UBC co-organised four seminars and back-to-back meetings in the EUSBSR Annual Forum

The 8th Strategy Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) was held in Berlin on 13–14 June 2017, with the theme “Connectivity”. UBC co-organised altogether four seminars and back-to-back meetings before and during the Strategy Forum: Youth Conference as well as a youth seminar “Nothing about us without us”, EUSBSR Participation Day, and seminar on Smart water sector.

Youth Conference and seminar "Nothing about us without us – making it work!"

The Baltic Sea Region Youth Conference "Nothing about us without us” was held in connection with the EUSBSR Annual Forum on 12–13 June, preparing and supporting the youth seminar during EUSBSR Forum "Nothing about us without us – making it work!". The seminar and the Youth Conference were both organised together by UBC, Baltic Sea States Subregional Cooperation (BSSSC) and Euroregion Baltic (ERB).

The Youth Conference gathered almost 50 participants and focused on sharing good practices on youth involvement and empowerment at local and regional level in the BSR and on discussing different approaches to active youth involvement in all ten Baltic Sea countries. The programme included group work as well as presentations and discussions on good examples of youth participation from the BSR countries.

“You win some, you lose some – those are the terms of democracy. You fight through the bad times, things will get better. Exercise your democratic rights: freedom of speech and going to elections”, emphasized Søren Esmann, youth representative from the City of Kolding, at the youth seminar.

Seminar ”Nothing about us without us – making it work!” gathered a large audience in the EUSBSR Annual Forum on 13 June. The main topic was how to include young people in decision-making which raised energetic discussions on themes of democracy, political change and independence.

In conclusion, young people should have genuine possibilities to affect their lives in their communities and be important partners in policy implementation – but young people themselves should also be active in participating in decision-making and working for a positive political and societal change.

“EUSBSR has proved that working regionally is a good and effective way to promote common goals”, stated Mikko Lohikoski / HA Capacity in the opening session of the Participation Day.

The first EUSBSR Participation Day focused on cross-sectoral cooperation around the EUSBSR

The EUSBSR Horizontal Action Capacity coordinators UBC, Baltic Sea NGO Network and the Swedish Institute, together with the states of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, organised for the first time an EUSBSR Participation Day on 13 June, back-to-back with the EUSBSR Annual Forum. It was inspired by the success of three Danube Participation Days and served as a pilot project for following EUSBSR Participation Days. Next possibility to participate will be in Tallinn on 6 June 2018, back-to-back to the 9th EUSBSR Annual Forum .

With around 70 participants from municipalities, civil society organisations and businesses, the Participation Day in Berlin concentrated on sustainable tourism development, education, research, employability and integration of refugees, involvement and cooperation as well as communications and networking. Highlights were to have local actors presenting project ideas, receiving feedback from Policy Area Coordinators and meeting potential partners. In Berlin, three Policy Areas/Horizontal Actions were present: education, tourism and capacity building.
The next EUSBSR Annual Forum "After 2020" will take place on 4–5 June 2018 in Tallinn, Estonia.

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