ERB Executive Board decided to establish the Mobility Core Group

On 3rd December 2020, during the final ERB Executive Board meeting in 2020 and the last one under the Presidency of the Association of Polish Communes Euroregion baltic (PL), the Board members all agreed to establish another task force in the Euroregion Baltic – Mobility Core Group.

The decision was made after the Blekinge Region Board Member – Mr Johan Sandberg, ERB Vice President presented the idea to the ERB Board Members. Blekinge Region will host a secretariat for the newly established group.

The ERB Mobility Core Group consists of partners from the previous Interreg South Baltic project Interconnect, as well as contact persons and experts from the ERB member organisations.

The group will be working on behalf of the ERB Board with concrete actions and the work is supposed to contribute to project development and common activities improving mobility between the ERB member regions.

The Mobility Core Group will report to a steering group consisting of ERB board members (appointed by the ERB Board). Lobbying activities in order to represent and promote common interests;

Implementation of strategic initiatives and projects complementing the local and regional agendas of the member organisations; and

Exchange activities, to seek a collaborative approach to common challenges and to progress in innovation and in operational efficiency of the cooperation. The Mobility Core Group will focus on activities from the below perspectives.

Exchange of experience:

  • Trends affecting public transport and sustainability change directions of the local and regional transport systems in the South Baltic area.
  • Public transport planning vs. strategies by private operators (e.g. ferry companies).

Shared challenges

  • Access to cross-border PT services for rural and more remote areas.
  • Low knowledge/awareness of leisure time attractions on ‘the other shore’.
  • Fighting climate change

Joint solutions

  • ‘Low-hanging fruits’ (new or enhanced methods, services or products developed and/or applied in the Interconnect project and demonstrating a high replication potential)
  • Cross-border perspective of public transport in the local and regional strategic documents

Impact on other sectors

  • Tourism routes – adapted to different target groups
  • Cross-border commuting / labour market travel patterns
  • Student and youth travel patterns


The Mobility Core Group will apply a Multi-level governance perspective on its activities. The link between TEN-T development and contribution to the EU cohesion policies is considered a week. The focus will be to apply a holistic view on regional mobility and transport planning as a driving force for boosting potentials within other sectors such as tourism, education and business. This approach will strengthen the relationship between public transport, regional development and the citizens.

 Actors from each region

The ERB Mobility Core Group should aim to include members from all nine regions, in six countries. The basis will be the partnership from the previous Interreg South Baltic project Interconnect with the possibility to extend the network with relevant representatives from each of the ERB member organisations. The group will also invite relevant participants from regions outside the ERB geographical area ie former Interconnect partners.


The Core Group aims to have physical meetings back to back with the ERB Board meetings. Those meetings will be complemented by online meetings.

The meetings should aim to identify “hot topics” and “bottlenecks” for further joint development and discussion.  

On 19th May the ERB Executive Board met on-line and unanimously adopted the ERB Policy Paper titled “Arguments supporting the early introduction of a capacity building initiative”.

With reference to:

• the Position Paper of Euroregion Baltic on the Future of Cohesion Policy after 2020, adopted on 18th September 2017

• the Position Paper of Euroregion Baltic on the Future of the Interreg South Baltic Programme after 2020, adopted on 26th September 2018

• The Position Paper of Euroregion Baltic on the Future of the Interreg South Baltic Programme – arguments supporting, adopted 16th October 2019,

Euroregion Baltic (ERB) takes the following position:

➢ To attract newcomers and smaller actors, and to ensure people-to-people and smallscale projects in the future South Baltic Programme, ERB wishes to advocate the continuation of programme’s capacity building measures at the earliest possible stage in the programme lifetime.


➢ ERB believes it is still crucial to enhance involvement of smaller organisations – local communities, non-governmental organisations, civil organisations, associations and clubs from the South Baltic Sea area in active international cooperation through projects supported under future South Baltic Programme.

