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
January 2020Meeting with ERB Members EU
9.00 Welcome and introductions
ERB in a nutshell – presentation by Magda
Leszczyna-Rzucidło, Head of the International Permanent Secretariat
EU Office’s engagement in South Baltic related tasks & initiatives; discussion on common goals for the future cooperation between the ERB and ERB Member regions EU Offices
10.30 Coffee break
Interreg South Baltic
Programme “state-of-the-art” – outcomes of the informal Monitoring Committee
Meeting on 19th Nov 2019, ERB position papers, Joint Programming
Committee, future South Baltic CBC priorities etc.
Interreg South Baltic
Programme discussion on possible joint initiatives, actions and lobbying in
12.00 End of the meeting, joint lunch (ordered to the Office)
Our Moodle is ready and filled with useful information on project management and available EU-funding opportunities! You can now use all the knowledge we have gathered for you within the Umbrella project framework and wish to share with all South Baltic beneficiaries.
We have a great course and handbook on project management prepared by the experts, that is free to use. You simply register and enjoy our coursebook, trainers book, presentations and much more.
Of course, we also invite you to our Project Management training sessions we are currently developing in Poland, Sweden, Denmark and Lithuania. Use this link to register: https://bit.ly/2IuFu7B
Another month and yet another Success Story from the South Baltic Programme! This time we wish to inspire you by presenting the BalticMuseums: LoveIT! – Brand, gamification and Apps for museums and tourist attractions project!
Hi, my name is Jurgita Eglinskiene. I’ve been working in international projects at the Lithuanian Sea Museum in Klaipeda for many years.
This year, we celebrate our museum’s 40th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of a series of projects with our BalticMuseums community: since 2009 we’ve been cooperating with other museums, universities and IT specialists in the South Baltic region to exploit chances of digitalization in our visitor services. Back in 2009, we had started with clumsy specialized devices for offering eGuide tours, and now, just ten years later, we jointly develop gamified apps to be used on the visitors’ smartphones. Technology changes very fast, and so do opportunities. With the project, we can share developments and will be able to use the visitors’ own electronic devices instead of providing them as a museum. This means we can concentrate on the content of our museum, to produce the stories around it and focus on how to make the visit involving and mind-changing for our guests.
The project “BalticMuseums: LoveIT!” helps us implement new IT services for visitors in our museum. We will have a new multi-lingual app for visitor’s smartphones (Bring Your Own Device BYOD), with gamification elements. To gain input for such app, we wanted to work with external users. We had a chance to take the challenge of organizing a hackathon, a creative programming marathon, in our museum for the first time! With this example, you can understand how much cooperation is worth.
Our project partners in Gdynia (Poland) – NMFRI Gdynia Aquarium and Experiment Science Center – had already hosted a hackathon in the project. They were supported by two partners from Szczecin (Poland) – University of Szczecin and Netcamp. After that, all learnings were gathered and documented by Stralsund University of Applied Sciences (Germany). With this input and the support of our colleagues from Poland, we could organize our hackathon event.
Then, we extracted our learnings and passed the baton on to Malmö Museums (Sweden) and NaturBornholm (Denmark), who hosted the third hackathon. After that, again, a concept revision was made, and the final hackathon was hosted by Business Academy North and Stralsund University of Applied Sciences (Germany). Here, we opened up and seven museums, which are not partners of the project, participated with their topics in the event. This process helped us to learn as an international team, continuously revising a concept that we created together and then opening it up to others.
Apart from working on the BYOD tools and content, we are also preparing a joint brand for our app, so that we can reach a higher impact within the project community and beyond. In our project, we have strong focus on learning and exchange. In online sessions, we also get input from other organizations outside of our project. We reflect our learning and share it online on a knowledge base (www.knowledge.balticmuseums.info).
In addition to the ‘hard’ results from the project, we have other benefits. The project work has encouraged us to approach many things in the museum in a fresh way. To name some examples: for working with the Generic Learning Outcomes concept in the exhibition we got new perspectives from colleagues from Malmö, or analysing User Experience and finding critical points in the visitor journey in our museum was freshly inspired by colleagues from Gdynia. So, we gain not only new tools, but also ideas, and a spirit of sharing, openness and improvement.
