A photo gallery for the EUSBSR has just been created and includes pictures from many different meetings and events as well as generic pictures taken in the Baltic Sea region. This tool aims to help EUSBSR stakeholders in their communication activities. The photos currently displayed in the online photo sharing platform have been provided by the INTERACT Programme and other EUSBSR stakeholders. In this respect, special thanks go to the Interreg South Baltic Programme which made available all the pictures submitted for its photo contest organised in 2012 as part of the local events of European Cooperation Day. EUSBSR stakeholders can also share additional photos on this gallery by contacting INTERACT Point Turku.

Check the photo gallery

The INTERACT programme has produced a publication addressing the main differences and similarities between EU macro-regional strategies and sea basin strategies. It specifically tackles the comparability and main principles between macro-regional strategies and sea basin strategies. It includes topics like added value, common challenges, cooperation, geographical areas etc.

The personal calendars for the next year will fill in very quickly, therefore we invite you to book the date for the 6th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region already now.

The meeting will take place in Jūrmala, Latvia, on 15-16 June 2015.

The title of the event is 'Achieving E-quality by Connecting Region(s)'.

The first #EUChatREGIO will take place on 25 September 2014 – 15:00-16:00 CET Time and will focus on the role and added value of macro-regional strategies in Europe.

Using Twitter and other forms of social media for work and professional development presents regional and local professionals and media with interesting opportunities for learning and sharing best practice across regions, cities and public services.

This tweetchat aims to help people concerned share their experiences, ideas, and views on the role, added-value and benefits of macro-regional strategies, both current and future.

Please use the hashtag #EUChatREGIO. The tweeting will be from @EU_Regional and the twitter accounts of the different strategies will join the discussion.

Suggested questions for discussion (please always specify question n°-ie Q1a- in your tweet and if appropriate the strategy concerned #EUSBSR #EUSDR #EUSAIR #EUSALP.

More details on the #EUChatREGIO are avaliable here.

Ms. Riitta Ahdan, Head of INTERACT Point Turku, passed away on Friday 29 August 2014 after a fairly short time of illness. We remember Riitta as a very supportive leader of the unit and work targeted colleague. Before working with INTERACT starting already in 2004, Riitta Ahdan worked on international projects in 1988 at the University of Turku in Finland, moving on from there to the University of Helsinki at the time when Finland joined the European Union. Her work has been very much related to regional development issues and included both EU co-funded projects as well as participation in the regional management groups of EU co-funded programmes. In INTERACT Riitta Ahdan was coordinating the INTERACT Point Turku expert teams contributing to a successful implementation of both ETC cooperation and ENPI CBC.

In Memoriam
Riitta Ahdan (1956-2014)

Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) has signed a 10-year-maturity, EUR 50 million loan agreement with AB Litgrid for the construction of an electricity transmission line between Lithuania and Poland. The LitPol Link will be the first interconnection between the Lithuanian power system and the electricity infrastructure of Western Europe.

More information is available here.

There is also another example on how cross-border cooperation can achieve much as long as goals on both sides of the border are the same is the second high-voltage direct current link between Finland and Estonia which has been built in the frame of the project  EstLink 2.

Thanks to the EstLink 2 connection, electricity markets in the Baltic Sea region took a step forward. The connection has tripled the transmission capacity between Finland and Estonia and removed one of the worst transmission bottlenecks in the Baltic Sea region. Also, electricity prices in Estonia and Finland have been harmonised.

The total length of EstLink 2 is approximately 170 km, some 14 km of which is an overhead line in Finland, about 145 km a submarine cable laid on the bottom of the Gulf of Finland, and about 12 km an underground cable in Estonia.

More information is available here.

The Baltic Sea Region platform for innovative approaches to the sustainable use of marine resources is now operational: eight public, private and non-governmental institutions from all shores of the Baltic Sea have taken the joint initiative to found the SUBMARINER Network for Blue Growth as a not-for-profit European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG) and to set up a secretariat as coordinator and facilitator of the Network's activities.

As a flagship project of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, the SUBMARINER Network is a hub for projects, initiatives and activities at all levels; from transnational cooperation to regional local and business levels.

Follow the network on recently launched web portal submariner-network.eu and join the LinkedIn Group to stay updated about new developments and activities of the network!

The Commission invites legal persons registered in the European Union (EU) to present proposals for the 2014 Call for proposals for LIFE Action Grants. The call covers proposals for both LIFE sub-programmes.

