N.B. The webinars are for free. They will be held in Zoom Webinars and will be recorded. Some parts of the video lessons will be published in Moodle Platform
Max number of participants 20-25. First come, first served, but we need to confirm your participation up to 3 days after your registration to ensure we have equal geographical coverage within the Baltic Sea Region states, so don’t wait and sign up TODAY).
According to your needs, you can enrol in both the webinars, only in the basic or advanced only.
Are these dates not available for you?
Don’t worry, and the other two webinars will come in December and January.
We’ll keep you posted!
We invite you to join us on 15th June for another Umbrella 2.0 webinar – this time on EU Green Deal and its relation to the Baltic Sea Cooperation. If you represent small and local organisation from the baltic Sea Region this event is dedicated to you. We plan to bring closer the EU Agenda that is referring so much to sustainability, green planet goals and efficient use of resources.
Climate change and serious environmental degradation are a fact. They are severe threats to our planet and all the living creatures, including us – humans. We have extensively used finite resources like water, gas, oil, rare metals, etc. As the result of overconsumption and overproduction, we have been producing too much, often very harmful, waste which has ended in our oceans and landfills. And most of it does not degrade. The air in many parts of the earth is polluted and harmful to our health and wellbeing. We have been destroying nature and biodiversity by cutting trees, using farmland extensively, overregulating rivers and using too much concrete. As a result, we experience extreme weather phenomena such as torrential rains, floods, high temperatures, hurricanes or draughts, and we face severe water shortages. The modern production of food is also harmful to nature – it produces too much CO2 and causes nitrate leakage, degrades vast areas of soil and results in excessive water and energy use. Specialists throughout the planet and people living close to nature have been warning us for quite some time but only now we have realised how bad the situation is and that immediate actions are needed throughout the Globe.
As a response to the
situation, the European Union has decided to adopt a new growth strategy which
There are no
net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050;
growth and human wellbeing is not at the price of extensive resource use;
transformation will bring positive changes to all the people and areas covered.
The new strategic
document, adopted in December 2019, is called the European Green Deal. It is
accompanied by an Action Plan which shows how to:
efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy, and
and cut pollution.
The goals are very
ambitious and require changes and transformations in all sectors and the
involvement of all of us – from decision-makers through research, business and
agriculture sectors to consumers. Therefore a set of strategic documents and
regulations have been introduced, and new ones are planned. Some of the key
ones have been:
Deal Investment Plan – looking into the financial resources;
Transition Mechanism – to provide
support for the areas which will be most seriously affected to support the
necessary economic and social transformation;
Economy Action Plan – to encourage us to use resources more efficiently and
Farm to fork
strategy – to make food production and consumption more healthy to us and the
Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 – to protect our planet natural resources;
New European Bauhaus – an environmental,
economic and cultural project to make our living areas environment–friendly,
aesthetic and inclusive for all.
All those policies and plans introduced at the EU level are in an obvious way necessary for the Baltic Sea Region. Current EUSBSR AP, with the support of EU and other available funds, takes them into account and responds to them. All the individual, national and international activities – no matter how small – need to add to the shared success. So it is time for all self-governments, business of all kind, educational and cultural institutions, and civil society to join forces across borders to stop the damage and reverse the negative changes. Being involved in international projects helps us understand the processes, learn from experience and change the world around us for the better.
You can now read the reports from all 4 thematic workshops that we organised on 27th April, during the Umbrella 2.0 Awareness Raising Event.
We also have recorded the Questions and answers question for you, so if you are curious to know more about the Baltic Sea Cooperation related to EUSBSR, SDGs and EU Green Deal, do not miss it.
Our experts will answer the following questions:
Is the EUSBSR action plan updated from time to time? How often? And how does the negotiation work? Can local actors contribute to it? How?
Our expert: Anders Bergström, EUSBSR Policy Area Education Coordinator
Who’s in charge of monitoring the
SDGs achievements in each country of the Baltic Sea States?
Our expert: Olga Zuin, Programme Coordinator of the CBSS Baltic 2030 Unit
How do you think the situation in
the tourism sector will change after Covid in the Baltic Sea Region, e.g. how
the pandemic affected the way of travelling if there will be any incentives to
prefer “green transports.
Our expert: Andrea Krabbe, EUSBSR Policy Area Tourism Coordinator
find partners for cooperation activities/ international projects?
How the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region relates to
the EU Green Deal?
