The Nordic Region’s relationship with the EU was a key topic of discussion at a meeting of the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation in Copenhagen on 1 July. Much of the Nordic countries’ legislation is affected by EU legislation. From early 2016, increasing focus has been placed on how EU legislation is implemented in the Nordic countries.
The Ministers for Nordic Co-operation engaged in an extended discussion on this topic at their meeting. The discussion was marked by the lack of clarity following the British referendum on the country’s withdrawal from the EU.
The three Nordic members of the EU – Denmark, Finland, and Sweden – stressed the importance of avoiding the adoption of regional positions in relation to European co-operation. Nevertheless, it is still both possible and important that the Nordic countries strengthen their co-operation as much as possible, including on EU legislation affecting key Nordic issues.
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Developing the Baltic Sea Region is at the core of the EU funding Programme Interreg Baltic Sea Region. Among other things the Programme provides direct support to the coordination of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR).
Strengthening the implementation of the EUSBSR and ensuring cooperation with the neighbouring countries of the Baltic Sea macro region are important aims of Interreg Baltic Sea Region. Support to the coordination of the macro-regional cooperation is one of the Programme’s priorities .
Since 2014, the Programme offers funds to coordinators of the policy areas and horizontal actions defined in the Action Plan of the EUSBSR. These funds are meant to support the coordinator work, i.e. to bring forward policy discussions and to engage policy makers, flagship leaders and others eager to contribute to their region’s development. This week, the Monitoring Committee of Interreg Baltic Sea Region granted EUR 3.54 million for the coordination of all 17 policy areas and horizontal actions.
The Monitoring Committee also supports the partnership “Let’s communicate!” led by the Finnish Centrum Balticum Foundation with some EUR 0.5 million. “Let’s Communicate!” puts the Communication Strategy of the EUSBSR into practice. Throughout the project, coordinators and flagship leaders are equipped with communication tools and encouraged to engage in communication actions. The project applies storytelling techniques to show positive change in the region. One aim is to reach out to those target groups that are not familiar with the EUSBSR.
The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region is divided into three objectives which represent the three key challenges of the Strategy: saving the sea, connecting the region and increasing prosperity. Each objective relates to a wide range of policy areas. Examples include promoting clean shipping and supporting innovation. The work carried out under each policy area involves stakeholders from various levels (international, national, regional, local) and sectors (public, private, civil society). It is structured around joint actions and can be illustrated by flagships. Each policy area is coordinated by a Policy Area Coordinator (appointed Member State institution or pan-Baltic organisation).
The Strategy also includes horizontal actions which have a more cross-cutting character and are relevant for many objectives and sub-objectives; examples include cooperation on spatial planning or climate change mitigation and adaptation. The aims and approaches of the policy areas and horizontal actions are described in the EUSBSR Action Plan.
A new portal, EuroAccess, has been launched acting as a gateway to EU funding, providing the key data of more than 200 EU funding programmes, including (but not limited to!) all Interreg programmes that operate within the geographical scope of the EU macro-regional strategies. Potential applicants can look for open calls for project proposals and filter results based on their type of organisation, their country of origin, and the thematic focus of their project idea, amongst others.
EuroAccess is based on the success of DanubeAccess, which promoted funding opportunities from the geographical area covered by the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. Over the time it has proven to be a success, therefore, it is now extended to all four EU macro-regional strategies – the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region, the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. The updated online platform, covering all four EU macro-regional strategies, was launched on 25th June 2018.
Do not miss the opportunity to participate in the photo competition Europe in My Region. The competition is organised by the European Commission. Deadline for participation is 28 August.
The photo competition is part of the EU-wide communications campaign Europe In My Region, which is run as a way to encourage citizens to discover and learn more about EU-funded projects near them.
For the first time this year four different initiatives (public openings, a treasure hunt, a photo competition and a blogging campaign) will involve the public in visiting projects and sharing images and experiences via social media.
The European Commission's innovation report "Opportunity Now: Europe's Mission to Innovate" has been published in June 2016.
The report is written by Robert Madelin and David Ringrose.
The report is available here.
European Cooperation Day invites you to participate in any of the events showcasing project results or highlighting the importance of territorial cooperation.
'Sharing borders, growing closer' is the motto for the celebration of this spirit of cooperation throughout Europe and beyond, as territorial cooperation also involves neighbouring countries of the EU.
Read more about the events around September 21st on the campaign website and see the promotional video from this link.
74 European regions have been recognised as Reference Sites of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing for their commitment to excellence in investing and scaling up innovative digital solutions for active and healthy ageing. The Reference Sites range from Oulu, Finland, to Heraklion-Crete, Greece and from Andalucia, Spain to Olomouc, Czech Republic. Together, they commit to investing more than €4 billion in digital innovation for active and healthy ageing, which is expected to benefit over 5 million people in the next 3 years.
Read more from this link.
The 2016 Eropean Social Innovation Competition focuses on social innovation to support the integration of refugees and migrants in Europe. The 3 winners of the competition will each receive a prize of €50,000. The competition is open for entries until 8 April 2016.
The competition is open to individuals, groups and organisations across the European Union and in countries participating in the European Horizon 2020 programme (see list).
More information here.
Main themes of the event are: Sustained and sustainable economic growth, Inclusive economic growth, and Making ESI Funds simpler.
The event is targeted to an audience interested in regional policy.
Participation is free of charge.
Registration for the event "European Week of Regions and Cities" is open until September 26th 2016.
Find more information about the registration procedure here.
The registration for the 7th Strategy Forum of the EUSBSR and the 18th Baltic Development Forum Summit on 8 and 9 November is now open. Read the programme and register on the Strategy Forum website.
Also, the second Northern Dimension Day will be held back-to-back with the Strategy Forum, taking place before the official forum starts. Read more on this page.