BSR Policy Briefing: The EU-Russia relations and their reflections in the Baltic Sea region - Some recommendations for policy-makers
By Stanislav L. Tkachenko
Since the early spring 2014 the European Union-Russia relations are in a deep crisis. Re-evaluation of principles and aims of the EU relations with Russia has been done at the level of communitarian structures in Brussels as well as by all EU member states. Multiple Russia’s attempts to destroy unity of the EU countries regarding rejection to recognize integration of Crimea into Russian Federation have failed. EU member states and the Union’s structures see Russia as fighting actor in the bloody conflict in Eastern Ukraine, but Russia ignores these claims. Current stalemate situation requires innovative steps for restoration of dialogue between the two entities. First of all, it is crucially important for the Baltic Sea Region as the only area where the EU and Russia have common land border. Future dialogue should be grounded at principles of mutual rejection of economic and visa sanctions, as well as on confidence-building measures, especially in hard-security issues. New Foreign Policy Concept of Russian Federation, which was adopted on November 30 2016, provides solid political and legal ground for these initiatives.
Read more on the Centrum Balticum's website.
From 2013 onwards Centrum Balticum has published BSR Policy Briefing series. Articles of Baltic Sea Region experts dealing with topical and significant issues of the region are published in the series.
As part of the Horizon 2020 programme, the European Commission is hand-picking potentially disruptive businesses to invest and support as part of the SME Instrument (for Small and Medium sized enterprises). On the factsheet site you can learn more about Horizon 2020 SME Instrument and the impact of the programme in different countries and fields of activity and discover great examples of projects.
From Northern Dimension area Finland and Germany have already have their country factsheets published, but you can search for partners and coordinators in all Europe through the interactive map.
SME Instrument factsheets
More than 20 pan-European actions have been co-financed under the 2nd and 3rd EU Health Programmes of the European Commission, with the aims to exchange best practices, to develop recommendations, and to improve standardized methods of data collection about nutrition and physical activity promotion.
From 30 November to 2 December 2016, in Budapest, the European Commission with the support of the Hungarian Ministry of the Human Capacities, has organised a very successful meeting to share these projects' results.
More than 30 projects were presented during this 3-day meeting. Read the presentations on EC website.
This book analyses the revised European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) which entered into force in May 2011, thereby replacing its predecessor of 2003/2004.
Editors: Bouris, Dimitris, Schumacher, Tobias (Eds.)
Read more on the publisher website
The European Commission adopted the fifth report on the development of the European rail market. The report shows that EU legislation on rail, which encourages competitiveness and market opening, has led to a more efficient and customer-responsive industry. In Member States where rail markets are opened, competition can result overall in lower fares for customers and better value for taxpayers. After adoption of the 4th Railway Package, the focus of the Commission will be on the implementation of existing legislation to bring about further performance improvement.
Download the full report on Commission webpage.
As a first step in the Commission’s State of Health in the EU cycle, the Health at a Glance: Europe 2016 report was published in November 2016. Developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with cooperation from the Commission, this publication provides updated analysis of the health status of EU citizens and the performance of health systems.
Apart from various chapters with statistical indicators of 35 European countries, the 2016 report includes two cross-cutting chapters on political priorities: the labour market impacts of behavioural risk factors and related chronic diseases, and the strengthening of primary care systems.
Download the report and infograph on European Commission website.
Shift2Rail will be the first European rail joint technology initiative to seek focused research and innovation (R&I) and market-driven solutions by accelerating the integration of new and advanced technologies into innovative rail product solutions. Shift2Rail will promote the competitiveness of the European Rail Industry and will meet the changing EU transport needs. Through the R&I carried out within this Horizon2020 initiative, the necessary technology will be created to complete the Single European Railway Area (SERA).
The call for proposals has now been published on the Shift2Rail website and Horizon2020 portal. The call is open from 10th January 2017 and the deadline is 30th March 2017.
Reducing the overuse and misuse of antimicrobial medicines is vital to stop the appearance of resistant microorganisms. To raise awareness about this issue, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) founded the European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) which aims to provide a platform and support for national campaigns about prudent antibiotic use. Over the years, European Antibiotic Awareness Day - marked annually on 18 November - has developed into a platform of global reach, partnering up with many countries outside the EU as well as relevant stakeholders, in line with the Commission's "One-Health" approach to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).
