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Umbrella project extended until Dec 2020!

We are super excited to announce that our project has been extended until the end of the year! What does it mean for you?

Even more webinars with our experts who will help you in creating new, original projects or improving those already started. Also, check out #Umbrella training and rent-an-expert sessions on-line! Soon we will come back with the first dates and information on the topics. If you’re looking for some specific topic or have any suggestions – just let us know!

Dear Friends,

Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 and the pandemic situation we decided to postpone the Umbrella project final conference that was planned on 18-19th May in Gdańsk, Poland. We hope that the event will take place in fall and we will let you know the exact date as soon as we confirm the new dates.

Please stay safe and all the best from Umbrella and Euroregion Baltic Team!

                                
 Newsletter No 3

The FilmNet project is one of the few projects implemented in the Interreg South Baltic program, which used such a method as “Job Shadowing” (JS). What is it? How can it be used? What are the benefits?

The concept of Job Shadowing comes from business and means “accompanying internship”. It involves learning by observing the work of others, more experienced employees. Hence, moreover, the name – a person who determines with the help of this tool accompanies the employee being watched – is like a shadow. This is also the difference between JS and professional internship or volunteering – here, the delegated person does not provide work for the organization or institution, does not make the decisions and actively participate in meetings. Of course, can be involved in various activities, but this doesn’t impose any obligations on this person.

Job shadowing is a relatively new phenomenon but can bring direct benefits to both companies and employees. What about projects within international cooperation?

 It turns out that this tool is very rarely used – although it could be more often applied, especially in projects related to employee mobility or capacity building of partner organizations. In Interreg programs, it is used only marginally, in Erasmus + slightly better – but also to a limited extent. Meanwhile, according to many reports, it is the ability to directly track the work of foreign teachers and experts which provide the best results.

In Interreg programs, where we talk about exchange of experience, good practices, building organizational potential, contacts between people – job shadowing can be a great tool, opening both people and organizations

The FilmNet project is one of those unusual activities where the Job Shadowing instrument was used. Almost every partner accepted employees of partner organizations within their institution. The visits took place in October at the Institute for New Media in Rostock, (Germany) and in November 2018 at FilmRegion Sydost in Växjo, (Sweden),  in September 2019 at Center of European Meetings “Światowid” in Elbląg, (Poland) and last – on 24 -28.02.2020 at the Business and Tourist Information Center in Rietavas, (Lithuania). Each of these events lasted five business days.

 What were the results?

 Employees of the Polish CSE “Światowid” could “get inside” other solutions and experiences in the field of film education, e.g. see how film clubs work in Sweden, mini film funds for young filmmakers. They gained inspiration for innovative initiatives and projects of a film nature, e.g. in the functioning of the Swedish project “Filmriket” the platform related to the promotion of film production among children and young people.

Partners from Rostock (Institute for New Media) emphasized the positive aspect of professional exchange with partners abroad in the form of obtaining a different perspective and the opportunity to reflect on their work, meet new project partners and establish relationships with them. It was essential to include some of the experience gained into the daily practice of their organization, primarily related to the creation of a network of film festivals for children and young people (based on the experience of the Youth Cinema Network through participation in Job shadowing in Sweden).

The possibility of intensive exchange with festivals throughout the Baltic Sea region was also gained. The experience and knowledge gathered in this way allowed to slightly modify the program of this year’s German film festival FiSH, which was to begin in 2020 with a competition for young filmmakers in the entire Baltic Sea region!

How can you prepare yourself as an organization and your employees to use such a tool?

We have a few hints…

How long can job shadowing take? From 2 to 60 days, depending on your needs. Partners from the Institute for New Media suggest limiting the shadowing period of work to 3 days. They always combine it with specific work processes, e.g. selection committees, future workshops, media camps. It is worth that the organization sent an employee of its institution identifies its areas for improvement – then it is easier to organize such observation. We do not send our observers either when there is a lot of work in the host organization (the so-called “hot period”), or when we have a “hot season” – there is nothing to observe.

In fact, we should not force a particular scenario – job shadowing is an observation of our daily work, habits, organizational culture – just the life of the organization.

So, we encourage you to take an example from the FilmNet project and the wider use of such a tool as Job Shadowing!

