Thank you for joining Umbrella 2.0 Awareness Raising Event!

Over 125 participants joined us on Tuesday, 27th April to learn more about the cooperation possibilities in the Baltic Sea Region! More than 90 participants stayed also for the thematic workshops part and enjoyed the discussion with the experts from all BSR countries. On behalf of Umbrella 2.0 Partnership: Euroregion Baltic, Union of the Baltic Cities and Baltic Sea States Subregional Cooperation, together with Swedish Institute, which is funding our initiative, we would like to thank everyone for your presence, comments and great inputs!

Our event started with a presentation on the Umbrella 2.0 project given by Magda Leszczyna-Rzucidło – Project Coordinator and Head of the International Permanent Secretariat at Euroregion Baltic, which you can also see here:


This part was followed by the presentation of 3 project partners, their organisations and the possibilities they offer to the Baltic Sea region smaller actors and institutions eager to start transnational cooperation.

Euroregion Baltic was presented by Johanna Rönn from Blekinge Region, Sweden, currently holding the Presidency at Euroregion Baltic. You can view it here: https://www.canva.com/design/DAEctCGgkm0/J_60g-kRYne_5xnvBW18Iw/view?utm_content=DAEctCGgkm0&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link&utm_source=sharebutton 

Union of the Baltic Cities was presented by Marko Paunovic, Brussels Antenna of UBC

and Baltic Sea States Subregional Cooperation was presented by Marta Czarnecka Gallas, BSSSC Secretary-General

_BSSSC – Who we are, what we do_ 2021_04

Finally, Gabor Schneider presented the Swedish Institute offers for the Baltic Sea Region actors, coming from all over the Baltic Sea, but also available to participants from Russia and Ukraine.

The second hour of the webinar part was dedicated to knowledge sharing – Olga Zuin, Programme Coordinator of the CBSS Baltic 2030 Unit presented her great input on Sustainable Development Goals and their implementation measures in the Baltic Sea Region. She mentioned two important reports prepared by the CBSS:

  1. Baltic 2030 Bumps on the Road- How the Baltic Sea States are performing on the SDG’s https://cbss.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Baltic-2030_Bumps-on-the-Road_FINAL.pdf
  2. A handbook Localising sustainable development goals (SDGs) in the Baltic Sea Region, based on the outcomes of the Baltic 2030 Capacity building programme – Localising SDGs 2020 https://cbss.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/CBSS_SDGs_ENG_4ONLINE.pdf 

Please find Olga’s presentation here: Zuin_CBSS_270421

Finally, Sebastian Magier from Vestanda AB, Umbrella 2.0 Expert presented the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region “entry points’ for small and local actors based on 14 interviews with EUSBSR Policy Area Coordinators. The full report will be provided in May and available to all Baltic Sea actors.

Read the full presentation here: Umbrella 2.0_EUSBSR PAC Interviews Presentation

The whole webinar part of the Umbrella 2.0 Awareness Raising Event was recorded and is available online here:

After the break, the event continued with the Q&A Session, where experts related to BSR cooperation answered the questions we’ve received from our participant before the event. Q&A session was related to the Baltic Sea Cooperation related to EUSBSR, SDGs and EU Green Deal.

Questions that were taken live: COMING SOON!

  1. 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

2. 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

3. 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? Will there be any incentives to prefer “green transports?

Our expert: Andrea Krabbe, EUSBSR Policy Area Tourism Coordinator

4. How to find partners for cooperation activities/ international projects?

Our expert: Magda Leszczyna-Rzucidło, Umbrella 2.0 Project Leader, Euroregion Baltic

5. 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

6. 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

Video from this session is available here:


Finally, we have 4 thematic workshops with great presentations by experts on:

The coronavirus pandemic is spreading fast, which calls for rapid, concerted and consistent reactions from all sides. We are witnessing the unprecedented closing of the borders that were never expected to be closed again and demands to stay home as the most powerful sign of citizens’ solidarity.

In February 2020, Tim Bradshaw, a technology correspondent for the Financial Times wrote ‘ (…) for Silicon Valley’s evangelists, remote working is more than just a stopgap in a crisis — it is an improvement on office life. If the coronavirus continues to spread, many more of us may have the chance to find out for ourselves which it really is’. A few weeks later almost the whole Baltic Sea Region, as did other parts of the world,  had to go into the  ‘online’ mode and most of the international/ transnational/cross-border projects have since been run from home-offices.

