Umbrella 2.0 Training session about the EUSBSR

Welcome to the training session about the EUSBSR on 9th November 2021 at 9.30-15.15 CET, Online. The event will be organised by the Umbrella 2.0 partner – Union of the Baltic Cities. 

The overall aim is to shift the paradigm from taking part in international projects to becoming an active player in the EUSBSR process. The goal is to share the knowledge on how to build a process for the implementation of EUSBSR at the local level by local authorities and civil society organisations.

Please see the draft programme in the attachment here:

Please fill the application form here:


What is Umbrella 2.0?

”UMBRELLA 2.0-Boosting transnational cooperation capacities for multilevel actors in the Baltic Sea Region” 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.

Project partners:

  • Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic (ERB) – the applicant
  • Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC);
  • Baltic Sea States Subregional Cooperation (BSSSC) – Associated partner

For any additional questions, please contact UBC Secretariat: info@ubc.net

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:

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.

You can register for the event here:

And download the agenda here:

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! 

Register here: http://bit.ly/Umbrella2Event

Interreg South Baltic Programme seeks to stronger involve local, regional & non-governmental stakeholders as well as academia in the programming process. Euroregion Baltic, a Lead Partner of the ”Umbrella – Boosting cross-border cooperation capacities of local actors in the South Baltic Sea” project decided to become an active part of this process. Between October and December 2020 ERB/Umbrella project organised:

  1. Four thematic focus group workshops

•Blue & green growth

•Energy transition & connectivity

•Sustainable & innovative tourism –and cultural heritage

•Building civil & more inclusive society

  • Umbrella project final conference on 2.12.2020 with a panel called: South Baltic Programme – Future. Speakers:
  • Niels Chresten Andersen, Regional Municipality on Bornholm

Introduction of the panel. South Baltic programme 2021-27 – state of art

  • Dominika Butkiewicz, Head of the Joint Secretariat of South Baltic Programme

Proposed Priority Axes and specific objectives of the next Interreg South Baltic Programme

  • Anna Drążek, Director of the Pomorskie EU Office in Brussels, ‘Pomorskie in the EU’ Association
  • Jens Masuch, GA-MA Consulting

Input on the future of the South BalticProgramme given by the Umbrella beneficiaries summary – report

  • Direct consultations with the representatives of the Council of Non-Governmental Organizations of the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship (ROPWWM) and request to provide their written feedback

Organisations actively involved in the process – their representatives took part in the 4 thematic focus group workshops:

1. BMUC Innovation & Development, Member of the Offshore Center Bornholm, Denmark

2. Energy Agency for Southeast Sweden, Sweden

3. Municipality of Västervik, Sweden

4. Symbiosis Kalundborg, Denmark

5. Baltic Tech Park, Klaiped, Lithuania

6. Warmia and Masuria University, Centrum Biogospodarki i Energii Odnawialnych (CBEO), Uniwersytet Warmińsko-Mazurski w Olsztynie, Poland

7. Pomorskie Voivodeship, Economic Development Department, Energy Efficiency office, Poland

8. Baltic Institute for Regional Affairs, Gdynia, Poland

9. Western Ships Agency (legal name in Lithuanian language UAB ,,Vakarų laivų agentai”) , Lithuania

10. Gate 21, NGO, Albertslund, Denmark

11. “Pomorskie in the European Union” Association, Gdańsk, Poland

12. Klaipeda Association of Communities, Lithuania

13. Roskilde University, Denmark

14. Municipality of Kalmar, Sweden

15. Municipality of Guldborgsund, Denmark

16. Kalmar County Museum, Sweden

17. New Competence Center., Gdańsk, Poland

18. Netport Karlshamn , Sweden

19. Rotorwerk, consulting company, Germany

20. European Solidarity Center Gdansk, Poland

21. DIALOG Association, Poland

22. Water Users Partnership Oskarshamn, Sweden

23. Kalmar County Administrative Board, Sweden

24. Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IOPAN), Poland

25. Gdansk Water (Gdanskie Wody sp. z o.o) , Poland

26. Voivodeship Fund for Environmental Protection & Water Management in Olsztyn, Poland

27. Masuria Entrepreneurship Agency, Poland

28. Leibnitz Institute of Farmed Animals Biology, Dummerstorf, Germany

29. Linneus University of Kalmar, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Sweden

30. Region Kalmar County, Sweden

31. Municipality of Karlskrona, Sweden

32. Oskarshamn Municipality, Sweden

33. Bornholms Museum, Denmark

34. Museum Lolland-Falster, Denmark

35. Baltic Sea Cultural Centre, Gdańsk, Poland

36. Tourism Associiation Vorpommern, Germany

37. The Coastal Union Germany (EUCC-D), Germany

38. University of Gdańsk, Poland

39. CSE Światowid, Elbląg, Poland

40. CittaSlow cities, Olsztyn, Poland

41. Pomorskie Tourism Board, Gdańsk, Poland

The Umbrella project was meant to be exactly that – an umbrella to gather other projects and a way to connect people through cross-border projects. It was aimed at newcomers who had not yet been involved in projects in the South Baltic Programme. These included small local and regional organisations with an interest in developing a South Baltic identity. 
Stakeholders were invited to participate in national training courses in project management and offered tailor-made solutions to help build capacity. Different initiatives and micro-activities such as “meet your- neighbour” has helped break down barriers and spread the concepts and values of cross-border cooperation.

