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!
The key goal of the Umbrella 2.0 project is to raise awareness and knowledge of the importance and advantages of transnational and cross-border cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR), following the principles of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR), European Union Green Deal and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Umbrella 2.0 is dedicated to the BSR local authorities, civil society organisations and small institutions of diversified type, especially those who are newcomers to international cooperation. Our aim is to encourage them to be open to the possibilities provided by cross-border and transnational cooperation, to make them aware it is worthwhile to cooperate and that there are financial tools and project possibilities available to them, too. Furthermore, our ambition is to jointly explore the opportunities and benefits of being a part of the BSR and EUSBSR.
We believe that the best way to convince those who are new to international cooperation is by showing them the best examples of what has already been achieved by others. Thus, we have decided to ask directly those we thought could give some inspiration.
Umbrella 2.0 developed this booklet with best practices to further build the capacities of small and local actors and inspire more stakeholders to engage in transnational BSR cooperation.
The stories show examples of successful collaboration, extensive networking and present current and future “hot topics” for cooperation in EUSBSR thematic areas.
We asked partners of Baltic Sea cooperation projects and initiatives to share their stories about what good transnational collaboration can bring to their work, their organisations and local communities. They were all so enthusiastic about their work!
We encourage you to read those stories, get inspired and try to start your own transnational or cross-border activity.
The 3rd Seed money call for proposals of the Interreg South Baltic Programme 2014-2020 is open between 13 September and 5 November 2021. The call is open for proposals which are aiming to develop ideas for regular projects to be implemented and financed under the future Interreg South Baltic Programme 2021-2027.
The template of the ISBP 2021-2027 being under public consultation by 15 October 2021 is available here
The applications must be developed under one of the current Interreg South Baltic Programme 2014-2020 specific objectives:
SO 1.1 Increase the presence of blue and green sector SMEs from the South Baltic area in international markets through joint cross-border actions;
SO 1.2 Improve the transfer of innovation for the benefit of blue and green sector SMEs through joint cross-border actions;
SO 2.1 Increased development of the South Baltic area’s natural and cultural heritage assets into sustainable tourist destinations;
SO 2.2 Increased use of green technologies in order to decrease the pollution discharges in the South Baltic area;
SO 3.1 Improve the quality and environmental sustainability of transport services in the South Baltic area
SO 5.1 Improve the cooperation capacity of local South Baltic area actors through participation in cross-border networks.
Interested applicants are invited to access the application documents here
The call closes on 5th November 2021 (Friday), 4:00 p.m. CET.
The Joint Secretariat is organising a webinar with questions and answers session dedicated to the 3rd Seed money call on 23rd September at 1:00 p.m. CET. The registration for the webinar is available here
The GDPR rules for the meeting are here. Please, say YES during the registration if you consent to the rules.
In case of questions, please contact Project Officers at JS, contact details to be found here
The event will be a joint discussion of five projects engaged in:
green technologies and environmental protection,
skills and labour development and education services for different target groups
connecting and involving institutions to establish future partnerships
The discussion aims to present and inspire participants on how the cross-border cooperation projects can effectively involve local society, youth, and local authorities in activities for green recovery on different levels. The variety of invited speakers will allow leading the discussion towards many fields and threads. Invited to the discussion are representatives of such projects as WASTEMAN, Baltic for All, Umbrella, ArchaeoBalt and SEAPLANSPACE who will present concrete examples of what they did in the context of local community collaboration and their engagement, as well as the impact of the communities’ activities on the sustainable development of their regions. They will discuss options for cross-border training, and networking – all aiming at a greener future of small regions and establishing partnerships. After this session, participants will be able to identify which option for close partnership is suitable for their organisation, a project, or a cluster and how to engage local society for green recovery and more sustainable regions.
Organiser – Interreg South Baltic Programme 2014-2020
The Swedish Institute, in cooperation with Euroregion Baltic Secretariat, the Union of the Baltic Cities Secretariat and Nordregio, invite you to a webinar exploring different collaborative governance models for enhancing stakeholder engagement in the Baltic Sea Region. The webinar aims to boost stakeholder involvement within emerging EUSBSR initiatives related to the green transition. The programme consists of two parts:
The first part will focus on:
A policy perspective on stakeholder and citizen engagement in the EUSBSR.