Our expert: Marta Czarnecka-Gallas, Umbrella 2.0 Project Partner, BSSSC
What are the funding possibilities available at the moment for the Baltic Sea stakeholders when starting international cooperation?
Our expert: Marko Paunovic, Umbrella 2.0 Project Partner, UBC
The main aim of the UMBRELLA 2.0 event on 27.04 is to inspire and raise awareness on the importance of cross-border and transnational cooperation for all local actors – including the smaller ones and those who never took part in any international collaboration before.
We have invited experts coming from: Council of the Baltic Sea States, EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, Euroregion Baltic, Union of the Baltic Cities, Baltic Sea States Subregional Cooperation, local NGOs and municipalities from different Baltic Sea countries to ask them for their best practices, advice and inspiration.
We will have experts answering your questions LIVE during the event.
Send your questions to us now, and we will ask the most suitable expert to answer them.
Umbrella 2.0 Partners – Euroregion Baltic, Union of the Baltic and the Baltic Sea States Subregional Cooperation are glad to present the draft agenda for the Awareness Raising Event promoting Baltic Sea cooperation scheduled for 27th April.
The main aim of our event is to inspire and raise awareness on the importance of cross-border and transnational cooperation for all local actors – including the smaller ones and those, who never took part in any international cooperation before. We wish to show you the great benefits of working together with similar actors all around the Baltic Sea but also guide you on how to start this kind of initiatives. We have prepared the event’s agenda that will inform you how our 3 organisations – ERB, UBC, BSSSC could support you in your journey, what are the possibilities and “entry points” available.
We have invited experts coming from: Council of the Baltic Sea States, EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, local NGOs and municipalities from different Baltic Sea countries to ask them for their best practices, advice and inspiration. We also plan a Q&A session with our experts, where you will be able to learn more about the cooperation possibilities and find necessary information for your future collaboration.
Please see the draft agenda for the event below. We hope you will find it interesting and will join us in our journey that starts n 27th April and will continue in the next months’ thanks to the support we received from the Swedish Institute. We plan to follow up this meeting by organising smaller events (hopefully they will be also possible in physical format!) related to specific cooperation topics and EU/BSR policies and agendas.
Umbrella 2.0 launches its first event to raise awareness on the current “hot topics in the Baltic Sea Region”. Today we hear a lot about sustainability and it may seem a difficult topic, getting lost in EU policies and strategies, or seen as something the “big” are responsible for, like the United Nations and their Sustainable Development Goals. However, every day, many small actors from civil society perform activities that contribute to the achievement of overarching goals. It may seem not relevant, but even the ocean is made by drops.
Umbrella 2.0 would like to invite and inspire local actors from civil society and the public sphere to undertake actions that can contribute to important sustainable goals. We need to go all in the same direction, together. Therefore, we have invited representatives of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, besides NGOs, to get to know each other and discuss together.
Are you curious? Would you like to know how to get engaged and/ or to start a learning process, involving your staff?
Take part in our online event, get inspired by other organizations like yours and let us guide you!
After the Umbrella project’s success (Boosting cross-border cooperation capacities of local actors in the South Baltic Sea), Euroregion Baltic decided to propose a package of activities based on already tested actions to involve newcomers in the Baltic Sea Region. The excellent relationship of Euroregion Baltic with the Umbrella 2.0’s partners (Union of the Baltic Cities and BSSSC) will ensure perfect coverage in the Baltic Sea Region regarding stakeholders’ involvement and boost bottom-up actions.
Bottom-up actors are those closer to the citizens and their needs; they know their territory and are aware of how to apply policies in the best way.
Euroregion Baltic works as a mediator between the local municipalities and other NGOs and the upper strategic levels, meaning the regional, national, international levels besides the EU’s bound thanks to the INTERREG South Baltic Programme and close cooperation with the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. Our project partners have a similar role, being close to their stakeholders and raising awareness on the value of transnational cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region.
The new EU
programming period 2021-2027 is underlying the importance of sustainability, which
is strongly perceived as fundamental, especially in this pandemic.
That’s why Umbrella 2.0 and its partners want to be ambassadors of the EUSBSR, EU Green Deal and UN SDGs, bringing more newcomers and bottom-up actors onboard.
