The BALTIC SEA YOUTH PLATFORM
6. April 2020
Institutional engagement of youth in policymaking and various civic activities has already been a long praxis in the Baltic Sea Region. CBSS, UBC, ERB and BSSSC have a long history of youth involvement, each having a kind of youth board that functions in close cooperation with the political board or having a working group which deals with youth issues or youth-related thematic areas.
Recently the idea has occurred to create a special youth-dedicated platform that would cover the whole Baltic Sea region and answer to the demand of a systematic and overarching involvement of youth in the policymaking and decision-making on all levels in the BSR. Such a platform should connect the youth beyond borders; with each other and with decision-makers; encourage them to express their opinions and ensure that they are given serious attention in current undertakings. Such a platform could also enable youth NGOs to reach their full potential, cooperate in the area of the Agenda 2030, transfer knowledge, increase visibility and impact of youth organizations as well as develop a common Baltic Sea identity and embrace the diversity of culture in the region.
Such ambitions were taken into account while applying for ERASMUS+ funds and now, after the success of being granted 240.000€ to be used until August 2022, the project is formally launched. The process is led by the CBSS and focuses on three main areas:
To improve the political impact of youth on decision-making in the Baltic Sea Region.
To develop tools for better knowledge transfer, as youth involvement in policymaking is subject to high fluctuation in human resources.
To serve as a facilitator for various innovative projects relying on the interests and capacities of youth in a broad range of policy areas.
Right now, when the COVID-19 pandemic has spread within the BSR and the whole EU, the main steps are undertaken online. All strategic project partners, namely CBSS, BSSSC, ERB, ESN, LiJOT and UBC have joined efforts to implement project goals in the form of physical and digital undertakings.
Now all youth-oriented NGOs and institutions in the BSR are invited to join those efforts and can do it in two ways: they can fill in the survey (here) or join the project as an associated partner (here).
The current Pomorskie BSSSC Chairmanship is very happy to promote this project and be involved in it, as youth issues have always been important to the Pomorskie regional self-government. In 2015 the Youth Council of the Pomorskie Voivodeship was established aside Regional Assembly. Pomorskie also cooperates with young volunteers who actively represent Pomorskie youth in the Baltic Sea cooperation and especially in ERB and BSSSC. The Baltic Sea Youth Camp held in 2019 before the EUSBSR Annual Forum in Gdańsk is a good example of an action initiated by BSSSC Youth together with young people from other pan-Baltic organizations. There are also many initiatives aimed at young people in Pomorskie itself, among which those connected with education, sport, career support and empowerment.
By Małgorzata Maria Klawiter-Piwowarska
Material based on www.CBSS.org