The latest issue of the EUSBSR newsletter focuses on the VI Annual Forum of the EUSBSR which will take place on 15-16 in Jūrmala, Latvia. It contains some general information about the event addressing in particular main sessions, networking village and workshops. In addition, it includes some short news about the state of play of other EUSBSR-related issues.

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The first call for EUSBSR Priority Area Coordinators and Horizontal Action Coordinators support applications (to the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme) was closed on 19 February 2015. At its meeting on 28-29 April 2015 in Stockholm, the Monitoring Committee of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region granted funds to the Priority Area Coordinators and Horizontal Action Coordinators of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region to their support tasks related to role as a coordinator/leader of a thematic area set in the Action Plan of the Strategy. 18 Priority Areas and Horizontal Actions (PA/HA) will receive in total 1.66 million EUR ERDF co-financing. The funds will support PAC/HAL coordination work, e.g. their cooperation with the member states, flagship leaders, as well as will help define and implement the priority area/horizontal action targets and indicators.

Interreg Baltic Sea Region takes an active part in the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR, the Strategy) and its Action Plan. For the funding period 2014-2020 the thematic priorities 1-3 of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region have been aligned with the objectives of the Strategy to maximise the synergies and leverage effects on other financing sources in the programme areas. The Interreg Baltic Sea Region offers support to the Strategy implementation for example by financing flagship projects and their preparation (seed money support).

In addition, in this funding period the programme provides direct support to the coordination activities of the macro-regional cooperation. The support is provided through the thematic priority 4 ‘Institutional capacity for macro-regional cooperation’ and its specific objective 4.2 “Coordination of macro-regional cooperation” in particular. The Programme support aims at increasing the capacity of public administrations and pan-Baltic organisations for transnational coordination in implementing the EUSBSR. The Programme provides support to the Priority Area Coordinators and Horizontal Action Coordinators of the EUSBSR, as well as supports the Strategy Forums and other communication activities.

The interest in getting funding for projects from Interreg programmes is growing. Today the Monitoring Committee for the BSR programme decided on 81 projects to invite 81 projects to be developed into full proposals. All in all, the first call during this new period 2014-20 resulted in 282 concept notes. This means that almost 30% of the concepts get a chance to do the full application.

The final approval of applications is planned at the meeting of the Monitoring Committee meeting in November 2015, and the second call is planned to be announced at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year.

Also Central Baltic Programme has made the decision on project ideas that have made it to the second phase. Out of 136 regular project applications, Central Baltic programme has given green light for 45 projects to hand in the full application. The funding decisions in Central Baltic will be taken at the end of August 2015.

Registrations are open for the VI Annual Forum of the EUSBSR, 'Achieving e-Quality by Connecting the Region'. The event will be held on 15-16 June in Jūrmala, Latvia. It aims at discussing issues related to digital connectivity, digital equality and how information and communication technology is transforming the region.

More information

The registrations for the VI Annual Forum will open in mid-April and close on 1 June. The event will be organised on 15-16 June in Jurmala, Latvia. Registration may be closed earlier if the venue capacity is reached ahead of the closing date.

The S3 Platform is launching an online survey on examples of successful inter-regional and trans-national R&I partnerships implementing past and current innovation strategies. Your proposals will serve for the establishment of a repository of cases which will then allow discussing practices applied in order to find possible supporting instruments and measures tackling the bottle-necks of trans-national R&I cooperation. The most inspiring and relevant examples will presented at various upcoming events. The S3 Cooperation survey is available here. The deadline to fill in the online survey has been extended until 28 February 2015.

This year, we have something special in store to mark Valentine's Day and at the same time promote cooperation across borders and regions and create a buzz around the 25th anniversary of Interreg - the EU's Regional Policy programme for territorial cooperation.
The European Commission-DG Regio is launching a Valentine's competition. People will be asked to submit their stories (a photo and a caption of 100 words) - "sharing your tales of how romance overcame obstacles across European borders" (cultural, political, linguistic, administrative, geographical, logistical...) by 15/3/2015 by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Eligible photos will be posted on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/EUinmyregion after the submission closure.
Details on the interreg website: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/index.cfm/en/policy/cooperation/european-territorial/interreg25years
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A study coordinated by the European Parliament provides a critical analysis of the future role of macro-regions in the implementation of European Territorial Cooperation. On the basis of a literature review and case studies, the study offers an assessment of potential benefits in the development of new macro-regional strategies as well as the most common risks and difficulties in their implementation. Recommendations are derived to inform the position of the European Parliament on how it can efficiently support the creation and implementation of new macro-regional strategies.

Euronews correspondents visit the Danube Region, as well as the Adriatic Ionion Region, to take a look at how macro-regional strategies are helping boost economic prosperity. An interview with Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu sheds light on how the strategies help countries cooperate to face common challenges.

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