For the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, it is a challenging time, as well. Its Annual Forum has just been postponed from mid of June to 19-20th October 2020 and most of the other events are being cancelled or moved to later dates. For the time being, the prospects are that the Autumn will be packed with face-to-face conferences and meetings.

With the restrictions in moving across countries and the situation when thousands of citizens have serious problems with coming back home from abroad, ministries of foreign affairs work full-hand (also partially remotely) so the process of the revision of the EUSBSR’s Action Plan became more difficult for the time being. ‘There are no physical meetings of National Coordinators’ group planned at the moment’, confirms Joanna Wojtkowska, EUSBSR National Coordinator from Poland and adds that the work will be carried out in a written procedure for now.

The new reality is also a challenge for international organizations working in the Baltic Sea Region. Anna Sośnicka, from the Secretariat of the Union of Baltic Cities, which is the leading network of cities in the Baltic Sea Region with Member Cities from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden says ‘UBC planned to have a UBC Executive Board meeting in Liepāja, Latvia on 17 April 2020, but due to all those restrictions it has been cancelled and an online meeting will be held at the same time instead. Two other meetings of the UBC Commissions to be held in April and May are postponed; new dates are not settled yet. The Commissions limit their activities concerning project implementation. They have only online activities – emails, teleconferences’. The situation across the Baltic Region is very similar, with some exceptions. Magda Leszczyna- Rzucidło, the head of International Permanent Secretariat of Euroregion Baltic says: ‘In Euroregion Baltic, we have now entered the home-office mode mostly. Since our International Permanent Secretariat is based in Poland, we work from home now, and our offices are closed. From all ERB Partners, only Sweden is still regularly working from their offices, the rest of the ERB Secretariats from Poland, Denmark, Lithuania and Russia are all experiencing lockdown.’

The consequences of  COVID-19 for the cooperation within EUSBSR and the Baltic Sea Region as a whole, are difficult to predict. Many measures have been taken to ease certain problems. Many solutions are yet to be found. And we must be aware that some problems just can’t be avoided and we will just need to face in their full scope and strength. An important issue is raised by Magda Leszczyna-Rzucidło: ‘Since we had worked a lot using online tools before, it was not a problem for us to switch to Zoom and Wheraby meetings and we use them both for the internal work, but also our projects. i.e. Interreg South Baltic Project Umbrella, where ERB acts as a Lead Partner. The biggest problem we face now is the number of physical meetings cancelled or postponed. Due to the uncertain situation, we are not able to tell whether they could happen still in Spring/early Summer, or we should postpone to fall, which may be very busy then’.

On the other hand, much of the Baltic Sea cooperation can be very successfully carried out using the available technology, without the necessity of physical interactions.  In fact, a lot of the work carried within EUSBSR has already been done online for years. Projects, flagships and platforms have got used to Internet tools, virtual meetings and data sharing. The current situation can, therefore, give an additional incentive to scale-up and upgrade the technological skills for the benefit of ongoing operations. ‘As many people in Europe, for the time being, we are awaiting further developments more than actively doing ’corona-business’, says Anja Uhlenbrok, who is EUSBSR’s Priority Area Culture Co-Coordinator from Schleswig-Holstein. ‘With regards to the cooperation with our flagships, no change has yet shown up. We presume that they are available through the usual channels and go on in their work as usual’.

Apart from communication between the partners, also the events themselves can go online. Krystyna Wróblewska, the Secretary-General of the  Baltic Sea States Subregional Cooperation (a network of the Baltic regions)  says that, upon the agreement with the BSSSC Youth Coordinator, the organization is now moving the  BSSSC Spring Youth Event planned for Gdańsk in April to the virtual space. She claims that it will change not only the method of communication but also make its thematic scope more suitable for the current situation. ‘Let’s be honest– Mrs Wróblewska notices –how to talk about the circular economy now when millions of disposable plastic gloves, etc need to be used’. We have to address the new situation not forgetting the ambitious green goals”

Another example comes from UrbCultural Planning, a EUSBSR flagship project in the area of Culture (https://urbcultural.eu/about/). Partners are discussing to what extent it is feasible to go virtual when dealing with social change while using cultural planning methods. One of the issues is to what extent the project activities can be carried out as planned with some postponements and how much partners should focus on the new situation and use other – virtual tools. Anyway, the project is about making cities and neighbourhoods better places to live.