The contents of this Newsletter are the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union, the Managing Authority or the Joint Secretariat of the Interreg South Baltic Programme 2014-2020.“

In Interconnect Interreg South Baltic project, we support the idea of sustainable public transport in the South Baltic Sea.
See how easy & pleasurable a journey can be in our coproduction video clip, promoting the #InterCombiTicket connection between Rostock and Nykøbing Falster


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqKeaEZvGok&feature=youtu.be

#connectivity #mobility #SouthBaltic

This month Umbrella is coming back with the Success Story on INTERCONNECT project. Interconnect supports new and more efficient public transport services both in and between the coastal regions of the South Baltic area – to give the residents and tourists broader and more sustainable options for realising their mobility needs.

Today, the public transport offer in the South Baltic area hardly meets customer expectations for the comfort of making regional and cross-border journeys. Communities of the coastal regions see no clear benefits of choosing public transport over a car for longer trips:

  • dissatisfied with a shortage of tickets allowing multimodal rides (e.g. bus-ferry-train) across the regional borders,
  • difficult access to one-spot passenger information
  • a lack of tailor-made products.

This is particularly visible on ferry links, which see a steadily growing number of cross-border car travels due to customised services and price packages for motorised passengers, while the market segment of foot passengers remains marginal.

Public transport authorities in the South Baltic area require more knowledge about regional and cross-border mobility needs in their communities – both now and in the future – and need deeper expertise on how to match them with sustainable solutions. The usual planning and management tools, market incentives and promotion campaigns in the regional communities to change the travel behaviour tend to fail, as they are usually not preceded by a mapping of no-car travel preferences.

Although many interesting public transport services and products in the South Baltic area have been developed locally, the experience is very scattered and the good practice has not been effectively exchanged at the region-to-region level so far. In addition, some South Baltic regions lack public transport systems and organisations to manage this process.

Read below some useful tips and info from the project partner responsible for the Communication in Interconnect. Answers provided by Ms Ania Dudziak, Project Officer at Euroregion Baltic, Poland.

What has been valuable or what was the most significant asset for you as a person to be a part of this project?

Being a part of this project has given me new self-development opportunities and has widened my knowledge about cross-border cooperation. But most of all, it gave me a  chance to meet many great people from different countries.

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 the country that you did not know before?)

When working in an international environment, you can always discover something new and surprising, something to learn from. I guess every nationality has a lot to bring “onboard the project”, whether it’s cultural, social, or legal issues. The beauty of working with other nationalities is the possibility of creating something unique that might reach beyond any kind of borders.

If newcomer: What was your experience as a newcomer in the Partnership?

As a newcomer in both partnership and international projects, I was amazed by how well people from different environments/institutions can work together, overcoming any boundaries and sharing their experience and knowledge to gain common goals.


What has your organization gained from the project?

The Interconnect project partnership is about being a part of changes that affect our everyday life, e.g. sustainable transport, mobility etc. The partnership gave us a great chance to extend the contact network of experts, local institutions and companies to cooperate with in the future. It is also a significant opportunity to share know-how and international experience in implementing technical solutions when it comes to a particular area of regional development.

How has the project made an impact on your area?

A great success of the Interconnect project is the intense cross-border cooperation and pilot work to implement technical solutions in developing a model of paying for public transport journeys in cross-border traffic between Region Blekinge(Sweden) and Pomorskie Voivodeship (Poland), as well as the development of the FALA integrated ticket system in Pomorskie Voivodeship.

Has something changed/ improved thanks to your Project?
The process of the implementation of the FALA integrated ticket system in Pomorskie Voivodeship has already started, which will have a significant impact on the ease of use of public transport in this area.


Do you have any good advice for potential new organizations that wish to enter into international projects and CBC networks?

No organization should hesitate to enter into CBC networks and transfer their project ideas to the international level. Reaching international partners gives a project better chances of evolvement and implementation.

The past year was a busy time for all Interconnect project partners, as it was marked by several meetings and promotion of the project itself.

The 2019 kicked-off with a partnership meeting in Karlskrona where representatives of Stena Line, Region Blekinge and Blekingetrafiken discussed one ticket solution for the ferry passengers travelling without a car between Blekinge (Sweden) and Pomorskie Region (Poland).