The Commission's 2011 Action Plan against the rising threats from AMR contains 12 actions for implementation with EU Member States and identifies 7 areas where measures are most needed:
•making sure antimicrobials are used appropriately in both humans and animals
• preventing microbial infections and their spread
• developing new effective antimicrobials or alternatives for treatment
• cooperating with international partners to contain the risks of AMR
• improving monitoring and surveillance in human and animal medicine
• promoting research and innovation
• improving communication, education and training
The evaluation of the Commission's Action plan published in October 2016 shows that this had a clear added value acting as a symbol of political commitment, stimulating several actions within Member States, and has served to strengthen international cooperation. The Action Plan has also provided a framework to guide and coordinate activities on AMR at international level in the area of monitoring and surveillance and on R&D.
Download the action plan and its evaluation on European Commission website.
As part of the EUSBSR Strategy Forum, the Northern Dimension Partnership on Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) will host a seminar "Where are we heading – wealthier and healthier in the decades to come, or just the opposite?" on November 8th. The seminar, organized in cooperation with the eHealth for Regions Network, will discuss a topic close to the heart of each and every one of us, namely our chances to live a healthy and wealthy life in 2030.
The recent study: Boosting the competitiveness of cultural and creative industries for jobs and growth shows that Cultural and creative industries (CCIs) employ more than 12 million people in the EU, which is 7.5% of all persons employed in the total economy.
Read more and download the study from Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture website.
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.
New funding opportunities: Energy Efficiency Call 2016
Horizon 2020 topics facilitating the market uptake of energy technologies and services, fostering social innovation, removing non-technological barriers, promoting standards and accelerating the cost effective implementation of the Union's energy policies, have opened.
Read more and apply on the EASME website.
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.
A Joint Communication by the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Commission titled “Towards an EU Strategy for international cultural relations” was published on 8 June 2016 and will be discussed by the Council of the EU in autumn 2016.
Read more from the viewpoint of Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture: http://www.ndpculture.org/blog/culture-in-eu-development-policies-and-external-action
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.
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 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.
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.
In 14th September, the Horizon 2020 Information Day & Brokerage Event for the Work Program "Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency & Raw Materials" will be organized in Brussels.
The event will be organized by the European Commission due to the upcoming calls for proposals which will be launched in autumn 2016. The event is for the research community, businesses and public administration.
Find the registration link and event programme here.
EU Design Days will be organized in Brussels in September 20-22th 2016. The event will be focusing in following themes: design as a strategic tool to support regional development, design to be used for a circular economy, urban production and design, and design thinking for public sector innovation and regional development.
Also, there is a workshop which considers how design thinking could be applied when co-creating new approaches with and for young people experiencing mental illness. In addition, one of the topics is how the use of design for innovation and growth in Europe could be increased.
Location of the event: BWM Brand Store Brussels, Boulevard de Waterloo 23-24, 1000, Brussels.
Find the registration and more information about the event from EU Design Days website.
Talking Barents seminar was held at Norway House in Brussels in 16th June 2016. The seminar was organized by the Norwegian Barents Secretariat and the North Norway European Office.
The seminar was about Barents Cooperation and it focused in opportunities and challenges in the cross-border cooperation in culture, business development, indigenous peoples’ issues, education, civil society and environmental protection. About 100 participants attended.
Find more information, video and summary from seminar at North Norway website.
In Creative Europe program, following calls for proposals and tenders are open:
Experts for the European Capital of Culture panel (31/12/2020)
Distribution – Support to sales agents 2016 (03/10/2017)
Distribution Automatic Support 2016 (01/08/2017)
Distribution - Support to sales agents 2015 (01/03/2017)
Distribution Automatic Support 2015 (02/08/2016)
Call for expressions of interest - EAC/14/2014 (31/12/2020)
In Creative Europe's Cooperation projects, next publication dates for calls will be in July-August 2016 and the deadline is estimated to be in October 5th, in 2016.
Find more information about calls for proposals and tenders from Creative Europe website.
In the Horizon 2020, Work Programme Part Health, demographic change and well-being new calls will be opened in 29.7.2016.
More calls will be opened later in Autumn, for example in 20.9.2016 and 8.11.2016.
Find more detailed information from H2020 website.
An updated programme has been released for the 7th Strategy Forum of the EUSBSR. Detailed information about the event can be now found. Check the programme here. Concerning the proposals for seminars/workshops, applicants will be notified shortly. Information will be updated in the dedicated webpage.
One of the main sessions now announced in the programme addresses the potential of cooperation on digitalisation for the benefit of the whole EU. The Baltic Sea region countries are at the forefront of digitalisation in Europe. We have interviewed the Managing Director of Boston Consulting Group who recently presented a report on the state of digital development. You find this interview at the Strategy Forum website.
Registration will open on 22 August.