➢ The challenge of reaching newcomers and smaller actors in the programme area has been recognised (also) in the South Baltic Programme, leading to the South Baltic Capacity Building project (2010-2011) and the UMBRELLA project (2018- 2020), UMBRELLA led by the Euroregion Baltic.

➢ Competencies and experiences of targeting, involving and supporting newcomers and smaller actors are thus available within the programme area (detailed and up-to date knowledge on the local level).

➢ By offering tailormade support such as mentorship, training, rent-an-expert, training of trainers and targeted microactivities, capacity building initiatives can help newcomers and smaller actors, including NGO’s, overcome barriers related to language, capacity and competencies, bureaucracy, networking and knowledge exchange, as well as help them better understand benefits and the added value of cross-border cooperation.

➢ Reaching newcomers and smaller project beneficiaries would bring the added value of yet more intensive cooperation and new networks and clusters, bringing Europe closer to its citizens.

➢ Involvement of small, local actors would build up trust between citizens and institutions, thereby helping to diminish cross-border obstacles we still face in the Region.

➢ ERB considers capacity building initiatives, like the example “Umbrella” project, success and believes that they should be replicated at the early stage of the programme period 2021 – 2027 so that their results could be of use in the same programme period.

➢ Capacity building initiatives will be complementary to the work of the regional Programme Contact Points. They will be able to support and strengthen the Contact Points’ role, as they will involve the beneficiaries in concrete projects and trustbased partnerships.

Download the document signed by the ERB President, Mr Witold Wróblewski, Mator of Elbląg, here:

On the 19th of May, for the first time in many years, the Euroregion Baltic Executive Board met on-line.

Fourty representatives of ERB Board, Secretariats and our Youth Board connected to discuss i.a. the current COVID – 19 situation in the South Baltic region and most recent news on the Interreg South Baltic Programme.

However, the most significant point of the agenda was the adoption of the newest ERB Policy paper – “Future of the Interreg South Baltic Programme. Arguments supporting the early introduction of a Capacity Building Initiative”. You can see the document here:

The meeting was Chaired by the ERB President, Mr Witold Wróblewski, Mayor of Elbląg representing the Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic together with the ERB Vice-President, Mr Johan Sandberg from the Blekinge Region.

Dear Friends,

Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 and the pandemic situation we decided to postpone the Umbrella project final conference that was planned on 18-19th May in Gdańsk, Poland. We hope that the event will take place in fall and we will let you know the exact date as soon as we confirm the new dates.

Please stay safe and all the best from Umbrella and Euroregion Baltic Team!

Dear All,

In these challenging times, we are all navigating through uncertainty for ourselves, our loved ones and our community. We hope you are staying healthy and safe.

Wishing you a very Happy Easter that is filled with plenty of love and happiness.

You can now read the Euroregion Baltic Annual Report for 2019, that was adopted by the ERB Executive Board during its last meeting on 12th February 2020 in Elbląg, Poland.


Between 13th February 2019 and 12th February 2020 Euroregion Baltic was under the political leadership of the Klaipeda Region Association from Lithuania represented by Mr Vytautas Grubliauskas.

Dear Euroregion Baltic Friends,

It has been a great honour and privilege after five years to be leading the cooperation in Euroregion Baltic in 2019 again.

Assuming the ERB Presidency on behalf of the Association of Klaipeda Region municipalities, I am happy that the Year was fulfilled by exciting and inspiring events, successfully implemented various scope of projects and initiatives leading by ERB. Together we have opened a new page into ERB history. We started to implement ERB’s long – term strategic plan towards 2030. Revised and re-designed ERB future vision, ambitious cooperation goals have been set up into a one-year action plan for 2019.

Our Presidency priorities have been focussed on: EU Interreg South Baltic Programme post-2020 by lobbying ERB interests, and closer links with other BSR organizations and Brussels Regional Offices, sustainable transport and connectivity, Blue and Green growth, Youth and Water Core Group Agenda’s, as well pay more attention to ERB communication. It has been a very ambitious and interesting year!