In our museum, many employees are engaged in the project, from the educational department, PR, IT, and project management. Thus, the project provides inspiration to all our organization. But it does not end there. Due to the project’s dissemination activities, other museums from our region know about the international activities the Lithuanian Sea Museum is participating in and the results that we achieve with it. That strengthens the image of our museum, helps us to be a leader and advisor to the colleagues in Lithuania. We just celebrated the museum’s 40th anniversary and invited our international partners from various projects as well as Lithuanian colleagues. It is was received as a great exchange and inspiration. Thus, we can leverage our experiences beyond our own institution.
Personally, I became a real friend to many people living far away from me, who work in very different fields. Without the project, I would never have had a chance to make those friends. Being a member of a project family, makes me feel being an essential part of an international community. My advice is: Don’t be afraid of joining any international project or community – it always pays off in the sense of new friends, experience and opportunities for new ideas and activities!
Photo BM5: BalticMuseums project team meeting in Malmö, Sweden
JURGITA ALSO SHARED WITH US HER THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ON WORKING IN SBP CROSS-BORDER PROJECT! READ HER INSPIRING COMMENTS AND LET US KNOW IF YOU HAVE A SIMILAR STORY YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE! WE WILL BE HAPPY TO INTERVIEW YOU AND GET O KNOW BETTER YOUR SOUTH BALTIC PROJECT.
What has been valuable or what was the greatest asset for you as a person to be a part of this project?
I became a real friend to many people living far away from me, who work in very different fields. Without the project, I would never have had a chance to make those friends. Being a member of a project family, makes me feel being an essential part of an international community.
What have you discovered from working with other nationalities? Is there something you discovered and you considered as a surprise (for its originality, something you discovered about your country that you did not know before?)
I’d say, we’ve learnt much of each other, for example: from Scandinavian people – to be properly dressed and prepared for any weather conditions, to be open to everything that nature can suggest and award us with; from German people – to be more active and efficient everywhere: at work, during your holiday or in leisure time; from Polish – never to loose good temper and high spirits. To sum it up, it’s a great inspiration for working with people from different national cultures and work backgrounds!
What has your organisation gained from the project?
The project “BalticMuseums: LoveIT!” helps us implement new IT services for visitors in our museum. We will have a new multi-lingual app for visitor’s smartphones, with gamification elements. To keep up to date with ever-changing tech developments, the work in our interdisciplinary project team of museums, universities and IT specialists is extremely helpful for us. In this field, change happen so fast, that we need to share developments with other institutions to continuously have an attractive offer for our visitors. In addition to the ‘hard’ results from the project, we have other benefits. The project work has encouraged us to approach many things in the museum in a fresh way. To name some examples: for working with the Generic Learning Outcomes concept in the exhibition we got new perspectives from colleagues from Malmö, or analysing User Experience and finding critical points in the visitor journey in our museum was freshly inspired by colleagues from Gdynia. In addition, we had a chance to take the challenge of organizing a hackathon, a creative programming marathon, in our museum for the first time! So, we gain not only new tools, but also ideas, and a spirit of sharing, openness and improvement.
Have you experienced any successful spinout of your project /added value? (have you had any successful surprises of your project?/ have you learnt something you could apply/ suggest in your own country?
During our BalticMuseums hackathon event, the technology of hologram was proposed. The idea had won the competition but was not directly applicable to our BalticMuseums project. Inspired by the hologram solution we created another project. To open up our museum, we place a temporary exhibition in Klaipeda City centre. The hologram technology was applied inside a marine shipping container, showcasing an exclusive shell from the museum’s collection. Thanks to the hologram technology the exhibit was very emotionally touching.
What have we discovered working in cross-border cooperation with other nationalities?
Being in an international partnership for many years, we gained a wealth of experiences that allows us to feel confident in any international contacts, activities or relations. We have developed our point and our position, which allows us to act as an equal, reliable and respectful partner.
And finally – on a strategic level:
How has the project made an impact on your area?
