Klaipeda city this year is the European Youth Capital!

On the 11th of March, on the Lithuania Independence Restoration Day, the port city will host an opening event, which will announce the beginning of the European Youth Capital 2021 program. This title, which has been awaited for a couple of years, was taken over from the French city of Amiens. The project consists of nine platforms presenting young people’s ideas, challenges and problems, such as weak political activism, an aging city, the avoidance of “inconvenient” topics and people, and the lack of an environment which would foster entrepreneurship and creativity. In the 2021 program there will be 67 events, 70 various organizations, 133 ambassadors not only from many European countries, but also from such distant countries as Pakistan, Hawaii, and India. The title won is an extraordinary opportunity not only for young people but also for the city itself, to attract the attention of European youth, to present the city in an international context, and to strengthen the identity of European youth.

“Young people, their thoughts and ideas are the driving force behind every city. As long as young, energetic people care about their city, every city has a bright future. I would like to thank the youth of Klaipėda, all the ambassadors and friends of the project, whose insightful view not only of the advantages of Klaipėda, but also of sensitive topics, brought this honorable title to the city. I believe that together we can give Klaipėda an even bigger youthful drive. This year, let Klaipėda become an exceptionally open city that hears and listens, and in which people of all cultures, views and groups feel good,” Vytautas Grubliauskas, the Mayor of Klaipėda, said.

Challenges, achievements, potential

The title of the European Youth Capital is awarded to the city in two cases – when the city wants to share good practices, or when the city dares to identify its problems relevant to the young people and takes a more active approach. Klaipėda was awarded the title in the latter way. Unlike many of the titles the city has held, the main goal of the European Youth Capital is to create a city where the young person feels heard and needed.

According to the project idea, Klaipėda will implement a complex program set out in nine platforms, which consist of the problems, achievements and expectations identified by the youth. Among the challenges raised by the project are weak political literacy of young people, lack of an environment which would foster entrepreneurship and creativity, avoidance of “inconvenient” topics and people, and an aging city.

Even though the global pandemic has adjusted the original project plans, number of events and budget, many of the key events have remained and been successfully carried out throughout the past year.

“Until the beginning of the summer, all events in the program will take place remotely, using smart technologies, interacting and communicating over a safe distance. Since much of the events, such as lectures, discussions, are aimed at certain target audiences, which include several, sometimes several hundred people, remote events take place successfully,” Greta Meškauskienė, Manager of the European Youth Capital 2021 project, said.

850.000 Euros are planned for the European Youth Capital events. This money will be used to organize close to seventy events, including the opening and closing ceremonies of the European Youth Capital, various debates, and initiatives.

Exceptional events

The European Youth Capital program includes close to 70 events, discussions, initiatives and actions. A large part of the project events is dedicated to clearly defined target audiences – schoolchildren, students, socially sensitive groups. The program highlights seven major events – the international festival-workshop “BeachArt”, the exclusive international 3D street drawing festival “Art Gates”, the contemporary art and ancient traditions festival “Gabya”, community meetings “Sleep Under the Stars”, the youth cooperation initiative “Youth Picnic”, the mega concert of the most famous Lithuanian LGBT+ friendly and LGBT+ music stars. The program also includes various sports events – “Non-traditional sports festival”, “Sports festival” (surfing tournament, skateboard and break dance competitions).

The Open Yyouth Space that will open its doors on Paryžiaus Komunos street will also be a gift for young people. This will be the second youth center in Klaipėda. The Open Youth Space on Paryžiaus Komunos street, in the reconstructed Football School, is due to open in May.

ALL YEAR ROUND EVENTS: Creating attractive urban spaces “I am not just a wall”; A cycle of success stories for young entrepreneurs on Youtube; The “Exhibition of 3D drawings and creative space” will take place throughout the summer.

EVENTS IN SPRING: School Forum; Youth Ambassadors Forum; Cultural event: Ukraine; Symposium on LGBT+ friendly youth policy making.

EVENTS IN SUMMER: Youth Summer Academy; Sports festival; International workshop “New stories of unattractive spaces”; International youth camp in Ukraine; International festival of creativity; International festival-workshop “BeachArt”; Festival of contemporary art and ancient traditions “Gabya”; International conference on sustainable development; Mega concert of the most famous Lithuanian LGBT+ friendly and LGBT+ music stars; Non-traditional sports festival.

EVENTS IN AUTUMN: Community meeting “Sleep Under the Stars”; Youth picnic; Congress of youth workers; International forum “Integration of People with Disabilities in Educational Institutions: Where We Are and Where We Should Be”; Youth Ambassadors Forum; Entrepreneurship event “Youth-for-Youth”.

EVENTS IN WINTER: Closing event of the European Youth Capital 2021.


The problems and ideas of young people are presented in nine platforms: “Dialogues”, “Solidarity”, “Leadership”, “Out of the box”, “Spaces”, “Colours”, “North-South”, “Connections”, “Potential”.