During the year also, the following meetings were held:

  • Rostock workshop (11th April)
  • The study visit in Klaipeda (21st May)
  • Innobaltica workshop in Gdańsk (10th October )
  • Karlshamn regional seminar (18th October)
  • The study visit and project partner meeting in Rostock and Warnemunde (6th December)

Furthermore, the Interconnect project was presented on several events such as  10th Annual Forum of EUSBSR in Gdańsk, or the ‘Boosting Cross-Border Region through better transport’ conference in Brussels, where the moderator noted it as one of the most interesting ongoing cross-border projects.

The biggest event of the past year was undoubtedly the Interconnect project mid-term conference held on 5th September 2019 in Elbląg. During the meeting, the following thematic fields were defined: identification of needs of using alternative means of transport to a personal car, traveller-friendly offer and strengthening cooperation in the field of public transportation. The conference tackled all of the three areas, but considering the selection of speakers, it mainly has focused on the cooperation of different stakeholders in the field of shaping a traveller friendly offer.

The conference was opened by the Mayor of Elbląg, Mr Witold Wróblewski, who emphasized the growing importance of cooperation between different stakeholders and cities. Agata Ludwiczak, the representative of the Euroregion Baltic, presented the aim of the conference, i.e. including the present condition of public transport integration on the regional level and the analysis of the experience of other countries in the Baltic Sea Region.

During the conference regional experts and municipalities representatives presented best-practices from:

  • Models for sustainable transport system – Region Blekinge;
  • Public transport tariff and ticketing integration – Innobaltica and Pomeranian Voivodeship;
  • Integrated transport in the agglomeration – benchmarks from the operational point of view – Rostock;
  • The positioning of public transport integration in Olsztyn and catchment area Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship

 One of the main conclusions of the conference was that the so-called ‘soft projects’ consisting of developing international cooperation (e.g. INTERCONNECT) constitute an essential foundation for good practices popularization. They also contribute to the limitation of risk in the modern innovative solutions development, e.g. in the scope of tariff-ticket integration.

The September conference also resulted in several open information meetings regarding the modern public transport payment system FALA that will revolutionize travelling in Pomorskie Voivodeship and the city of Elbląg. Responsible for the implementation of the project is the Interconnect project partner – Innobaltica. The tender for the implementation of the FALA system in Pomorskie Voivodeship was announced on 20th December.

At the end of the year, another Interconnect partnership meeting took place. On 5th December, in Rostock, the project partners not only discussed past project activities and future challenges of the project but also took part in a very fruitful workshop on the catalogue of solutions for sustainable public transport.

On 11th December we have participated in the Workshop on future Pomeranian initiatives in the Interreg South Baltic 2020+ Programme organized by the Pomorskie Region contact point and Joint Secretariat.

The workshop was an opportunity to discuss the needs of beneficiaries that can be implemented in the future South Baltic 2020+ program, and their readiness to engage in new EU projects. We also had a chance to present complete UMBRELLA project offer and invite the interested stakeholders and newcomers to reach us and use our project offer.

The workshops were conducted modularly, i.e. a plenary session and a workshop part led by experienced experts. It was also an opportunity to exchange experiences and share your own thoughts on the shape of the future program, improvements in the implementation system and the scope of future projects.

We are happy to report that one of our ERB projects, where we act as a Partner – Interconnect was mentioned a few times as the “best practice” example. The #Interconnect project was noted by the moderator, Mr Adam Mikłajczyk from Pomorskie Marshal Office as an extremely creative example of a project, where intelligent use of the Interreg South Baltic Programme funds supports the implementation of the project’s main assumptions. 

For more information on workshops and the presentations from the South Baltic Programme, visit ewt.pomorskie.eu

Program of the meeting

08:00 – 08:30

Registration of meeting participants/coffee break

08:30 – 09:15

Opening of the event – Adam Mikołajczyk Director of DRRP UMWP

Summary of the Interreg South Baltic Program 2014-2020 – Dominika Butkiewicz Head of the Joint Technical Secretariat

Presentation of Umbrella project results – Magda Leszczyna – Rzucidło Head of the Euroregion Baltic Secretariat

09:15 – 09:30

Coffee break

09:30 – 14:30

Workshop part – moderators:

Workshop 1 – Joanna Przedrzymirska
Workshop 2 – Robert Mazurkiewicz
Workshop 3 – Jakub Fedorowicz
11:30 – 11:45 Coffee break
13:00 – 13:15 Coffee break
14:30 – 15:25

Workshop summary

15:25 – 15:55

Lunch

We encourage you to check our presentation regarding the UMBRELLA project!