Due to the project’s dissemination activities, other museums from our region know about the international activities the Lithuanian Sea Museum is participating in and the results that we achieve with it. That strengthens the image of our museum, helps us to be a leader and advisor to the colleagues in Lithuania. We just celebrated the museum’s 40th anniversary and invited our international partners from various projects as well as Lithuanian colleagues. It was received as a great exchange and inspiration. Thus, we can leverage our experiences beyond our own institution. The project “BalticMuseums: LoveIT!” allows us to implement new and modern tools which put us in an advanced situation to provide an engaging museum visit to our visitors.
Has your project had an impact at the policy level?
Not yet, but likely in the future. We focus on the promotion of national maritime history. It is discussed and approved in Lithuania, that school programmes and other sources of education lack information and attention to national maritime history. We hope that our tool will have a further impact on the situation.
Tips & tricks
My advice is: Don’t be afraid of joining any international project or community – it always pays off in the sense of new friends, experience and opportunities for new ideas and activities!
This story was delivered to you by UMBRELLA project!
Our Partner Region invites all the ERB Members and Stakeholders to participate in the event organized by the Agency for Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation of the Kaliningrad Region – IX Partner Regions Forum in Kaliningrad, which will happen on 18-19th June.
The first Kaliningrad Partner Regions Forum was organized in the Kaliningrad Region in 2008. Thereafter this event became the annual one. The Forum is the international meeting providing the opportunity for the regional actors with a large number of participants to discuss international and international collaboration, gained experience and results of cooperation, consider new plans and propose new activities. The Forum is organized by the Government of the Kaliningrad Region.
Traditionally the Forum hosts the representatives of Russian region, partner regions of the Kaliningrad Region, including the ones from Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, Germany, Belorussia, also the Government of the Kaliningrad Region invites the representatives of the Federal Ministries of the Russian Federation, the Republic of Poland and the Republic of Lithuania. Annually the Forum gathers about 300 participants.
The actual topics of common development are discussed at the Forum round tables, over the years the different issues of entrepreneurship, tourism, ecology etc. have been discussed. It has been already become a good tradition to discuss international programs and projects within the Forum. Typically this round table enjoys popularity among the Forum participants.
The additional formal events often are organized on the sidelines of the Forum, e.g. signing of documents on international and interregional cooperation. Also the meetings of the Joint Monitoring Committee of the Program Lithuania-Poland-Russia 2007-2013, the meetings of the Joint Programming Committee of the Program Poland-Russia 2014-2020 took place on the sidelines of the Forum.
Venue IX Kaliningrad Partner Regions Forum will be organized in Kaliningrad on June 18-19, 2019 in the conference halls of the Hotel Radisson (Pobedy sq., 10). The opening session will start at 10.00 a.m. on June 18. Information on the conference halls can be found in the Forum program and at the registration desk.
Hotels The Agency for Agency for Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation of the Kaliningrad Region organizing this Forum recommends the participants to book the room in the hotels:
The participants of the Forum can also book the rooms in other hotels.
Contacts In case of question, please contact us by telephone +7 (4012)599-261 or e-mail: email@example.com.
How are young people’s lives in 6 different municipalities of the Baltic Sea Region like? What are the similarities and differences and how can the data collected through the CaSYPoT project be used to inform further activities and youth strategies?
Young people from Klaipeda in Lithuania, Słupsk and Bartoszyce in Poland, Svetlogorsk and Gusev in Russia and Emmaboda in Sweden participated in the CaSYPoT survey, one of the most important surveys ever done on the youth situation in the Baltic Sea Region! A short summary of the results will be presented during CaSYPoT project’s final conference in Kalmar from 13-14.05.2019!!
The registration for the CaSYPoT final conference and the ERB Forum of Stakeholders on 13-14.05.2019 in Kalmar is finally OPEN!
For further information and travel advice, please contact Ms Zofia Makowska, Project Manager CaSYPoT!
The SIA4Y “Right of information access from the youth perspective” workshop took place from 6th-7th March in Elblag, Poland!
The event was organized by the Association of Polish Communes of Euroregion Baltic and brought together 100 young people! There were participants from several Lithuanian cities (Telšiai, Vilnius, Eigirdžiai, Klaipeda), the Russian city of Kaliningrad, Sweden (city of Hässleholm), Poland (Elbląg, Gdańsk, Nowe Miasto Lubawskie, Iława, Dzierzgoń, Olsztyn, Gdynia, Słupsk, Otomin, Warsaw, Przezmark), Italy and Greece!
