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All photos: Lars Lund Godbolt, BSSSC 

Summary of BSSSC Board Meeting in Cesis, Latvia, 9-10 May 2019

The BSSSC Board met for two days in Cesis, Latvia, 9-10 May to have their Board meeting and to meet the Vidzeme planning region.

15. May 2019

For two days the Board of the BSSSC were invited to the beautiful medieval city of Ceis, on behalf of the Vidzeme region. The first day began with a workshop on the future of the BSSSC strategy, followed by presentations of many impressive projects from the Vidzeme region. Among others projects in bio economy, energy-efficiency, lifelong education and smart specialisation. In the evening the Board got a tour of the impressive Cesis castle.

Innovation investment component

The Innovation investment component (component 5) is a new element that was proposed by the European Commission for the new budget. It includes 1 billion euros to promote interregional innovation investments. The idea behind this is that good innovation often has to happen on an interregional scale, because the value chain are usually spread out over several regions, often in many member states. The idea with the component is thus to subsidise much the costs that the cooperation across borders entails, said Mr. Reiner Kneifel-Haverkamp, BSSSC Rapporteur on Cohesion and Budget policy of the EU. Furthermore he said that there is now a basic agreement that this is a good idea, however, some dispute if it should be under Interreg or in the mainstream ERDF. The Swedish regions and Helsinki are very much interested in this topic, and Mr. Kneifel-Haverkamp thus suggested that the BSSSC should establish an ad-hoc working group to prepare a paper on this issue.
It was agreed that the BSSSC will establish an ad-hoc working group to prepare a paper on the innovation investment component.  The group will be led by Brandenburg and will include representatives from Finland, Sweden, Poland, Latvia and the BSSSC Secretariat from Norway. The paper will be discussed at the Board meeting in Klaipeda 18 September.

Sustainable Europe

Chairman Mr. Roger Ryberg informed that the European Commission published a reflection paper with visions for a sustainable Europe by 2030 in the end of January this year. The paper is part of the Future of Europe discussions. BSSSC contributed to the Future of Europe discussions with a policy paper on Democracy and Governance – adopted in December 2017. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are high on everyone’s agenda, and BSSSC has focus on the SDGs in the Baltic Sea Region context. Furthermore, the upcoming EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) Annual Forum will focus on circular economy – as part of transforming our societies in a sustainable direction. The BSSSC chairmanship proposes to develop a policy paper - sending signals from our side to the EU Commission paper as input to the further work and to the incoming European Parliament and new commission from autumn 2019. 
In our work plan BSSSC has underlined the need to mainstream the SDGs at all levels and through all dimensions of our work. Secretary General of BSSSC, Ms. Ann Irene Sæternes suggested that the BSSSC support scenario 1 in the EU reflection paper as it is the only option addressing both EU’s internal and external actions and encompassing all policy fields. The Board agreed. The final paper may be read here.

Other issues

The Board also agreed upon a range of other issues such as writing a paper to CBSS supporting the idea of a youth platform in the BSR, supported by CBSS, and writing an input to the consultation on the TEN-T revision. The Board were also updated on the BSSSC events planned for June – the EUSBSR Annual Forum (BSSSC are co-hosts with Pomorskie Region, Poland), a regional stake-holder workshop back to back with the EUSBSR Annual Forum, the Baltic Sea Youth Camp, as well as the planned events for September, the BSSSC Annual Conference and youth event.
This was the last Board Meeting for our Youth Board Member, Martin Rümmelein. We wish to thank him for his fantastic effort for BSSSC during his time as an elected Board Member. We also wish to thank the Vidzeme planning region for being wonderful hosts.

Notable BSSSC events 2019

  •  The Baltic Sea Region Youth Camp June 8-11

  •  Regional stakeholder workshop on the new EUSBSR, June 11

  •  The EUSBSR Annual Forum June 12-13

  •  The BSSSC Youth event in Klaipeda September 17-18 

  •  The BSSSC Annual Conference in Klaipeda September 18-19

You may read the draft minutes - and all minutes from our former Board Meetings on this page. 

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