Euroregion Baltic

FUTURE OF THE INTERREG SOUTH BALTIC PROGRAMME

ARGUMENTS SUPPORTING THE CROSS-BORDER-COOPERATION

Prepared on 16th October 2019

Established in 1998 Euroregion Baltic (ERB), is a politically solid and well-anchored cross-border cooperation platform in the south-east of the Baltic Sea region, representing regional authorities  and associations of local authorities in nine regions in five countries. ERB is the first euroregion to have formally included a partner from Russia.

With reference to:

  • the Position Paper of Euroregion Baltic on the Future of Cohesion Policy after 2020, adopted on 18th September 2017
  • the Position Paper of Euroregion Baltic on the Future of the Interreg South Baltic Programme after 2020, adopted on 26th September 2018
  • presentation during the “The Baltic Sea/Arctic Area post-2020” round table discussion on 12th September 2019

Euroregion Baltic takes the following position:

  • ERB supports the continuation of the South Baltic Programme as a separate European Territorial Cooperation instrument, and therefore strongly opposes the European Commission’s proposal to merge the South Baltic Programme with the Central Baltic Programme.
  • ERB believes that the merger of the South Baltic Programme and Central Baltic Programme would result in creating another, in fact, transnationally oriented programme, as eight countries and the vast geographical area would be involved in this cooperation. From ERB’s perspective, this would no longer be the cross-border- programme in real terms.
  • ERB opposes the proposal of merging the Central Baltic Programme and South Baltic Programme, as Central Baltic Programme’s geographical coverage is more urban, with four state capitals and significant nationwide stakeholders involved, whereas the South Baltic Programme geography covers more rural/small and medium-sized towns areas, and the Programme itself is more peripheral. It means that the socio-economic challenges such as economic and innovative potential, demography, education and skills development, environmental issues, transport accessibility etc. would vary considerably in a newly merged programme. This would put the priority setting process at risk and make the new programme ineffective in addressing the specific cross-border needs of the area.
  • ERB supports the idea of bringing the EU closer to its citizens. We firmly believe that the South Baltic Programme needs to keep its cross-border character, and in result be able to come much closer to and involve the citizens at mostly local and regional level.
  • ERB believes that merging the two programmes will weaken the primary goal and most endorsed by ERB approach, which should be to address citizens needs in a most direct way possible. This could also disconnect significant players in South Baltic area  – such as local authorities and smaller NGO’s. ERB shares the view that local communities and institutions are more willing to engage in the cooperation on the sub-regional level than on transnational level.
  • ERB welcomes the European Commission’s proposal to establish small project funds within Interreg programmes but recommends that their budgets should not exceed 20% of the total programme allocation. The beneficiary of a small project fund shall be a cross-border organisation such as Euroregion, working together with hosting organisation, a legal entity, such as Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic.  ERB recognises that such funds are the best instrument to implement people-to-people projects as they help in a straightforward and effective way to build up and maintain trust between people and regions in neighbouring states.

Vytautas Grubliauskas

President of Euroregion Baltic

See the signed document here:

Summary from the Interreg South Baltic Programme website:

Sharing knowledge and learning from each other at the Annual Event 2019 of the Interreg South Baltic Programme.
 
Over one hundred participants from Poland, Lithuania, Germany, Denmark and Sweden – project partners, beneficiaries, representatives of local and regional authorities, as well as representatives of non-governmental institutions (NGO) – met on 24-25 September in Ostróda, in Poland. The motto of this year’s event was “Let’s share and learn”. The event was focused on learning from each other, networking and making plans for the future. 


The conference has begun with welcoming words and the Programme’s state of play presented by Dominika Butkiewicz, Head of the Joint Secretariat, who underlined the importance and uniqueness of the Programme and the Baltic Sea as our common heritage. “It is time to find the way to continue looking together in the same direction”, she said. 


The subsequent speeches delivered by Gustaw Marek Brzezin, Marshal of the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship and Magdalena Bednarczyk-Sokół, Deputy Director of Territorial Cooperation Department in the Ministry of Investment and Economic Development also focused on the topic of future cooperation. 