An overview of different EUSBSR governance concepts and practices.
Practical learnings from ongoing projects, focusing on concrete stakeholder and citizen involvement tools, methods and practices from the Umbrella 2.0 capacity building programme examining how to engage local stakeholders and CSOs in frameworks such as the EUSBSR.
Hands-on practices coming from regional city networks working on the green transition in the Baltic Sea region
The aim of part one is to provide a good overview of both theoretical and practical examples for cross-sectorial and multi-level stakeholder engagement, including horizontal approaches, such as youth participation to boost green transition.
The second part of the webinar will open up the stage to the audience. Smaller group discussions will be arranged to discuss your possible role in future Baltic Sea Region collaborations. Interactive discussions based on participants own personal experiences will be carried out, focusing on: 1) identifying alternative stakeholder engagement best practice tools and methods; 2) establishing how to overcome the challenges of stakeholder mobilisation; 3) exploring the benefits of engagement and how to incentivise stakeholder to become more proactively involved. The key take-aways part of the discussion will be reported to the Annual Forum organisers.
For more information, please contact Gabor Schneider
Organiser – Swedish Insititute, Umbrella 2.0, Nordregio
The Annual Forum of the Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region is the largest event of the Strategy. It brings together all the stakeholders implementing the EUSBSR as well as other participants who would like to contribute to managing the common challenges the Baltic Sea Region faces. The 12th Annual Forum will take place from 27 September to 1 October. It will focus on green recovery and will invite the participants to REVITALISE the Strategy, to RECOVER after COVID-19 together and to RECHARGE for a greener and more resilient Baltic Sea Region.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions
the 12th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region will be virtual. The Annual Forum will take place online from 27 September to 1 October 2021. The agenda of the Annual Forum will be full of interesting, engaging and inspiring discussions, workshops and presentations. You are most welcome to join!
Planned to take place daily from 13:00 to 14:30 CET:
High-level opening event/ strategic panel discussion on 27 September with the main focus on economic recovery through green and digital transformation.
1st plenary session on macro-regional strategies’ role in setting EU agenda on 28 September. The macroregional strategies have shifted from being a pure platform for regional cooperation to being the hub for identifying challenges a particular region faces and for looking for common solutions. The ongoing embedding process strengthens this change. Therefore, it is important to discuss the ways to increase the EUSBSR’s ability to ensure the relevant issues are included in the EU agenda.
The presentation of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2021-2027 on 28 September. The participants of the Annual Forum 2021 will be the first to learn about the possibilities of the EU funding for transnational projects tackling the challenges the Baltic Sea Region face. The kick-off event will focus on the importance of cooperation across borders in order to develop an innovative, climate-neutral Baltic Sea region and to increase the resilience of its society.
2nd plenary session on macro-regions’ contribution to the Conference of the Future of Europe (focus on social agenda) on 29 September. This session will create links to the ongoing Conference on the Future of Europe. Taking into account the fact that the aims of the Conference of the Future of Europe and the EUSBSR in terms of involvement of citizens coincide, we aim at ensuring EUSBSR’s contribution to this important wide-range debate. This plenary session will focus on the social dimension and the challenges the youth encounters due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The participants will search for the ways the multilateral cooperation could contribute to enabling the young people to participate more actively in the decision-making process.
3rd plenary session on green recovery on 30 September. It will be devoted to the possibilities of the EUSBSR to significantly contribute to the Green Recovery of the EU.
Closing event on 1 October. It will be fully owned by young people. They will be looking for solutions for the environmental issues the Baltic Sea Region encounters. As in the case of the opening event, some of the participants will come to a studio in Klaipėda, the other speakers will join online.
After the registration, you will receive the automated confirmation.
A personal link to the virtual Annual Forum will be sent to the registered participants one day before the event, on 26 September. We kindly ask you to keep this link as it will help you access the event.
Please note that if you answer “no” to the statement “I consent that my name and organisation will be published in the forum participant list”, you will not be able to use the networking tools during the Forum.
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.
Below you can find all 7 Umbrella promo video clips summarising the project that we prepared for the final conference. We asked our project beneficiaries and Umbrella partners to give their comments on the activities and outcomes of our project. Enjoy!