On 6th March, the participants from abroad arrived in Elbląg! There was a joint dinner and a small local tour by Mr Marcin Żuchowski and Ms Paulina Lieder before the participants’ went to rest and prepare for the forthcoming day!
On 7th March, the workshop ensued in the Town Hall of Elblag. It opened with a speech by Ms. Malgorzata Samusjew, Director of the Association of Polish Communes, workshop host organization. Ms. Valentina Scandola, organizer of the event, introduced the agenda of the day and launched a social media contest, giving later the floor to Ms Magda Leszczyna-Rzucidło, representing the Polish Economic Society Branch in Gdańsk, who introduced the project “SIA4Y- Strengthening Civil Society Participation through Public Information Access for European Youth”.
The day was divided into two main workshop sessions, whose main scope was to bring the topic of “right of information access” in the foreground, also trough a synergy between SIA4Y, CaSYPoT and SB YCGN project. The Association of Polish Communes of Euroregion Baltic, in fact, had a chance to keep a fil rouge with the youth-related activities that have been implemented in the last two years. The first one on “Responsible relationships and youth civic engagement”.
The first session was held by Marcin Żuchowski and Agata Ludwiczak, from the hosting organization. The second session, instead, counted on Mr Sergejus Muravjovas and Ms Ieva Duncikaite’s moderation from Transparency International Lithuania with the title: “Model Your Municipality: Participatory Budgeting Session”. “Responsible relationships and youth civic engagement” session:
At their first task, the participants were divided into 8 groups and asked to answer questions on 8 youth tools, which had a distinct goal each, and were written on large pieces of paper across 8 separate tables. Each group would then proceed to the next table. The tools were: employment mobility, youth information, Youth Centers, youth media, Schools of the Future, School’s Youth Zone, Baltic Youth Week, SB YCGN local round-table meetings-suggestions.
Before the launch of the second session, the winners of the social media contest were prized with lots of tech prizes and the participants had a lunch break in an adjacent room where a rich buffet was laid out. “Model Your Municipality: Participatory Budgeting Session”:
In this part, participants were partnered according to their home towns and asked to think of and create the budget for a common project that would benefit their municipalities. The allowed budget for the participants was 100 000 euros and they had to present their idea along with the expenses that it’d require. Afterwards, each group presented the idea they came up with and finally the audience had the chance to vote for the idea they considered most interesting and likely to be implemented. The team from Tricity area presented a beach cleaning system and received the most votes. Special mention should be made of the participants from the Elblag-Kaliningrad group who proposed an international cultural festival and the team from Nowe Miasto Lubawskie who presented a very detailed budget.
The workshop closed with a presentation by Mr Dominik Kwiatkowski about the participatory budgeting in the city of Słupsk and a focus group discussion conducted by Mr Marcin Żuchowski about the situation of youth in their schools. This last session was held in the frame of YCGN project.
In general, it was a really fun and educational workshop and its young participants had the chance to get more informed about their rights and opportunities to communicate with and influence their municipalities!
By IVY Theodora Chatzipanteli
Youth is often defined as the age group from 16 until around 30-34. It can be a time of great opportunities and challenges when people prepare for the responsibilities ahead, including their livelihood, family obligations, and productive engagement with their communities.
Overview of the Euroregion Baltic Youth Strategy
The Euroregion Baltic Youth Strategy was created by Mr Przemyslaw Kulawczuk, Mr Andrzej Poszewiecki and Ms Elzbieta Kolasinka in cooperation with Mr Damian Ciachorowski and the ERB Youth Board and in accordance with research done within the scope of the CaSYPoT project. It was presented by Ms Agata Ludwiczak of Euroregion Baltic International Permanent Secretariat during the ERB Executive and Youth Board meetings in Klaipeda, Lithuania on the 13th and 14th of February respectively. The Youth Strategy’s focus is on recommending measures that will foster collaboration between the countries of the Euroregion Baltic. This aims to tackle the issues of youth migration and regional depopulation as well as the resulting social and economic challenges.