The “Dialogues” platform promotes social involvement, presents the idea of Klaipėda youth political literacy, its increase, opportunities to participate in the political life of Klaipėda, the debate culture. The main event of the platform is the YOUTH AMBASSADORS FORUM. It is a strategic initiative to strengthen the voice of young people by giving them the space, tools, opportunities and support to engage and participate in civic processes. The Forum will act as an alliance of local youth and youth organizations, working closely with and meeting regularly with policy makers. The platform also includes the Choose Klaipėda Ambassadors Initiative, which currently brings together 133 ambassadors – people who want to contribute to the implementation of project activities and seek real change in Klaipėda. The platform is implemented by Klaipėda University and KU Student Union.

“Solidarity” is a platform that changes the image of volunteers and volunteering. The platform is implemented by the AUK Center together with LCC, the Lithuanian Maritime Museum, and the Spiritual Support Center for Youth. Among the most important events of the year – the Humanitarian Camp in Ukraine (LCC) and the Lithuanian Maritime Museum events – the School Forum and EXPERIENCE, HEAR, DISCOVER YOURSELF AS THE SEA. The latter event is scheduled for June 8th. On the occasion of the World Ocean Day, the event on Smiltynė Beach will unite about 2,000 students. The topic of the event ‘getting to know the Baltic Sea’ is best described by 3 concepts – young, closed, polluted. This is an opportunity to talk about the most sensitive issues – the isolation of young people and their internal “pollution”.

The “Leadership” platform is a platform for entrepreneurship and innovative business ideas. The main event of the platform, “Youth for Youth 2021”, will take place in November. The event, which became very popular, took place for the first time in 2020, so  it is expected for the event to gain continuity. Implemented by the Lithuanian Business College.

“Out of the box” is a platform for different, unusual ideas. The most important event of the platform is the Creativity Festival on July 11, which will show how to create for a city and find ways to turn ideas into reality. The platform is implemented by “Klaipėdos šventės”.

“Spaces” – transformation of spaces for young people, provision of safe spaces for young people. The most important event of the platform is the BEACH ART festival, which will contribute to innovative solutions for revitalizing urban spaces. Implemented by “Creators76”.

The “Colors” platform, which deals with “taboo” topics, is intended for reducing exclusion, raising awareness, and increasing the sense of security of excluded young people. The platform’s events touch sensitive topics, from LGBT to the integration of people with disabilities. The main event is a symposium dedicated to the creation of LGBT+ friendly youth policy-making.

The “North-South” platform emphasizes the importance of urban decentralization and the need to move some events, cultural initiatives from the city center to other parts of the city, and to involve peripheral communities. Highlights of the platform: the ‘newborn’ festival “GABYA” which will take place on 16-18 July. The festival will become a bridge between the past and the present – ancient traditions, heritage, ethno and world music, contemporary art and modern electronic harmony. Among the exclusive events of the platform and the festival “ART GATES”, which will take place on 21-28 June, and the festival “CITY STARS”, which will happen on 4 September. The platform is implemented by: College of Social Sciences, “Creators76”, “Spotas” and other partners.

“Connections” is a horizontal platform responsible for promoting cooperation between various international and national institutions and organizations, and project ambassadors. This ensures that cooperation will continue in the future.

The “Potential” platform is responsible for involving young people in all stages of the design and implementation of the program, while strengthening youth organizations so that the voice of young people is heard in every activity.

The title of the European Youth Capital was brought by the port city youth for the first time not only to Lithuania, but also to Northern Europe, although the initiative of youth capitals started more than a decade ago. The competition is organized by the European Youth Forum. Over 500 young people were involved in preparing the program application. Currently, the #chooseKlaipeda ambassadors network brings together over 100 young people from outside youth organizations.


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More information:

VšĮ “Klaipėdos šventės”

Živilė Putnienė

Communication coordinator
Tel. +370 673 17050

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

The Euroregion Baltic Executive Board and the Youth Board meetings transpired in Radisson Blue Hotel in Klaipeda, Lithuania from 13-14th February 2019!

On 13th February, the Euroregion Baltic Executive Board meeting took place. Some of its highlights included: the presentation of the Skåne Association of Local Authorities-from Sweden-as the new ERB member, the transfer of the ERB Presidency from Denmark to Lithuania, the approval of the new Head of the Euroregion Baltic International Permanent Secretariat and the ERB Action Plan for 2019. Furthermore, the new Executive Board members were introduced, a new sequence of ERB Presidencies was proposed to start after 2020 and various reports detailing hard-earned results and plans for the future were exhibited.

The inclusion of Skåne  Association of Local Authorities is undoubtedly a very important moment in ERB history. The Association from Sweden represents the 33 most southern municipalities in Sweden. Due to the Swedish local self-government tradition, the municipalities have responsibilities in many important areas such as climate issues and water. The organization also has an office in Brussels which is participating in several working groups such as Blue Growth, Energy and Climate, Water and Digitalization.