To do so, we
asked ourselves whether the EU is known and well communicated, whether it is
close to those who work at the local level, close to citizens. And we asked
ourselves whether those things that we take for granted because we work with
them daily are clear for others. Often possibilities and opportunities are
often not known. EU strategic choices, long-term goals and action plans are
simply not known. Therefore our mission is:
– To raise awareness of opportunities and benefits of
transnational and cross-border cooperation and increase regional stakeholders’
interest in it;
– To empower stakeholders to build strategic and long
term-partnerships, support networking, and straighten community of
practitioners in different sectors;
– To improve knowledge of the EU, its financial instruments and
relevant strategies, with particular focus on the EUSBSR;
– To explore
the opportunities and benefits of being part of EUSBSR and offer practical
guidelines on how to engage in long-term;
We are project managers and strategists, but we want to pass the concept that the process is more important than the result. First of all, we need to involve local actors in networking, building trust, exchanging knowledge, and setting the basis for actions.
– to raise
awareness through networking events or conferences about EUSBSR Action Plan and
communication, UN SDGs, EU Green Deal. These are the major topics that need to
be investigated by the beneficiaries to make them create a connection between
the upper strategic level and the bottom operative level. The latter is the one
that actually can have a relevant impact on a local level, especially in terms
of sustainable development.
– to make
EUSBSR and local actors meet together, know each other, communicate in 3
two-day “meet-your-flagship” events. Why “meet-your-flagship”?
We believe that the flagships have proved their consolidative role. They offer processes that enable multiple actors from different levels to work together on challenges and opportunities in the chosen area. The most experienced and usually engaged actors represent regional or national authorities and academia. They are aware of the opportunities posed by the flagship processes and often engage in them. Yet, we still rarely see local and rural local entities like municipalities, local socio-economic actors and institutions, and NGOs. Therefore, the aim is to ensure they are as adequately informed as to the others and foresee the same possibilities for their cross-border and transnational cooperation within the EUSBSR and other relevant EU agendas.
– to train
stakeholders on project management. In fact, once actors are involved in
processes and networks, projects are often the most used tool to cooperate
– to communicate the EU policies (EU Green Deal, EUSBSR) and UN SDGs through stakeholders’ thematic training.
Who is our target group? Why it’s important to reach out to so-called “newcomers”?
Our project proposal addresses the need to build capacities of small and local actors, mostly “newcomers”, to widen their participation in the Baltic Sea regional cooperation. The need was identified in the “Needs analysis”, conducted in the frame of the Umbrella project in which Euroregion Baltic has been the lead partner of “Umbrella Boosting cross-border cooperation capacities of local actors in the South Baltic Sea” project (www.umbrellaproject.eu). The analysis was based on quantitative and qualitative questionnaires made among the small and medium-sized municipalities, NGOs, local action groups from the 5 South Baltic Sea states. The assessment report “Mapping stakeholders and analysing barriers in the South Baltic Sea” provided information about specific gaps that the SBP should address in future. Recommendations were also provided, including the need to focus on newcomers, small organisations also, for instance, sports associations, associations dealing with social affairs, and schools. Today, these are almost absent as project partners in the current programming period, for several various reasons but most commonly for their lack of capacity. The report points out that “micro-scale” is a relative concept and can vary between regions and sectors of activity. Our definition of newcomers includes actors related to the governance layer that is closer to citizens (local authorities) and horizontal subsidiarity (civil society’s initiatives).
The Umbrella project was launched at the beginning of 2018. It resulted from the realisation that the South Baltic Programme (SBP) was hard to access for small organisations, mainly because of their insufficient institutional and financial capacities. SBP stakeholders in general and small local actors specifically still experience communication barriers, limited English language skills, and lack of competencies and capabilities in project development and implementation. To address these challenges, the Umbrella project committed to developing know-how capacities for small local and regional actors and civil society organisations in the South Baltic Programme area to improve their participation in cross-border cooperation. To achieve this goal, Umbrella implemented a significantly more comprehensive approach, determined by a strategic decision of the partnership to address different levels of capacity building processes – from a single institutional capacity of potential project partner, via micro-activities addressed to the micro organisations till strategic capacity building on the programme macro level where we cooperated with EUSBSR HA Capacity coordinators (our Associated Partner).
