategic and long term-partnerships, support
networking, and straighten community of practitioners in different sectors;
To improve knowledge of the EU, its financial instruments and relevant strategies,
with particular focus on the EUSBSR;
– To explore the opportunities and
benefits of being part of EUSBSR and offer practical guidelines on how to
engage in long-term;
– To help build
competencies, i.e. knowledge and skills necessary to run projects with benefit
to the Policy areas, and create specific networks of interest in different
sectors in a cross-sectorial manner focusing on a shift and transformation by
our beneficiaries (activating them for sustainable transnational cooperation).
builds on Umbrella project results. The Umbrella project was launched at the
beginning of 2018. It resulted from the realisation that the South Baltic
Programme (SBP) was hard to access for small organisations, mainly because of
their insufficient institutional and financial capacities. SBP stakeholders in
general and small local actors specifically still experience communication
barriers, limited English language skills, and lack of competences and
capabilities in project development and implementation. To address these
challenges, the Umbrella project committed to developing know-how capacities
for small local and regional actors and civil society organisations in the
South Baltic Programme area to improve their cross-border cooperation participation.
To achieve this goal, Umbrella implemented a significantly more comprehensive
approach, determined by a strategic decision of the partnership to address
different levels of capacity building processes – from a single institutional
capacity of potential project partner, via micro-activities addressed to the
micro organisations till strategic capacity building on the programme macro-level
where we cooperated with EUSBSR HA Capacity coordinators (our Associated
Umbrella proved to
be an optimal mediator among different stakeholders. Therefore, starting from
the presumption that the EUSBSR and the local actors are completely detached
one from the other, Umbrella 2.0 objective would be to develop know-how
capacities for local organisations in cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region,
harmonising local needs and actions and upper strategic lines.
While the local actors are focused on objectives in their local sphere of influence, the strategy provides guidelines that are not known at the local level. A bridge between local actors and the strategy needs to be set to enhance the interaction among all the governance levels to start a process that can facilitate the implementation of EUSBSR and other sustainable policies matching with EU Green Deal and SDGs. Umbrella 2.0 would act to mediate the communication between the strategies and the local level, raising awareness and providing practical knowledge and tools for implementation.
Dear Umbrella Partners and Beneficiaries,
We are more than happy to say, that our UMBRELLA Interreg South Baltic Programme project final conference was a great success. Over 100 people joined us online via ZOOM webinar to hear about our project results, to learn about the EUSBSR, SDGs and EU Green Deal, but also to discuss the future cooperation possibilities in the MFF 2021-2027.
You can find below all the presentations given by our fantastic speakers.
And here’s a visual summary of the event:
We also hope you enjoyed the 4 video clips summarising our project! You can check them again here:
Finally, if you missed any part of the event or would like to watch it once more you have the opportunity to see all 3 sessions here:
Some screenshots from our meeting:
Would your organisation like to start or expand collaborations that contribute to sustainable economic, environmental or social development in the Baltic Sea region? The Swedish Institute provides funding for joint projects in which Swedish organisations meet transnational challenges together with organisations from the Baltic Sea region countries including Russia and the countries of the Eastern Partnership.
What is Seed funding in the Baltic Sea region?
The Swedish Institute seeks to strengthen Sweden’s relations and develop cooperation with the countries around the Baltic Sea and in our immediate area. Swedish organisations can apply for funding from the Swedish Institute in order to cooperate with organisations in the Baltic Sea region countries including Russia and organisations in the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries. The project activities that the Swedish Institute supports via ‘seed funding’ must be clearly linked to one or more of the challenges identified in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea region. Projects including countries in the EU Eastern Partnership must also relate to this framework. Furthermore, projects should help create conditions for long-term, sustainable relations in the region.
A project can run for no longer than 18 months.
A project can apply for SEK 100,000 to SEK 500,000.
Who can apply?
The main applicant has to be based in Sweden.
The application must include at least three actors in three different countries eligible for support, one of which is Sweden (as main applicant).
Countries eligible for funding are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Russian Federation, Sweden and Ukraine.