The Skåne  Association’s interests coincide with the goals of the new Lithuanian Presidency of the Euroregion Baltic (in the picture) so, it will be interesting to see how cooperation in these subjects will evolve. The Lithuanian ERB Presidency will focus on: blue and green growth (through smart specialization tool-kit), EU Cohesion policy (by effective lobbying and focusing on the South Baltic Programme after 2020) and accessibility/ transport (through the implementation of the Interconnect Project).

These goals were also included in the ERB Action Plan for 2019. It was presented by the new President of the Euroregion Baltic, Mr Vytautas Grubliauskas. The funds, projects connected to the ERB, and success criteria were demonstrated. The new strategy involves events like the Participation Day (in the frame of the EUSBSR Annual Forum) which will take place on 11th June 2019 in Gdansk, right after the Baltic Sea Youth Camp, event that will be attended by 100 young people and representatives of the HA- Horizontal Actions like HA- Capacity Building.

Finally and most importantly, we are glad to have Ms Magda Leszczyna-Rzucidło (in the picture) as the new Head of the ERB International Permanent Secretariat to replace Mr Sebastian Magier who spent almost a decade working dedicatedly for the Euroregion Baltic. Ms Leszczyna-Rzucidło will start her duties in April and until then, Ms Agata Ludwiczak will lead the ERB IPS. Ms Leszczyna-Rzucidło scored the highest result in the interview stage of the recruitment and also received warm recommendations during the Executive Board Meeting. We are looking forward for her arrival in the ERB IPS!

On 14th February, the Youth Board meeting took place. Ms Agata Ludwiczak, from ERB IPS, and Mr Marcin Żuchowski, from the Association of Polish Communes, presented the new Youth Strategy. The strategy is focused around 3 objectives: mobility, development and identity. In order for these objectives to be fulfilled, the use of almost 40 tools was recommended. Some of these tools include youth mobility, the Students’ Council, Youth Centers, youth media, school’s first job and others. Furthermore, there was a discussion on the future of the Youth Board which involved a variety of suggestions and requests for changes in its structure.


In conclusion, the ERB Executive Board meeting introduced certain changes of crucial importance and drew the plan for the future. On the other hand, the Youth Board meeting brought into light many of the alterations needed to be made in order to boost its influence and effectiveness. Both meetings were characterized by openness, cordiality and a sincere wish to discuss and cooperate.

  • The next meeting of the ERB Executive Board and the Annual Forum of the ERB stakeholders will take place in Kalmar on 13th-14th May 2019!

By IVY Theodora Chatzipanteli

The Executive Board of Euroregion Baltic met in Klaipeda on 22nd May 2018 to discuss about the progress, the challenges and the priorities of the organisation in the coming year. The main topic of the meeting was the development of the ERB 2030 Agenda and discussion on the proposals already submitted by some of the ERB members. The discussion served as a source of inspiration and provided relevant content to the development of the document later this year.

The ERB also continued the dialogue on the pontential enlargement of the organisation by inlcuding a new member from Sweden. To this end a representative of the Skåne Association of Local Authorities (Kommunförbundet Skåne) presented the organisation and their expectations towards the ERB as a potential future member organisation. The process is expected to be finalised at the next Board meeting in September 2018.

Much discussion was dedicated to the question of continuation of the South Baltic Programme under the new proposals submitted by the European Commission. It was agreed unanimously that the Programme should continue as an independent financial tools with significant budget allowing its stakeholders to tackle different challenges identified in the region. In order to provide an effective lobbying for the Programme the Board decided to develop a position paper highlighting the achievements of the Programme and lobbying for its continuation after 2020.

Next day the Youth ERB Board had a very constructive meeting as well. The youth organisation of Klaipeda hosted the meeting and its member presented to the Youth board their actions and activities in Lithuania. Moreover they presented the candidacy of Klaipeda for European Youth Capital 2020 and the vision and goals behind this candidacy.

Alexandra Winberg, the chairwoman of ERB Youth Board announced some changes in the composition Youth Board: Alexandra will not continue to be part of the Board and Johanna Levin will replace her as a new member. Mikkel Hoom Tved will be the next chairman of the Youth Board.

Moreover David Jedrzejak explained his Project Idea about a photo exhibition for non-professional photographers that will take place in different cities of Euroregion Baltic. The exhibition will highlight the beauty of the countries and landscapes within Euroregion Baltic, as a tool to attract more tourists in the region.

Youth Board presented as well its priorities in connection with the Euroregion Baltic Agenda 2030 as following:

a. Exchange of experiences and good practises with youth organisations around the South Baltic Sea!

b. Living conditions for youth.

c. Hot spots for the exchange information among young people!

d. Better promotion of the Youth Board and youth activities in social media.

e. Gender Equality and Human Rights

Last, Damian Ciachorowski presented (via skype) Euroregion Baltic Youth Strategy and specific tools regarding CaSYPoT project and the Youth Board voted upon them,  using the interactive online tool Mentimeter.

 Please follow this link to read draft minutes of the ERB Executive Board in Klaipeda:


On 15th September 2016 in Vilnius Euroregion Baltic participated in an international conference organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, together with the Lithuanian Association of Local Authorities. (more…)

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.