The Umbrella project has offered a tailor-made set of solutions and reached the following objectives:
It mapped stakeholders in the South Baltic Region and delivered a report
with an assessment of needs and potential project themes, as well as project
barriers to addressing in the South Baltic Programme and its future programming
period (2021-2027). It invited mapped stakeholders to 2 awareness-raising
events on EU financial possibilities, programmes, cross-border cooperation
– It organised 3 Cross-border conferences with EUSBSR Policy Area panels
on: Bioeconomy, Energy and electromobility and sustainable tourism;
– It held micro-activities to “meet-your-neighbours”: networking
thematic meetings to initiate cooperation;
– It delivered 12 national trainings in national languages on project
management in Sweden, Denmark, Poland and Lithuania;
– It invited mapped stakeholders to Umbrella’s “Rent-an-Expert”
service to help them learn how to write meaningful project applications;
– It delivered a training and coaching pack on project management: from
ideation to implementation of EU financed projects, including and 1
– All the training materials and stakeholders are collected in the Moodle
platform http://umbrellaproject.eu/moodle/ ;
– The project helped writing more than 5 new projects in SBP, Swedish
Institute and Erasmus +;
– Umbrella will be finalised in December 2020, and it is going to organise
4 Cross-border workshops in the form of focus groups to discuss the upcoming
SBP programming period. It will deliver a “Meet-your-neighbours success
stories” book, and it will end with a final conference;
– No. of local actors involved in cross-border activities: 240
organisations of which:
✔ 90 were involved in
cross-border micro-activities and raising awareness events developing knowledge
capacity about the South Baltic Programme.
✔ 100 were involved in
CBC conference with EUSBSR PA panels and training
✔ 150 were involved in
basic cross-border cooperation level (scouting actions). These are
organisations (newcomers) with a lack of capacity to participate in regular
projects, and relevant bodies involved in SBP implementation (directly and
indirectly) were also collected and presented in the form of on-line platforms.
Umbrella proved to be an optimal mediator among different stakeholders.
Therefore, starting from the presumption that the EUSBSR and the local actors
are entirely detached from the other, the project objective would be to develop
know-how capacities for local organisations in cooperation in the Baltic Sea
Region, harmonising local needs and actions and upper strategic lines.
While the local actors are focused on objectives in their local sphere of influence, the strategy provides guidelines that are not known at the local level. A bridge between local actors and the strategy needs to be set to enhance the interaction among all the governance levels to start a process that can facilitate the implementation of EUSBSR and other sustainable policies matching with the EU Green Deal and SDGs.
Umbrella 2.0 would act to mediate the communication between the strategies and the local level, raising awareness and providing practical knowledge and tools for implementation.
More on the NEWCOMERS – Who are they?
Representatives of small NGOs and municipalities, practitioners, working in those institutions from all sectors who need to build their knowledge, understanding, and skills to work effectively in EUSBSR partnership. Also, they are EUSBSR actors with some experience who wish to complement and formalise their learning with the latest EU/EUSBSR frameworks, innovative and practical tools etc. In Interreg Baltic Sea Region Orientation Paper for 2021-27, they are called the “first-timers” in opposition to the “Usual suspects club”, so those who are well-known project partners, consortium leaders and strategic processes developers. Newcomers constitute a very heterogeneous group of different kinds of organisations (regarding size, strategic orientation, business model, funding streams, target groups, etc.), making it challenging to distinguish, characterise and identify them among EUSBSR cooperation actors. We need them on board in the EUSBSR cooperation, as they neither follow the logic of academia (characterised by excellence in scientific disciplines) nor the logic of typical business actors (shaped by competitiveness and profit). Their modus operandi focuses on solving societal problems (usually, they are mission-driven). They aim to influence the policymaking process, or they are more service-oriented and try to improve the situation of their primary target group.
On 13th January 2021 Umbrella 2.0 project partners: Euroregion Baltic, Unione of the Baltic Cities and Baltic Sea States Subregional Cooperation met together with the Swedish Institute representative to officially start the activities in the new project. Read below to get to know our project better and familiarise with the activities we plan to offer to our beneficiaries in the Baltic Sea Region.
UMBRELLA 2.0 – why we applied to SI for the support?
will be a gap year for cross-border cooperation. The South Baltic Programme, a
primary financial tool utilised by Euroregion Baltic to reach its scope, will
launch the new programming period 2021-2027 only at the end of 2021. Only small
project funds will be available. Hence, Euroregion Baltic realised that the Umbrella
project’s success and capacity building process initiated in 2018 could not be
stopped. For this reason, the so-called Umbrella 2.0 proposal was presented to
the Swedish Institute as the natural consequence of Umbrella Project (SBP) and
its willingness to become a recognised brand, active also on a broader Baltic
Therefore, Euroregion Baltic, together with UBC and BSSSC, submitted Umbrella 2.0- Boosting transnational cooperation capacities for multilevel actors in the Baltic Sea Region- that has been approved by the Swedish Institute in Nov 2020 and launched in January 2021.
