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.


Facebook https://www.facebook.com/chooseklaipeda

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/chooseklaipeda/

Youtube shorturl.at/IQ356

Tik ToK https://www.tiktok.com/@chooseklaipeda?lang=en

More information:

VšĮ “Klaipėdos šventės”

Živilė Putnienė

Communication coordinator
Tel. +370 673 17050

The Baltic Sea is severely affected by general threats like biodiversity loss and climate change, and by specific local pressures such as eutrophication, overfishing, elevated levels of contaminants such as pharmaceuticals, and litter, in particular plastic waste. Concerned by the poor state of the Sea and its marine environment, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius is organising a high-level conference on possible actions to redress the situation. Our Baltic conference will take place on 28 September 2020 in Palanga, Lithuania, on the shores of the Baltic Sea, organised by DG ENV.

Our Baltic will gather ministers, decision-makers, scientists and stakeholders from NGOs and industry in the region and across the EU to discuss the challenges faced by this sea. In line with the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the Zero Pollution ambition announced in the European Green Deal, the Conference will focus on how to reduce the pressure from fisheries and the input of pollutants, litter and contaminants, including pharmaceuticals. It aims to boost commitment to the existing goals for the area in EU legislation, and opens the way to further commitments and new actions to tackle these problems.

The event will combine a high-level Ministerial session and stakeholder discussions. Ministers for Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries from eight EU Member States in the region (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden) have been invited and are expected to sign a Ministerial Declaration at the Conference. A beach clean-up event will take place on the day preceding the Conference, on 27 September.

Link to the webstreaming: available on the day of the day of the Conference, 28 September

To see agenda click here: draft_agenda_baltic_conference_0

More info and registration form: https://ec.europa.eu/info/events/our-baltic-conference-Palanga-Lithuania_en

In the Umbrella project framework, we organized this month another seminars and training on project management. The meetings on 28th Nov in Gdansk, 5th Dec in Kalmar, Sweden and on 10th Dec in Klaipeda, Lithuania.

You can still register for the meetings we will have in January and February 2020, they are all for free, but we have a limited number of places. Register using this link:

Agenda for the training on BASIC/ELEMENTARY level:

Welcome and introduction to the UMBRELLA Project Management Framework – fundamental concepts

  • UMBRELLA Framework vs. Project Life-Cycle
  • Analysing needs
  • Generating Ideas
  • Estimating Long-Term Effects
  • Problem and Objectives Tree Analysis
  • Reviewing Available Funding Programmes
  • Initiating a Project
  • How Detailed is the High-Level Planning
  • Stakeholders
  • Identifying Project Partners
  • Developing a project logical framework
  • Work Breakdown Structure
  • Main planning tools
  • Risk Management
  • Project Closure
  • Sharing the results
  • New project ideas
  • Submitting the project application
  • Developing the project logical framework

Join us for the Umbrella project management training in Telsiai on 22nd November 2019. 

You can register to his training, as well as all the others (in Lithuania, Sweden, Poland and Denmark) using this registration link: https://bit.ly/2IuFu7B

You can choose the training on the following dates and cities:

  1. 21/10: National training in Kristianstad (SE)- Basic
  2. 28/10: National training in Chojnice (PL)- Basic
  3. 28/11: National training in Gdansk (PL)- Advanced
  4. 22/11: National training in Telsiai (LT)- Basic
  5. 04/12: National training in Ringsted (DK)- Basic
  6. 05/12: National training in Kalmar (SE)- Basic
  7. 10/12: National training in Klaipeda (LT)- Advanced
  8. 10/01: National training in Alvesta (SE)- Advanced
  9. 24/01: National training in Elbląg (PL)- Basic
  10. 28/01: National training in Nida (LT)- Basic
  11. 20/02: National training in Roskilde (DK)- Basic

All the material for the training are available on our Moodle platform here: https://umbrellainterreg.moodle.school/login/index.php

Simply register and use them for free!

The XV UBC General Conference “Building an inclusive and resident-focused city. The Baltic way” hosted over 250 participants from all Baltic Sea Countries. The UBC Youth Conference was held parallel to the General Conference, with around 70 participants from the Baltic Sea Region.

Participatory budgeting workshop speakers

Magda Leszczyna-Rzucidło, Head of the International permanent Secretariat moderated one of the workshops: The value of the citizens‘ participation for cities governance co-organized by the Interreg BSR “EmPaci” project, Baltic Institute for Regional Affairs from Gdynia and Klaipeda University.

The goal of the workshop was to focus and to become a trigger for discussions and debates around capacity challenges to citizens’ participation in public policymaking in the countries of the Baltic Sea region and legitimation of participatory budgeting, citizens’ co-production of the public services in the cities and concrete remedies for those challenges. The workshop gathered over 30 participants representing cities and municipalities for all around the Baltic Sea Region.

Full conference programme available here:

UBC General Conference documents available here:

The General Conference is the highest authority of the Union and has the power to make decisions concerning any activities of the Union, e.g. electing the Presidium consisting of the President and three Vice-Presidents of the Union for a two year period, as well as electing the Executive Board for a two year period. In addition, a number of plenary sessions and back-to-back meetings are organized during the conference.

As in previous years, a Youth Conference will also were included, and the Baltic Sea youth will actively participated in all conference programme.

Anna Fornalska-Skurczyńska, University of Gdańsk
Magda Leszczyna-Rzucidło, Head of the ERB IPS

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

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

On November 17, 2017 the transnational seminar entitled “New thinking on territorial governance – with special focus on Baltic States” will take place at the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania in Vilnius. (more…)

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.