Reaching a healthy Baltic Sea ecosystem by 2021, promoting innovation for a sustainable Blue Economy and tackling the challenge of regional governance are the main priorities for the European Union now chairing HELCOM until 30 June 2018. The Chairmanship of the Helsinki Commission rotates between all the Contracting Parties every two years according to their alphabetical order in English.
Please read more about the EU Priorities and new chair from HELCOM website.
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.
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.
The Northern Dimension (ND) is nowadays one of the most effective forward-looking formats of regional and trans-border cooperation. The results and achievements of the ND, i.e. better environmental situation in the Baltic and Barents seas, new cultural ties and promotion of cultural industries, improvements in public health protection in the ND area and resolved transport problems, are also well known due to active position of the NDI and its Newsflash, which deserve all the support.
Finland’s Chairmanship of the Baltic Sea Protection Commission (Helsinki Commission HELCOM) started in the beginning of July. The key task of the two-year Chairmanship is to update the Baltic Sea Action Plan launched in 2007. Measures should be included that enable to achieve a good environmental status for the Baltic Sea by 2030.
On the Finnish initiative HELCOM will prepare a regional nutrient recycling strategy for the Baltic Sea. The aim of the strategy is that valuable nutrients are in efficient use and prevent them from being lost to waters. Practical measures will be included in the Action Plan to reduce nutrient inputs.
Climate change will maintain, or even increase, eutrophication in the Baltic Sea. It will also have impacts on the distribution of living organisms and attaining the objectives set for the protection. The work of HELCOM must be further strengthened to understand the impacts and minimise harm and damage. Climate change and adaptation will be one of the key issues in updating the Action Plan. HELCOM activities are to be linked to a wider context for work on sustainable development, i.e. implementing of the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.
The objective of the ecosystem is to create the world’s first autonomous marine transport system to the Baltic Sea. Ships will be fully autonomous in 2025. The first pilots and applications in months to come are cargo ships and freight.
There are almost 60 companies in the ecosystem through Finnish Marine Industries Association. The largest investors are Cargotec, Ericsson, Meyer Turku, Rolls-Royce, Tieto, and Wärtsilä. About half of the ecosystem’s funding comes from Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation.
Read more about the project on DIMECC website.
The first call of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme Seed Money will be opened in 28th September 2016 and it will be open until to 15th February 2017.
Seed Money is a funding that is used to prepare project proposals with strategic importance to one of the policy areas or horizontal actions of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR).
Find more information about the Seed Money calls here.
Find more information about the Seed Money Facility here.
The Russian Federation has made some EUR 4 million available to finance the participation of Russian organisations in the current second call for applications of Interreg Baltic Sea Region.
Read more on the Interreg Baltic Sea Region website.
Market-Analysis "The Health Economy in the Baltic Sea Region - Challenges and Opportunities" was published in spring 2014. The analysis concludes that it is possible to establish the Baltic Sea Region health sector not only as a cost generating healthcare system, but as an interdisciplinary sector registering above-average growth and offering great potential opportunities. The analysis is prepared for ScanBalt via the BSHR HealthPort project co-financed by the Baltic Sea Region Programme.
More about ScanBalt and the analysis can be found at scanbalt.org
Delegations representing all Baltic coastal states as well as the EU meet this week at HELCOM headquarters to discuss and decide on the best measures for improving the Baltic marine environment.
The meeting participants will face major decisions required for completing HELCOM State of the Baltic Sea report Draft Recommendations on sewage sludge and conservation of underwater biotopes and habitats are expecting agreement. The 2-day meeting will also discuss the final plans for the HELCOM high-level segment on ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals, taking place on 28 February 2017.
Read more on the meeting, its targets and future work on HELCOM website.