AIM OF THE
The project’s overarching goal is
to increase awareness and knowledge of transnational cooperation in the Baltic
Sea Region. More specifically, the project aims at initiating a process for the
development of strong multi-actor and multilevel governance partnerships that
can undertake cross-sectoral sustainable solutions while following the
principles and objectives of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EU
Green Deal and UN SDG.
The aims concerning the Baltic
Region are :
To raise awareness of opportunities and benefits of transnational and
cross-border cooperation and increase regional stakeholders’ interest in it;
To empower stakeholders to build strategic and long term-partnerships, support
networking, and straighten community of practitioners in different sectors;
To improve knowledge of the EU, its financial instruments and relevant strategies,
with particular focus on the EUSBSR;
– To explore the opportunities and
benefits of being part of EUSBSR and offer practical guidelines on how to
engage in long-term;
– To help build
competencies, i.e. knowledge and skills necessary to run projects with benefit
to the Policy areas, and create specific networks of interest in different
sectors in a cross-sectorial manner focusing on a shift and transformation by
our beneficiaries (activating them for sustainable transnational cooperation).
builds on Umbrella project results. The Umbrella project was launched at the
beginning of 2018. It resulted from the realisation that the South Baltic
Programme (SBP) was hard to access for small organisations, mainly because of
their insufficient institutional and financial capacities. SBP stakeholders in
general and small local actors specifically still experience communication
barriers, limited English language skills, and lack of competences and
capabilities in project development and implementation. To address these
challenges, the Umbrella project committed to developing know-how capacities
for small local and regional actors and civil society organisations in the
South Baltic Programme area to improve their cross-border cooperation participation.
To achieve this goal, Umbrella implemented a significantly more comprehensive
approach, determined by a strategic decision of the partnership to address
different levels of capacity building processes – from a single institutional
capacity of potential project partner, via micro-activities addressed to the
micro organisations till strategic capacity building on the programme macro-level
where we cooperated with EUSBSR HA Capacity coordinators (our Associated
Umbrella proved to
be an optimal mediator among different stakeholders. Therefore, starting from
the presumption that the EUSBSR and the local actors are completely detached
one from the other, Umbrella 2.0 objective would be to develop know-how
capacities for local organisations in cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region,
harmonising local needs and actions and upper strategic lines.
While the local actors are focused on objectives in their local sphere of influence, the strategy provides guidelines that are not known at the local level. A bridge between local actors and the strategy needs to be set to enhance the interaction among all the governance levels to start a process that can facilitate the implementation of EUSBSR and other sustainable policies matching with EU Green Deal and SDGs. Umbrella 2.0 would act to mediate the communication between the strategies and the local level, raising awareness and providing practical knowledge and tools for implementation.
Time to sum up our Umbrella project in figures! Did you know that…
① representatives from 5 countries from the South Baltic, i.e: Sweden, Denmark, Lithuania, Poland, Germany took part in our project? ② over 300 people in total participated in the project? ③ in over 3 years we have organized 30 live meetings and over 12 online events?
Looking at these figures, we wonder what the next editions of this project will bring us. We already know for sure that a lot is going to happen! Remember that you can still sign up for the conference closing the Umbrella project, which will be held online on December 2, 2020, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Energy Transition in Baltic Sea Region is a one-day workshop, specifically designed for decision-makers and change agents that are working on regional development and are interested in understanding how to achieve sustainable energy transition in the Baltic Sea Region, by serving and using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in every day planning and concrete action.
The aim of this workshop is to help pave the way for increased cooperation and engagement between local and regional authorities as well as other relevant stakeholders, in their work towards the transition to a low-carbon economy in the Baltic Sea Region. We will also try to identify and find ways to overcome some of the challenges and obstacles these authorities encounter in this ambitious task.
The main target group for the workshop is regional politicians working with regional sustainable development issues as well as civil servants working in the field. Additionally, to have more diversity, we would like to invite youth representatives, as well as representatives of business and academia. We expect approximately 20 participants in the seminar. Member Regions and Municipalities of the CPMR Baltic Sea Commission and ERB are invited, together with experts on sustainable development in the Baltic Sea Region countries.