A joint meeting of transport issues' Coordinators of the four EU Macro-regional Strategies was organised by INTERACT Programme in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 14-15 March.
The meeting was aiming at exchanging implementation know-how, practices and experiences in among the Coordinators. It provided an opportunity for an open and lively dialogue on the daily management and coordination governance questions. Issues such as governance structures, involvement on multi-level actors, alignment of funding and communications were discussed.
Read the report of the meeting on INTERACT wesbite.
Transport issues in the EUSBSR
Within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region Policy Area (PA) Transport is responsible for the transport issues. PA Transport is coordinated by Sweden and Lithuania (see the contact information here) and currently there are four Flagships demonstarting the implementation of the EUSBSR in the field of transport issues:
- EMMA enhancing inland navigation,
- TENTacle focusing on transport corridors intersecting the Baltic Sea region,
- NSB CoRe improving the accessibility of the Eastern Baltic Sea Region to freight and passenger transport, and
- SCANDRIA®2ACT fostering clean, multimodal transport to increase connectivity and competitiveness of corridor regions.
A joint paper from nine regions covering different macro-regional strategies on how to improve embedding of the EU macro-regional strategies into the EU regulatory framework post 2020 was prepared under the initiative of Bavaria, current presidency of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region.
In the position paper it is stated that a better embedding of Macro-regional Strategies (MRS) into EU policies post 2020 would improve the impact of MRS as a political framework. Operational programmes should thus be encouraged to better support Macro-regional projects.
Read the document below.
Almost 30 summary reports from the political seminars of the 7th EUSBSR Strategy Forum organised in Stockholm in November 2016 are now available on the event website alongside other materials and reports from the Forum.
The seminar reports have been written by Swedish Institute alumni and members of SI Network for Future Global Leaders. The reports are based on alumni's personal impressions and are views and observations of the individual writers.
Read the summary reports on Strategy Forum's website.
The list of ongoing Flagships of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region is updated. Three new Flagships were approved by the National Coordinators in February 2017.
One of the newly approved Flagships is "Winter Navigation Motorways of the Sea II" (WINMOS II), which aims to improve the efficiency, safety and environmental performance of winter navigation in the Baltic Sea. WINMOS II is a Flagship under Policy Area Safe.
Flagship "Developing an evaluation model to asses prevention measures" (EVAPREM) aims to improve assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of prevention measures implemented by rescue services in the Baltic Sea region. EVAPREM is a Flagship under Policy Area Secure.
Thirdly, "iWater - Improving urban planning by developming integrated and multifunctional storm water management in the Central Baltic cities" was approved as a Flaghsip under Horizontal Action Climate. iWater develops guidelines and tools for Integrated Storm Water Management (ISWM) and introduces good storm water management practices into urban planning processes.
Flagships are projects and processes that demonstrate successful implementation of the EU Strategy of the Baltic Sea Region.
INTERACT has published a report on the added value of macro-regional strategies from the perspective of projects and programmes.
As projects and programmes are tools for implementing macro-regional strategies, the report looks at what’s in it for them and what the macro-regional strategies offer to projects and programmes to stimulate win-win situations and push up the role of macro-regional strategies. The report offers also 31 project examples.
Read the report on INTERACT website.
BSSSC, Baltic Sea States Sub-regional Cooperation, has published a paper on EU Cohesion Policy post 2020 highlighting the importance of supporting Macro-regional Strategies with European funding.
According to the BSSSC paper, EU Macro-regional Strategies (MRS) are of high importance in gathering stakeholders from all sectors and levels of governance relevant for regional development. MRS offer the opportunity for tailor made solutions for regional challenges and contribute to European integration by stregthening cooperation structures.
BSSSC stresses in the paper that MRS depend on good access to European funding and that better coherence between strategies and programmes is essential e.g. for the success of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.
Read more about the BSSSC stands on the organisation's website or below.
BSSSC is a political network for decentralised authorities (subregions) in the Baltic Sea Region.
The Baltic Sea Fisheries Forum (BALTFISH) is a regional body providing a platform for discussion on important fisheries issues in the Baltic Sea. BALTFISH is originally a Flagship of the Policy Area Bioeconomy of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. BALTFISH was initiated in 2009.
In December 2013 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the eight member states of the Baltic Sea Region and the status of BALTFISH changed from a Flagship into a permanent fisheries forum. Now BALTFISH is embedded into the everyday cooperation work of the Ministries of the region. It thus represents a permanent change brought about by an EUSBSR Flagship.
Read the final report of the BALTFISH Flagship below.
More about the current work of BALTFISH on e.g. HELCOM website.
The 8th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR will be hosted by the Federal Foreign Office together with the Baltic Sea Commission and in close cooperation with the European Commission on 13 - 14 June 2017 in Berlin.
About 800 participants from governments, international organisations, NGOs, universities, local and regional administrations and business will discuss a broad range of issues relevant for the Baltic Sea Region.
The motto of the 8th Annual Forum is “connectivity”, highlighting the necessity to further intensify contacts throughout the whole Baltic Sea Region and to develop a better awareness of each other’s perspectives.
All information concerning the 8th Annual Forum is available on the EUSBSR website. The registration will open later during spring.
For further information please contact the Forum organisers.
The Coucil of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) Project Support Facility (PSF) is an instrument to finance preparation and implementation of Baltic Sea Region cooperation projects contributing to CBSS long-term priorities, bringing added value for the Baltic Sea Region, showing impact in regional cooperation and fostering sustainable partnerships.