As Anja Uhlenbrok notices ‘Changing our working routines is probably the most emerging tasks for the time being: most people involved in the implementation of the PA are working in the home office now, many also taking care of small children. To ensure the usual cooperation in day-to-day business is the biggest challenge so far.’ So- yes, current remote working on a full Baltic scale is a challenge. But it is also an opportunity. And a great chance for creativity.  Now, it depends on our institutions, our companies, and to a great extent on us- if we take a ‘Silicon Valley evangelists’ stand and ‘re-programme’ ourselves, opening for possible innovations. Certainly, they can benefit the EUSBSR and the whole Baltic Sea Region cooperation. Yet, we are maybe even more aware now that not everything can and should be moved to virtual reality –that direct human relations are really important.

Author: Marta Czarnecka-Gallas, Association “Pomorskie in the EU”

On 17th Oct 2020 Baltic Sea Youth representatives gathered for the whole afternoon for the virtual Baltic Sea Youth Camp 2.0. Their goal was to get together to contribute meaningfully to the future of the Baltic Sea Region. This was set out in the Baltic Sea Youth Declaration, put together by the young participants at the camp.

The Declaration was presented to the Baltic Sea Region policy and decision-makers at the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) Annual Forum on 20th Oct 2020, to be taken into account by each of the Policy Areas of the EUSBSR. Read the full document below.

We start tomorrow at 15.30 CET. Please create your


We’re happy to announce that tomorrow at 15.30 CET we start the Baltic Sea Youth Camp 2020, digital edition.

We kindly ask you to register at your earliest convenience so that we do not experience any delays during the event.

After your registration you will receive 2 reminder emails from HOPIN – one email 24 hours and one email 1 hour before the event begins. This is unfortunately not something we can turn off.

On the day of the event, please just go to: https://hopin.to/events/baltic-sea-youth-camp-2020-digital-edition where you will enter our reception and wait until the event starts.

There are many breaks for you to recharge your batteries, but please attend and be active in all the plenaries and one workshop per session to get the most out of the Baltic Sea Youth Camp.

We will provide Certificates of Attendance after the event.

Clarification of platform concepts

•                          Reception – waiting area before the event. Nothing happens here.

•                          Stage – is the big stage, where we broadcast presentations and have plenary sessions. Here you can only listen & watch. You can comment and ask questions using the chat function.

•                          Networking – an area where short ONE-on-ONE meetings takes place to get to know each other. Use coffee and lunchbreaks to meet other participants.

•                          Sessions – are used for the smaller workshops with a maximum of 20 participants (sharing audio and video) and 100 participants who can listen and watch.

FYI: Only some plenary sessions will be recorded, you are encouraged to actively participate with your audio and video in the workshops and you can be sure these sessions won’t be recorded.

You can find an updated program on our website, visit: https://www.balticyouthcamp.org to check it.

Apart from the sessions we want you to get in touch with Baltic Sea food culture, therefore we have prepared a recipe booklet, please feel free to check it out and choose your favorite recipe for the weekend and buy the ingredients to get the full Baltic Sea experience.

We would also like to let you know that there will be a movie night on Friday starting at 20:00, the Nordic Pulse Documentary will be screened and you get the chance to ask questions from two of the protagonists from the Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic.

If you still have some friends who would like to join the event, please let them know to get in touch with us, through sending a mail to: info@bsryc.eu

We are also happy to answer any of your questions.

We are very much looking forward to seeing you all on Friday and Saturday.

Kind regards

BSYC team

3…2…1…#BSSSCSpringYouthEvent digital edition starts today with the discussions on Green Deal to Fight Climate Crisis in Corona Times. ?
?Get inspired by Kamil Wyszkowski from Global Compact Network Poland; Katarzyna Bałucka – Dębska from European Commission; Marcin Gerwin from @Uniwersytet Gdański and Marta Wróblewska – Youth Climate Strike.