I would like to emphasize ERB Youth work in 2019. ERB is a strong, trustful Youth Platform which opens new opportunities and spaces to act for youth people. I am proud that it has huge baggage of experiences! ERB played an important role in getting Klaipeda’s European Youth Capital 2021 awarded title, ERB was one of the co-organizers of the biggest Baltic Sea Youth Camp. Within CaSyPot project, an essential document – Youth Strategy of Euroregion Baltic 2020+ was prepared. It’s a fantastic background for new inspiring youth initiatives!

We have been continuing lobbying ERB interest on the EU Interreg South Baltic Programme post-2020. An additional position paper came out and has been delivered to the EU and national institutions. I do believe that ERB positions will be heard and they remain as a strong maritime programme which opens new cooperation perspectives for our regions! Indeed, we are better together!

Taking this occasion on the Presidency report, I would like to thank you to new Head of ERB IPS Ms Magda Leszczyna-Rzucidło and her team for great leadership, ERB management and members engagement and professional networking. Thank You to all colleagues from the Executive Board for always constructive work, insights, ideas and important decisions we approved in 2019 for the better future of ERB cooperation.

Vytautas Grubliauskas President of Euroregion Baltic, 2019

Euroregion Baltic



Prepared on 16th October 2019

Established in 1998 Euroregion Baltic (ERB), is a politically solid and well-anchored cross-border cooperation platform in the south-east of the Baltic Sea region, representing regional authorities  and associations of local authorities in nine regions in five countries. ERB is the first euroregion to have formally included a partner from Russia.

With reference to:

  • the Position Paper of Euroregion Baltic on the Future of Cohesion Policy after 2020, adopted on 18th September 2017
  • the Position Paper of Euroregion Baltic on the Future of the Interreg South Baltic Programme after 2020, adopted on 26th September 2018
  • presentation during the “The Baltic Sea/Arctic Area post-2020” round table discussion on 12th September 2019

Euroregion Baltic takes the following position:

  • ERB supports the continuation of the South Baltic Programme as a separate European Territorial Cooperation instrument, and therefore strongly opposes the European Commission’s proposal to merge the South Baltic Programme with the Central Baltic Programme.
  • ERB believes that the merger of the South Baltic Programme and Central Baltic Programme would result in creating another, in fact, transnationally oriented programme, as eight countries and the vast geographical area would be involved in this cooperation. From ERB’s perspective, this would no longer be the cross-border- programme in real terms.
  • ERB opposes the proposal of merging the Central Baltic Programme and South Baltic Programme, as Central Baltic Programme’s geographical coverage is more urban, with four state capitals and significant nationwide stakeholders involved, whereas the South Baltic Programme geography covers more rural/small and medium-sized towns areas, and the Programme itself is more peripheral. It means that the socio-economic challenges such as economic and innovative potential, demography, education and skills development, environmental issues, transport accessibility etc. would vary considerably in a newly merged programme. This would put the priority setting process at risk and make the new programme ineffective in addressing the specific cross-border needs of the area.
  • ERB supports the idea of bringing the EU closer to its citizens. We firmly believe that the South Baltic Programme needs to keep its cross-border character, and in result be able to come much closer to and involve the citizens at mostly local and regional level.
  • ERB believes that merging the two programmes will weaken the primary goal and most endorsed by ERB approach, which should be to address citizens needs in a most direct way possible. This could also disconnect significant players in South Baltic area  – such as local authorities and smaller NGO’s. ERB shares the view that local communities and institutions are more willing to engage in the cooperation on the sub-regional level than on transnational level.
  • ERB welcomes the European Commission’s proposal to establish small project funds within Interreg programmes but recommends that their budgets should not exceed 20% of the total programme allocation. The beneficiary of a small project fund shall be a cross-border organisation such as Euroregion, working together with hosting organisation, a legal entity, such as Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic.  ERB recognises that such funds are the best instrument to implement people-to-people projects as they help in a straightforward and effective way to build up and maintain trust between people and regions in neighbouring states.

Vytautas Grubliauskas

President of Euroregion Baltic

See the signed document here:

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.