PSF IN BRIEF:
- The projects should be transnational in character and aim to have a sustainable outcome.
- The maximum amount of co-financing granted is 65 000 euros.
- The project proposals may be initiated by a variety of legal entities of CBSS Member States, as well as CBSS Expert Groups and CBSS Networks.
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS:
The call for applications is once per year and each time oriented towards one of the CBSS priority areas. The priority area for the year 2017 is “Sustainable development for a prosperous Baltic Sea Region”. The call is open from 15 February to 15 April 2017.
More information about the PSF call on CBSS website.
The PSF instrument's funding can support the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.
Slovenia will host the first media and macroregional communication conference at the Slovenian coast on 4-6 April 2017.
The conference titled KNOW THY NEIGHBOUR will adress the media and communication aspect of all the four EU macroregional strategies (EUSAIR, EUSALP, EUSDR, EUSBR). It will bring together media representatives, EU macroregional governance structures, stakeholders and public to exchange views, discuss and share experiences.
Registration opens in March.
More information on the website of EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region.
The second step of the INTERREG Baltic Sea Region Programme's second call closed on 19 January with 71 full-fledged applications.
71 lead applicants of 75 concept notes that were selected for the second step submitted a full application. These applications include more than 900 partners and cover all objectives of the Programme priorities 1-3.
The applications will be assessed in the upcoming three months. On 23-24 May 2017, the Monitoring Committee will select applications for funding.
More about the statistics and details of the call on the Programme's website.
INTERREG Baltic Sea Region Programme supports the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. More about the Programme's role in relation to the EUSBSR framework here.
In December 2016, the Lithuanian Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre (MOSTA) launched a survey in order to map Baltic Sea Region-wide academic and researchers' mobility trends. It is one of the most visible actions of the Baltic Science Network's dynamic work. If Baltic Science Network´s national workshops provided a qualitative dimension to the drafting of transnational academic and research mobility tools, then survey led by MOSTA will ensure a quantifiable basis for the Baltic Science Network's drafted policy recommendations.
Last months of 2016 were marked by intense public consultations of Baltic Science Network (BSN) members with the academic and research community, as well as business sector representatives interested in advancing their research and development potential. These discussions were taking place in order to map the existing challenges and obstacles which the Network should address in order to unleash the full potential of macro-region´s academic and research excellence.
The conclusions and recommendations from the national workshops will be further discussed in the upcoming transnational workshops. Namely, the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education (DASHE) will host a BSN workshop on transnational cooperation in science and research in the Baltic Sea Region on 18 January 2017 in Copenhagen. BSN will be discussed also during the CBSS conference Baltic Sea Science Day on 8 February 2017 in St Petersburg. On 10 February 2017, MOSTA will host a BSN workshop on researcher mobility in the Baltic Sea Region in Vilnius.
Although Baltic Sea Region is already a competitive area which hosts some of the world´s biggest research infrastructure projects (such as the European XFEL which is the world's largest X-ray laser), there is still room for improvement left in order to make the most out of the impressive pool of brainpower hosted by the macro-region´s research and academic institutions. BSN´s core belief is that facilitated circulation of academics and researchers across the Baltic Sea Region would help to ensure higher competitiveness of research institutions based in the macro-region, as well as ensure more efficient management of the academic and research talent pool.
In order to improve the overall academic and research performance of the Baltic Sea Region and close the remaining gap in research performance, BSN is complementing the qualitative consultation process with a quantitative component, namely, survey tailored for academics, researchers as well as transnational mobility experts which is led by MOSTA.
The commitment of BSN members to deliver a considerable pool of responses is marked, for example, by the Saint-Petersburg State University of Economics´ (UNECON) organised dissemination of the survey to 100 research institutes and universities based in the North Western Region of the Russian Federation. Another example how BSN strives to invite as many researchers, academics as possible is the extension of the survey not solely to national networks of the Council of the Baltic Sea States´ (CBSS) Member States but also dissemination of the survey in close cooperation with domain specific networks, such as EU PolarNet and Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS).
Cooperation with EU PolarNet also serves as a telling example regarding the relevance of BSN´s work which in pure geographic terms holds a potential to impact research dynamics beyond the mere Baltic Sea Region borders. This idea was first introduced in the context of the CBSS Secretariat´s hosted meeting of the Four Regional Councils of the North (as outlined in the Northern Notes #46). The results of MOSTA´s led BSN survey will serve as a valuable source of information in which directions BSN could be able to advance its transnational excellence proposals, thus where it holds a potential to create European and international-level wide disruptions of academic and research performance trends.
The EUSBSR community is welcomed and encouraged to support BSN aspirations in tearing down the remaining obstacles restraining the academic and research performance in the Baltic Sea Region by actively promoting the survey and engaging in it both target audiences. By such specific actions we are jointly contributing to two of the macro-regional goals “increase prosperity” and “connect the region”. In other words, through joint qualitative discussion and quantitative mapping focused on identifying the existing hindrances of academic and research mobility, BSN and its stakeholder community is helping to build policy tools to ensure reinforced cooperation between the research and academic centres in the region, where mutual learning and transfer of best practices would contribute to raising the competitiveness of each of the engaged institutions.
The survey offers a separate template for research and academic mobility experts from managing authorities (accessible here), as well as a separate template for academic and research community representatives (accessible here).
Zane Šime, Communication & Researcher Coordinator for the Baltic Science Network,
Council of the Baltic Sea States´ Secretariat
+46 8 440 19 25