Want to know more about the BSSSC Sporing Youth Event supported by the Euroregion Baltic and Union of the Baltic Cities?

In these difficult times of COVID-19 pandemic, which has already changed our lives and mindsets, we believe that maintaining communication is even more important than before. We, in the Baltic Sea Region, want to speak across generations on the most important issues. On our fears and ambitions, on the problems we face and the solutions that can be undertaken.

Therefore, on behalf of the Baltic Sea States Sub-regional Cooperation, Mieczyslaw Struk – Pomorskie Region Marshal and the BSSSC Chairman, together with the Union of the Baltic Cities, Euroregion Baltic, Pomorskie youth and climate activists invite you to the very first online BSSSC Spring Youth Event to take place on June 2nd-5th 2020.

We already know that the Corona crisis is with us for longer and influences a lot of aspects of our lives. It affects, among others, the ambitions we have had to make our planet clean and safe, and the society caring and prosperous. So we want to discuss what will be the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on:

  • the climate crisis;
  • digital world;
  • education;
  • modern democracy.

There are lots of challenges around us, which we can try to face together! We believe that we all need to think about how to critically react to information flow selecting facts from fakes and getting to know the whole picture. And how every one of us can contribute to a better life.

Working together and across the Baltic Sea, we can be more effective. Our voice will be much stronger, so decision-makers will have to listen. It will be important to take your voice to the EUSBSR AF in Turku, the Conference on the Future of Europe launched by the European Commission and other fora dealing with the state of our Earth and condition of our lives. Acting in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals we have to find solutions.

Let’s do this together!


Date: 2nd – 5th of June 2020

Online sessions on ZOOM

  • Please join ZOOM via link before 15:00 PM

June 2nd, 15:00 -18:00 CET

  1. Welcome and opening of the BSSSC Spring Youth Event 2020 meeting – Mr. Mieczysław Struk, BSSSC Chairman
  2.  General introduction to the idea of the BSSSC Spring Youth Event 2020 meeting
  3.  Expert debate/Introduction to the thematic area Green Deal to Fight Climate Crisis in Corona Times
  • Mr Kamil Wyszkowski – Global Compact Network Poland
  • Ms Katarzyna Bałucka – Dębska – European Commission
  • Mr Marcin Gerwin – University of Gdańsk, Sopot Development Initiative
  • Ms Marta Wróblewska – Youth Climate Strike (Gdańsk, Sopot, Gdynia local group)
  1. Discussion
  2. Summary of day 1

June 3rd, 15:00 -17:00 CET

  1. Expert debate/ Introduction to the thematic area Digital World in Post – Corona Times
  • Ms Aleksandra Przegalińska – Skierkowska – Koźmiński University
  • Mr Timo Väliharju – The Finnish Centre for Open Systems and Solutions
  • Mr Krzysztof Stachura – University of Gdańsk, The Foundation Center for Social Research and Analysis
  • Mr Darius Šoparas – Creative Partner
  • Mr Martin Rümmelein – former BSSSC Board Member
  1. Discussion
  2. Summary of  day 2

June 4th, 15:00 – 17:00 CET

  1. Expert debate /Introduction to the thematic area Education for the New World
  • Ms Małgorzata Bukowska – Ulatowska – Teachers Education Centre in Gdańsk
  • Mr Timo Väliharju – The Finnish Centre for Open Systems and Solutions
  • Ms Indre Razbadauskaite – Venske – Globalkey.lt and Nepaleisk svajones
  • Mr Przemysław Staroń – psychologist,  cultural expert and teacher
  1. Discussion
  2. Summary of day 3

June 5th, 15:00 – 18:00 CET

  1. Expert debate/ Introduction to the thematic area Democracy in the Post – Corona World
  • Mr Marius Ulozas – Institute for Policy Research and Analysis
  • Mr Wietse Van Ransbeeck – CitizenLab
  • Mr Dominik Ringler – Children and Youth Participation in Brandenburg
  • Ms Ewelina Górecka – the Polish Robert Schuman Foundation
  • Ms Daniela Vanić – Democracy International
  1. Discussion
  2. Introduction of the BSYP project
  • Ms Kaarina Williams – Council of  the Baltic Sea States
  • Ms Aline Mayr – Council of Baltic the Sea States
  1. Presentation of the results to the politicians/decision – makers, debate and summing up
  2. End of the BSSSC Spring Youth Event 2020 meeting

Download Programme as PDF

Questions and practical information

To register to the event, please visit https://bsssc-registration.pomorskie.eu

  • Make sure you send us the motivation letter (not too long! max 1 page A4 format:-)) – tell us what drives your activities in the BSR. Add graphics, a collage, a film, or a photo if you wish – be creative!

