Aline Mayr from CBSS, Leader of our Baltic Sea Youth Platform project supported by the Erasmus+ programme explained how we engage youngsters from the Baltic Sea Region to become more involved in cooperation activities.
We also encourage you to see the MRS summary video explaining the macroregional strategies in Europe here:
Save the Date! From 1 to 5 March 2021, DG REGIO will host the 2nd EU Macro-Regional Strategies Week (EU MRS Week) that will take place digitally.
Reconnect, Rethink, Recover – the motto of the EU MRS Week gives a straightforward idea on the burning issues that will be tackled throughout the five days:
To Reconnect MRS key implementers, stakeholders and representatives of EU institutions will be key to Rethink the way to cooperate and prioritize MRS objectives in order to best Recover from the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 with concrete actions on the ground.
Therefore, the participants will have the opportunity to attend many sessions on paramount matters, such as the embedding process, MRS supporting the enlargement process or on how EU funding programmes directly managed by the European Commission (e.g. Horizon, Life, …) can support the implementation of MRS. Amongst the opening session with high-level speakers, there will be the occasion to engage with young people from the macro regions as well as with civil society organisations.
Discover below the provisional agenda of the week:
On the 1st of March, you can expect the opening session, followed by bottom-up sessions to empower participation of Youth and of Civil Society Organisations in MRS, and on MRS support to recover from COVID-19
On the 2nd of March, in the morning, the EUSAIR Governing Board and the EUSBSR National Coordinators Meeting will take place while the EUSALP strategy will discuss embedding matters in. In the afternoon, you can join the workshop on the contribution of EUSAIR and EUSDR to the priorities to the Economic and Investment Plan of the Western Balkans .
On the 3rd of March, a cross-MRS embedding workshop is to be expected. In the afternoon, the opening session on EU funding programmes in direct management will gather representatives from the EU Council and from several line DGs of the European Commission to respond on the Council Conclusion of the 3rd report on the implementation of MRS On the 4th of March, six consecutive workshops will bring programmes in direct management closer to MRS 2021-2027 in an exchange between line DGs and MRS key implementers regarding:Horizon Europe, Digital Europe, Connecting Europe Facility, LIFE, Single Market and ERASMUS+
Finally, on the 5th of March, the High level Group Meeting will take place in the morning and in the afternoon, the four MRS Presidencies and Trios will meet and close the EU MRS WEEK.
DG REGIO works in close cooperation with the four Presidencies of the EU Macro-Regional Strategies, namely the German Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR), the Slovak Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), the Slovenian Presidency EU Strategy for the Adriatic–Ionian Region (EUSAIR), and the French Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP).
Stay tuned for more information regarding the registration to the closed and open sessions.
The Annual Forum of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region has always been a celebration of cooperation, knowledge transfer, exchange of inspiration and cheering concrete results of joint initiatives in the Baltic Sea Region. But these were not mainly the keynote speeches, the presence of prominent politicians and established experts that attracted a considerable number of 800 to 1000 participants each year. The main reason was to grab some coffee with the people you worked hard with throughout the whole year or people whose work you really appreciated but did not have the chance to ask about unofficially. And that is how many new ideas were born, and many new partnerships launched.
This year due to the Covid-19 pandemic the Annual Forum was held online for the first time, which posed a huge challenge for the organizers from the Finnish city of Turku and CBSS. One thing is sure- against all odds, they did their best to make the gathering in virtual space as close as possible to the in-person-event, creating a very participatory and interactive experience thanks to available technological tools. But could it have been otherwise taking into account that the countries from the Baltic Sea Region are frontrunners as far as digitalization is concerned and that the 2020 Forum’s main theme was ‘Towards a Decade of Innovation and Sustainability’?
Although, no chance for a cosy coffee corner, so much appreciated informality was brought in by the speakers casually dressed and being seen in front of their home libraries or favourite pictures. And by an enthusiastic, uncompromising voice of the Baltic Youth representative, talking about the expectations and ideas of youngsters and proudly introducing the Baltic Youth Declaration.
A policy matters only if it serves the people. And having such a strong voice of the young generation at this year’s EUSBSR Annual Forum was a perfect starting point for more involving, more people-centred policymaking. The starting point, which is strongly supported by the EUSBSR New Action Plan, presented and discussed during the Forum. It seems that the ground is set for more result-oriented, more effective and more engaging activities in the Baltic Sea Region.
On macroregional level, which has always been praised for bottom-up approach and uniting different governance levels, economic sectors and diverse groups of ‘people of the action’ working on concrete projects, the inclusion of new-comers and community building initiatives have always been top priorities. With all the digital tools that are available at the moment and that we have all been learning more intensely since the pandemic outbreak, there is even a higher chance for making these ambitions come true. Thanks to the hard work on the ground, of course.
*The article written within Let’s Communicate! project. 11th Annual Forum Online – Turku 2020 – Moderators_ Peter Nyman, Bettina Rafaelsen, Esa Kokkonen –
Did you miss the event? Watch the recording on Youtube.
The Forum was hosted by the City of Turku together with the Council of the Baltic Sea States in cooperation with the Ministry For Foreign Affairs of Finland. The Annual Forum was co-financed from the programme of Interreg Baltic Sea Region.