The Euroregion Baltic and its challenges
These issues are shared to a different extent by each of the countries and administrative regions which constitute the Euroregion Baltic. The regions included are Bornholm (Denmark), Kalmar, Kronoberg, Blekinge, Skåne (Sweden), Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, Pomorskie (Poland), Klaipeda (Lithuania) as well as the Kaliningrad region of Russia. Relevant studies illustrate the dramatic results of regional abandonment which are especially pronounced in Poland and Lithuania and less noticeable in Sweden and Denmark.
Unfortunately, it appears that many provinces in the Baltic region are currently in a cycle of limited opportunities, outbound immigration and social and economic abandonment. The youth who are the future of their regions are particularly affected by this. In each region-member of the Euroregion Baltic, high percentages of young people have to deal with unemployment, lack of options in higher education and limited chances of self-realization. The result of this is that the majority want to move to a larger municipality or city.
Currently, each of the regions of the Euroregion Baltic has its own youth policy trying to deal with these issues. Cooperation and sharing experience between the regions are very limited. However, if more cross-border initiatives and collaboration were to be established, that could make the regions more attractive to their youth and create more opportunities.
The new Euroregion Baltic’s Youth Strategy proposal
Euroregion Baltic’s Youth Strategy is focused on understanding the young people’s needs and helping to communicate them. The three main strategic objectives of the new Youth Strategy are : connecting the youth through the promotion of mobility, engaging through development and empowering through the building of identity. First, with an increased mobility it becomes easier for young people to connect across the Baltic Sea and beyond in order to gain work experience, make connections and cooperate with other young people and adult experts. Second, the promotion of development supports the youth by fostering quality, innovation and sustainable development in cities and regions. Finally, by focusing on building identity, the Euroregion Baltic can strengthen the relations between its young people and foster future cooperation and common understanding.
A positive element of the strategy is that it includes in its creation young people alongside politicians, authorities, experts and universities. This will not only help in the implementation of the strategy by the local government but also ensure its success which is directly linked to the youth participation in it.
Euroregion Baltic has several tools in its disposal with which to achieve these objectives like employment mobility, youth information, Students’ Council, Youth Centers, media, school’s first job and many others.
Now it only remains to see which of these can be adopted and put into action on local level!
By IVY Theodora Chatzipanteli
Over the last few years Euroregion Baltic has been constantly developing its activities as an important and active cooperation platform not only in the South Baltic area but in the wider Baltic Sea Region. These activities resulted not only in the improved visibility of the organisation but also started to deliver concrete results based on the involvement of ERB in several cross-border projects. This development momentum culminated in 2018 when on its 20th anniversary ERB has been approached by the Skåne Association of Local Authorities (Kommunförbundet Skåne – KFSK) to discuss a potential membership in the organisation.
The Skåne Association of Local Authorities (Kommunförbundet Skåne – KFSK) is a nonprofit organisation with the task of supporting and developing the local self-governance, protecting local interests, promoting collaboration between municipalities and assisting them in their activities. With all 33 municipalities in Skåne being members of the Association, KFSK works in important cooperation areas of energy and climate, environment and community planning, labour market and business, local authority management, education, public health and welfare as well as research, innovation and development.
The Association is also very active in cross-border cooperation, supporting their municipalities in international projects and directly joining some of them as an important and very experienced actor. This will undoubtedly provide a added value in ERB cooperation, opening the platform to new ideas and cooperation initiatives, especially in the area of green tech and sustainable development.
Over the recent years Euroregion Baltic has been developing steadily as one of the important cross-border and international cooperation platforms in the Baltic Sea Region. Acting through its International Permanent Secretariat based in Elbląg, Poland, which has been the coordinating structure within Euroregion Baltic since 2004, the organisation has managed to become a more effective lobbying and knowledge-sharing platform. At the same time it has been constantly increasing its impact through implementation of international projects, most of them within the INTERREG South Baltic Programmme.
To continue on the path of constant development we are currently looking for a new Head of the International Permanent Secretariat who will be responsible for the strategic and day-to-day management of the organisation. This is a full-time position requiring excellent managerial, administrative and social skills, as well as a good deal of travelling, but offering exciting international work environment and attractive conditions. We are looking for a reliable, well-organised person who will be able to lead a small team of dedicated project managers and interns in an international working environment.