Follow the instructions in the registration form. If you need more information, contact the BSSSC Secretariat: 

e-mail: bsssc@pomorskie.eu

Find us: 





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 new Union of the Baltic Cities’ Bulletin is now edited with important contents on immigrants’ integration. Europe is facing a huge refugee’s crisis nowadays and it is fundamental to undertake proper measures to welcome, provide support and integrate these people in our societies. Read more on-line and discover Cities’ stories and how they approach the reality when it comes to integration.

‘Leadership for the future – Cities as Leaders for Glocal Sustainable Development’ is the topic of the Conference that will be held in Växjö- Sweden– on 24-27th October 2017. The event will take place to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of UBC – Union of the Baltic Cities,  in the, not by chance, ‘Greenest City in Europe’. (more…)

Euroregion Baltic has been featured in the latest edition of the Baltic Rim Economies (BRE).

In his article for the edition 6/2016 the ERB’s Head of International Secretariat focuses on one of the strategic areas of ERB cooperation under the Russian Presidency ie. the youth cooperation.

The short analysis includes presentation ERB’s concrete actions aiming to strengthen youth engagement in development of policies on local and regional level and also a strategic dialogue with other Baltic organisations – BSSSC and UBC on the development of youth policy in the entire Baltic Sea Region. As for the tools for strategic youth policies, the results of the ERB projects – CaSYPoT – Capacity Building for Strategic Youth Policy and Transnational Cooperation and CaSYPoT-Ru – a parallel project funded by the Swedish Institute allowing direct project participation for partners from the Kaliningrad Region, could be used in further work on the wider Baltic scale.

The article comes at the time when all three organisations – BSSSC, UBC and ERB in a discussion on the next steps which will include a joint seminar at the EUSBSR Forum in Berlin next year, and development of an Erasmus+ project on youth policy reform.

The entire article can be read here – Baltic Rim Economies 6/2016

Baltic Rim Economies (BRE) is published by the Pan-European Institute and deals with the development of the Baltic Sea region. In the BRE review, high level public and corporate decision makers, representatives of Academia, as well as several other experts contribute to the discussion.

On behalf of the Baltic Sea States Subregional Co-operation (BSSSC), Union of Baltic Cities (UBC) and EuroRegion Baltic (ERB) we hereby invite you to join our political seminar – part of the EUSBSR Annual Forum in Stockholm – on 8th November at 15:00 at Brewery Conference Centre (room Arkaden).

In this this seminar we will raise the voice of the young people of the Baltic Sea Region and bring their views and proposals into the discussion on Baltic Sea Region Vision 2030. In addition to the representatives from our youth networks – politicians from local and regional level will be part of the panel.

Young persons are more sensitive to many questions – and through the way they live and communicate they are very aware of changes taking place in the society. This workshop will bring the voice of the young people of the Baltic Sea Region – their views and expertise – into the dialog on preparing the Region for the future. The focus will be on “Moving and deciding quicker with the help of youth!”, and the workshop will touch upon issues such as:
• Governance – involving and including young people
• Prosperity – empowering the youth, youth entrepreneurship, youth employment, keep young talents in the region
• The environment – how to secure a sustainable future for the next generations

The Euroregion Baltic representation in the panel will include:

Ms Akko Karlsson, Vice President of Euroregion Baltic and Vice Chair of the Board of Regional Council in Kalmar County, Sweden

Mr Tautrimas Rupulevičius, Chair of ERB Youth Board, Association Klaipeda Region, Lithuania

Ms Alexandra Winberg, Member of ERB Youth Board, Kumuls Kalmar, Sweden


More information about the programme and speakers/panellists, please visit the official EUSBSR Forum website.

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.