The Joint Secretariat team’s members prepared an interactive game. The game consisted of 10 stations where each of them concerned a different issue or a task. Participants were divided into 10 groups accordingly. In a friendly and entertaining manner, the players of the game had a chance to get to know each other and to verify their knowledge about the Programme, the South Baltic region, and the projects. The outcomes of the groups’ work proved to be valuable information for everyone. 


Later in the conference, the presentation of Manuel Gonzales Evangelista from the Interact Programme touched on capitalisation of projects’ results in practice. The topic triggered lively discussions among participants of the event and had its continuation during workshops the next day. 


The second half of the first day of the conference was rich in leisure activities that supported networking and establishing contacts for future cooperation. Three attractions to choose from – the boat trip on the Drwęckie Lake, sightseeing of the Ostróda Teutonic Castle and relax in the South Baltic Chill & Chat Zone were offered to participants before the evening reception. Numerous regional accents, such as performance of the Pearl of Warmia Folk Dance Group, as well as beverages and food from the Warmia region, gave dinner even more flavour. Music lovers had a chance to check on their ear for music in the music quiz which turned to be a great integrating game. 


On the second day, the participants met at the morning yoga session led by Lina Lindell from the SB Well project. The project aims at promoting sustainable wellbeing tourism in the South Baltic region. The yoga session was followed by a series of three different workshops taking place in parallel. During the workshop about the future of the Programme post 2020 with an external expert, Wiktor Szydarowski, challenges and expectations were discussed. The Programme’s Swedish Contact Points – Johan Lundbäck, Johanna Rönn and Ulrika Melander – led a workshop dedicated to the durability of projects and long-lasting sustainability of results. The third workshop focused on communication, cooperation and capitalisation of projects’ results. Katarzyna Sempołowicz-Lipska, the Communication Officer of the Programme, together with Magda Leszczyna-Rzucidło from the Umbrella project,  continued with an exercise on capitalisation from the interactive game which took place the day before. The projects’ representatives became more aware that common knowledge and experience is a priceless value and a great base for creating new initiatives. The audience was provided with a lot of inspiration for cooperation, as well as how to join forces and promote projects’ results. 


The two-day annual event was concluded by Witold Kielich, Head of Territorial Cooperation Office in the Marshal’s Office in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship. He underlined the importance of fundaments of Interreg programmes that have been built so far: „it’s crucial to develop capitalisation activities in order to promote achievements and demonstrate the added-value of cooperation carried out so far, use results in order to improve the quality of implementation, to improve delivery into regional policies, make Interreg more visible with tangible results and as well to provide solid inputs to the EU policymakers – from us, not only managing, national or even regional authorities, but us – project partners and implementers. Such input will be particularly important in the framework of EU Programmes post-2020 discussions”.
 
Participants of the Annual Event left Ostróda enriched with concrete knowledge, new contacts and inspiring ideas looking forward to seeing each other again next year in Sweden.

Clip summarizing the SBP Annual Event

The presentation Capitalisation of projects’ results in practice is available in the Interact Library here.

The full photo gallery from the event is available here.

Future trends in ENERGY and ELECTROMOBILITY  in the South Baltic Region

Cross-border Conference with PA panel;  25th of October, 2019, Scandic Hotel, Gdansk, Poland.

Invitation

Baltic Institute for Regional Affairs BISER together with UMBRELLA Interreg South Baltic project partners, take immense pleasure in inviting you to attend the Cross-border Conference with PA panel that will take place in Gdańsk (Poland) on 25th October 2019.

The main objective of this conference is to provide beneficiaries with relevant information in specific thematic areas for the preparation of future project applications. This will be a first occasion to investigate the possibility of creating new projects to submit for proposals in the South Baltic Programme or using other funding possibilities in the field of Energy and electromobility.

To be able to do that, the conference will provide you with relevant information concerning the on-going discussion on Energy topics in the South Baltic Sea, Energy & electromobility objectives in the EU Baltic Sea Strategy, to end up with the support you can get from Umbrella-project in the project application phase. Being the conference co-organized with the EUSBSR PA ENERGY Coordinator,  participants will meet with experts in the frame of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. We will also propose a special „Microactivity” aiming experts related to the electromobility.

You can find the draft agenda of the conference below:

Registration is now open at the following link: https://forms.gle/TLwpBJzCbN1L15Rc6

Should you need further details, don’t hesitate to contact:

Magda Leszczyna-Rzucidło

Email: magda.rzucidlo@euroregionbaltic.eu

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.