For the sub-programme for Environment, this call will cover action grants "Traditional" projects (Deadline: 16 October 2014), Preparatory projects (Deadline: 29 October 2014), Integrated projects (Deadline: Phase I, concept note 10 October 2014; Phase II, full proposal April 2015 (tbc)), Technical Assistance projects (Deadline: 15 September 2014) and Capacity Building projects (Deadline: on a rolling basis until 30 September 2015). 

Proposals may be submitted by legal persons (entities) registered in the EU. Applicants may fall into three types of beneficiaries: (1) public bodies, (2) private commercial organisations and (3) private non-commercial organisations (including NGOs).

More information.

The Swedish Institute in partnership with the Council of the Baltic Sea States, CBSS-Baltic 21, the latter acting in its capacity as Co-Leader of the Horizontal Action ‘Sustainable’ of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, invitates to a training course in European project making in the field of Low Carbon Economy with a focus on resource efficiency.

The programme is intended for people already involved in, or planning soon to be involved in, trans-national co-operation and project development processes related to low carbon economy with a focus on resource efficiency.

The organisers will choose 2-3 participants from each of the countries around the Baltic Sea or altogether a group not exceeding 25 participants. Participants may come from national authorities, from a regional level, or from NGO`s and private organisations working actively on resource efficiency in sectors/ fields related to i.e. sustainable bioenergy, land use and waste management.

The Baltic Leadership Programme consists of two one-week training sessions and is offered to future leaders of trans-national co-operation in the Baltic Sea Region. The training course includes both general leadership training, capacity building in project management and knowledge of European project making and project funding.

The first part of the course will take place in Stockholm, Sweden, on 29 September – 3 October 2014 and the second part will take part in Brussels, Belgium, on 24-28 November 2014.

Participation in the two training courses and the meals is offered free of charge. Participants from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden can also have their travel and accommodation costs covered, subject to prior agreement with the Swedish Institute. Participants from Denmark, Finland, Germany and Norway are offered to take part in the training courses and meals freely, but are kindly required to cover their own travel and accommodation.

Enclosed is the invitation with a more detailed description of the Baltic Leadership Programme and information on how to submit your application.
Please apply no later than 7 August 2014.

Please note you can only apply to the programme if you intending to attend both modules of the programme. Before submitting your application, please ensure you have the necessary support/ agreement from within your organisation to attend both modules (two weeks in total) aside your core work tasks.

DG Regional and Urban Policy invites all those interested, e.g. European citizens, public organisations, NGOs, enterprises, civil society, etc., to participate in this public consultation on the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP).

The European Council of 19/20 December 2013 has formally invited the European Commission to develop the Strategy by June 2015. The aim of this Macro-regional Strategy is to provide a coordinated response to issues better handled by acting together than separately. This Strategy, therefore, will seek to unlock the potential of the Alpine Region, by encouraging participants to overcome barriers, to thinking more strategically and imaginatively about the opportunities available. The Strategy also aims to ensure that this Region remains one of the most attractive areas in Europe, taking better advantage of its assets and seizing its opportunities for sustainable and innovative development in a European context.

The EUSALP concerns seven countries: 5 EU Member States (Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia) and 2 non-EU countries (Liechtenstein and Switzerland). It will focus on areas of regional mutual interest, and will be structured around three pillars: (1) Fostering sustainable growth and promoting innovation (2) Connectivity for all (3) Ensuring sustainability of the Region.

The objective of this public consultation is to gather the ideas of stakeholders to ensure the Strategy while ambitious in its objectives, responds to the real needs of inhabitants of the Region and the wider European community. The contributions will be further discussed at the Conference to be organised in Milan, next 1-2 December 2014, and will support the preparation of the Strategy.

You can participate in:

The public consultation closes on 15 October 2014. All contributions are very welcome (as soon as possible).

Please find additional information on INFOREGIO.

Nordic Innovation, as part of the Nordic Innovation Programme 2.0, is launching a new call for proposals aiming to promote cross-sectorial innovation between the marine sector and other sectors.

Projects should contribute to the three following topics:
1. New technology for sustainable production and use of aquatic biomas.
2. Sustainable land based and offshore aquaculture.
3. The projects should strengthen the position of Nordic companies in new markets.

The deadline for submission of applications is on 15 September 2014 (simple application). A full application will be needed by 3 November 2014.

More information

The Member States has agreed about the main objectives and actions for the new programming period 2014-20 for the Baltic Sea Region Programme. In the last Newsletter (June 2014) there is a summary of the Programme for the next 7 years. The Newsletter is available if you click on this link.