A cross-border project to inspire more cross-border cooperation The overall purpose of this project was to enlighten people that cooperation is important for geographic, economic, and social cohesion and that approaching the field of EU grants and projects can be an advantage in local development policies. A gradual process with great potential This development is not without obstacles, and capacity building should not be seen as a goal in itself, but rather as a process. To build a house you need to lay brick by brick, starting from the foundation. That is why the Umbrella project was introduced with awareness-raising events to say: “Hey you! Change is just around the corner! Go out and see what is going on in the region you live in.”

And for those who were already aware of the great potential of the Baltic Sea Region, well, knowledge can always be increased. We have been looking forward to introducing you to the benefits of cross-border cooperation in the South Baltic Sea region. These 12 Interreg South Baltic projects are here to motivate and to inspire – and we are pleased to include our own achievements – and tips & tips on how to be part of the Interreg South Baltic family.

This is our Success Story Book
To inspire. To encourage. To bring the action!

Download full publication here: The Benefits of Cross-Border Cooperation

Three years have passed since Umbrella was approved by INTERREG South Baltic Programme and launched by the partnership. This project was needed since research showed that the South Baltic Programme was still poorly available to small organizations because of insufficient institutional and financial capacities, communication barriers, lack of English language skills, lack of competencies and capacities for project development and implementation. What observed in the frame of the South Baltic Programme could be generalized also for other European grants and other local cross-border cooperation opportunities in the South Baltic Sea area. The overall objective of the project was to initiate a process of the capacity building involving small municipalities, NGOs and other local/ regional organizations in order to transfer the knowledge and capacities and to include them in the current cross-border cooperation networks. Today we can finally state that we’ve achieved over expected results.

On 2nd December the final conference of the project was held online as an engaging webinar. Short videos alternated to partners’ introduction and presentation of the results with a look to the future and Umbrella 2.0 that will be launched in 2021. This conference aimed to be also a moment of awareness-raising on the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, Sustainable Development Goals and their achievements in the Baltic Sea Region, and the EU Green Deal- a roadmap for the upcoming years.

To conclude, some hints about the future South Baltic Programme and EU programming period were provided. With the fantastic moderation of Mr Maciej Kautz, we can say that we eventually concluded a great project that, as stated many times, is just the beginning. The seeds have been planted, the process has been started and we are confident that with our contribution cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region will be strengthened. Umbrella aimed at becoming a brand in the region, recognized for its replicable toolbox of tailor-made solutions. Well, we have done a great job.

So, what to expect for the near future? For sure an awareness-raising event, “Meet-your-flagship” activities to connect with the EUSBSR, webinars on project management, training on SDG, EUSBSR and EU Green Deal to really engage local actors and connect them with the strategic levels of cooperation. We look forward to getting started and have you all on board!

Dear Umbrella Partners and Beneficiaries,

We are more than happy to say, that our UMBRELLA Interreg South Baltic Programme project final conference was a great success. Over 100 people joined us online via ZOOM webinar to hear about our project results, to learn about the EUSBSR, SDGs and EU Green Deal, but also to discuss the future cooperation possibilities in the MFF 2021-2027.

You can find below all the presentations given by our fantastic speakers.

And here’s a visual summary of the event:

We also hope you enjoyed the 4 video clips summarising our project! You can check them again here:

Finally, if you missed any part of the event or would like to watch it once more you have the opportunity to see all 3 sessions here:

Some screenshots from our meeting:

Dear Umbrella’s beneficiary,

On behalf of the Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic as Lead Partner of Umbrella Project and on behalf of the whole project partnership, we would like to invite you to our final conference. Three years have passed since Umbrella was approved by INTERREG South Baltic Programme and launched by the partnership. This project was needed since research showed that the South Baltic Programme was still poorly available to small organizations because of insufficient institutional or financial capacities, communication barriers, lack of English language skills, lack of competencies and capacities for project development and implementation.
What observed in the frame of the South Baltic Programme could be generalized also for other European grants and other local cross-border cooperation opportunities in the South Baltic Sea area.
The overall objective of the project was to initiate a process of the capacity building involving small municipalities, NGOs and other local/ regional organizations in order to transfer the knowledge and capacities and to include them in the current cross-border cooperation networks. Today we can finally state that we’ve achieved over expected results and we would
like to share them with you.

Register now using this link  bit.ly/Invitation_Final_Conference

See the agenda here:

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 

Join now! >> bit.ly/Invitation_Final_Conference

See the invitation and the agenda here:

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.