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.

Europe has got its third Macro-Regional Strategy. European Commission adopted on 17 June 2014 the Communication of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSAIR. More background information regarding the EUSAIR can also be found on the Interact web.

The Action Plan and other key documents for EUSAIR are available on the EU web site.

The 5th Annual forum for the EUSBSR took place on 3-4 June in Turku, Finland. More than 1,000 participants registered and actively participated in plenaries and discussions about the future implementation of the EUSBSR. The event was part of the Turku Baltic Sea Days, an initiative that included an array of many different events having the Baltic Sea region as a common denominator.

Among the participants of the Turku Baltic Sea Days were Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja, Chairman of the Committee for Industrial Policy and Innovations in St Petersburg Maksim Meiksin, Minister of Economic Affairs Jan Vapaavuori, Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb, Minister of the Environment Ville Niinistö and Regional Policy Commissioner of the European Union Johannes Hahn.

The event was widely covered live on Twitter @EUSBSR and a set of videos captured during the Turku Baltic Sea Days has been made available.

The Baltic Sea region's specific characteristics provide it with the opportunity to combine responses to environmental challenges with extraordinary assets, such as competitive and innovative research and business sectors and a strong tradition of cooperation.

In a new staff working document the Commission proposes e.g. that innovation streams should cut across the areas, such as maritime technologies, biotechnologies, renewable energy, port reception facilities, maritime and coastal tourism including cruise industry, and aquaculture.

 

The focus on Blue growth could be further improved through strengthening the EUSBSR action plan in a number of areas. This could include new flagships related to offshore energy, aquaculture, blue biotechnology, maritime technologies, skills and cluster development.

The staff working document is attached below.

 

 

Attachments:
Download this file (Adopted SWD Blue growth agenda 16.05.2014(1).pdf)Adopted SWD Blue growth agenda 16.05.2014(1).pdf[A Sustainable Blue Growth Agenda for Baltic Sea Region]421 kB

The European Commission has today published a report on the governance of the EU´s Macro-Regional Strategies. The cooperation method of these Strategies has gained impetus and support across Europe since the first for the Baltic Sea Region was adopted in 2009. Common challenges are tackled by a number of countries - both EU and non EU members- working together, streamlining their resources to ensure an effective and joined -up response.

The entire report is available in all EU-langauges if you click on this link. More information is also available on the Inforegio´s web page.

Next month Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn will attend the Forum on the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (3-4 June in Turku, Finland) and Forum on the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (26-27 June in Vienna, Austria). Also a Communication and Action Plan for the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) will be adopted by the Commission on 18 June.