Mr. Nicola De Michelis (DG Regio) met with the BSSSC Board to discuss the future EU Budget. 
Photos: Lars Godbolt, BSSSC.

Board Meeting November 2018

November 28-29 the BSSSC Board Members met for 2018’s last Board meeting to discuss the next EU Budget, the future of the cohesion policy and the future of the EUSBSR.

10. December 2018

November 28-29 the BSSSC had 2018's last Board Meeting. This time in 'the capital of Europe' - Brussels. The BSSSC Board Members got a presentation about the revision of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region action plan from Mr. Odd Golda, Division for Territorial Cooperation and Macro Regions, DG Regio. He could inform the Board that discussions will take place spring 2019, then the summer and fall will be spent to finalize it, before the strategy will be in place autumn 2019.

Mr. Nicola De Michelis (also from DG Regio) was also present and had a presentation on the status quo of the EUs Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) post 2020 with a special focus on the cohesion policy. He could inform that it was very unlikely that the MFF would be in place before the European Parliament Elections spring 2019. Because of Brexit the overall budget must be reduced. Stefan Musiolik, BSSSC Board Member from Schleswig- Holstein expressed disappointment that Interreg is reduced, not only in absolute numbers but also in relative terms. Mr. Michelis suggested the BSSSC to work affecting the European Parliament, as they will have to accept the budget. The next day the Board Members agreed to send a letter to European Parliament as well as the Presidents of European Commission and Committee of Regions – focusing on INTERREG 2021 – 2027. The letter should be based on the position paper adopted by the Board on 10 September 2018 in Gdansk.

The letter is published here.

BSSSC post 2018

Other topics high on the agenda was the revision of the BSSSC work plan for 2019 and starting the work for a new strategy post 2020. From several of the Board Members it was indicated that the work of the BSSSC should be more focused and streamlined – and perhaps simplified. The work of the strategy will begin in our next Board Meeting in February in Finland with workshops. Suggestions of graphical artwork showing the BSSSC strategy and work in a communicative way will also be produced early 2019 to be discussed by the Board in February 2019.

Secretary General of BSSSC, Ms. Ann Irene Sæternes presented the first draft for the Annual Conference in Klaipeda, Lithuania in 2019. The topic for the 2019 will be blue growth and the conference will take place from 18-20 September 2019. The idea for next year’s conference is to rethink a bit how the Annual Conference is organised and to involve businesses to a larger degree.

- Baltic Development Forum (BFD) used to have a role in bringing politics and businesses together, and next year’s Annual Conference could be an opportunity to fill the gap after BDF terminated its work, Ms. Sæternes said.

The Board was also informed that the schedule of the Annual Conference will be slightly different from the previous years. There will be more parallel workshops. 

 

EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) Annual Forum 2019

Ms. Sæternes updated the Board on the work of the EUSBSR Annual Forum 2019 co-arranged by the BSSSC. The 10th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR will be held in Gdańsk on 12-13th June 2019. The Forum will be hosted by the Pomorskie Region together with the BSSSC in close cooperation with the European Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland and other partners. The Annual Forum will focus on the circular and sharing economy as an answer to demographic changes in the BSR. A draft programme is now finished and the host in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland and BSSSC are now working to contact and confirm the speakers. The programme is divided into five parts over the course of two days discussing different aspects of circular and sharing economy. Other actors are invited to arrange seminars at the Conference, and as many as 18 “slots” of seminars (each 1,5 hours) are open for other actors. The call for seminars will open in January. The EUSBSR Annual Forum 2019 webpage has recently been launched and can be found here: https://strategyforum2019.eu/ 

Baltic Sea Region Youth Camp

Executive Secretary of the BSSSC, Mr. Lars Godbolt presented the plans for the Baltic Sea Region Youth Camp 2019. This idea came from the BSSSC Youth Board at the end of 2017. The BSSSC Secretariat applied for funding from CBSS Project Support Facility, and were in June 2018 approved with a budget of about 100 000 Euros. The BSSSC will arrange this camp together with the Union of Baltic Cities (UBC), the Euroregion Baltic (ERB) the Baltic Sea Cultural Centre (BSCC) in Gdansk and with support from PA Culture.
Mr. Godbolt said they came with this initiative as a response to the fact that although young people are the decision makers for tomorrow, youths seem to be low in the agenda in the Baltic Sea Region.

 

- Youth voter participation is low in many countries, several countries lack tools, institutions and funding for youth politicians, and still we barely see youth involvement at the EUSBSR Annual Fora, said Mr. Godbolt.


The Youth Camp will take place for the first time just some days before the next Annual Forum (AF) of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) in Gdansk 2019. The Youth Camp will begin Saturday evening June 8 and continue until the evening of June 11. The EUSBSR AF will be from June 12-13.

 

- The Youth Camp will bring together youths from the whole BSR to promote cultural understanding and a feeling of togetherness in the BSR. At the same time, it is meant to offer a forum for debate and discussions for young people on issues important for the future of the region and raise awareness for its sustainable development, said Mr. Godbolt

Furthermore, the camp will highlight the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and have a special focus on SDGs related to the work of the Regeneration 2030 movement. In Gdansk we will focus on the topic of the EUSBSR Annual Forum (Circular and Sharing Economy).
 

Read more about the Youth Camp here.

 

Notable BSSSC events 2019
🔹 BSSSC Youth Event in Kaliningrad, Russia, April 16-18 
🔹 The Baltic Sea Region Youth Camp June 8-11
🔹 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

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