2nd virtual networking meeting and European Cooperation Day celebration

“Project partners and local society – examples of involvement in cross-border cooperation” was the topic of the second virtual networking meeting organised by the Joint Secretariat.

After a big success of the first such meeting which took place in April 2021, the project partners expressed their interest in more of this type of networking opportunity.

The second virtual networking meeting was intentionally scheduled for 21 September "European Cooperation Day", to celebrate its 10th anniversary and to exchange examples of cooperation between projects and local communities.

Cooperation can be seen in different ways and in different configurations: through EU programmes, its projects, different institutions or project partners, or through cooperation between projects and citizens, e.g. local societies or communities.

The first part of the meeting started with a discussion between five project representatives and moderetated by Katarzyna Sempołowicz-Lipska, the Programme’s Communication and Capitalisation Officer. Through the discussion we wanted to show that many good things happen when we join forces with local people. Examples of the involvement of local communities into their projects' activities were presented by:

Monika Klein, Media Dizajn Association – CTCC - Creative Traditional Companies Cooperation (SME development/innovativeness), Creative Clusters - Initiating a network of interacting creative clusters in the SB Region (Capacity building), Johanna – Joint staff qualification in SB destinations to increase the skilled workforce in the SBS and by that ensure a sustainable SCS development in the SBS (Skills and development)

David Andreas Mana-Ay Christensen, BOFA – a waste management company based in Ronne on the Island of Bornholm – WASTEMAN - Integrated Sustainable Waste Management Systems decreasing pollution discharges in the South Baltic area (Green technologies)

Magda Leszczyna-Rzucidło – the Association of Polish Communes of Euroregion BalticUmbrella - Boosting cross-border cooperation capacities of local actors in South Baltic Sea.  (Capacity building)

Dorota Pyć – the University of GdanskSEAPLANSPACE - Marine spatial planning instruments for sustainable marine governance (Skills and development)

Gabriella Johansson – the Kalmar County MuseumCROSSROADS in History (Capacity building)

In the second part of the meeting, participants were asked to move to breakout rooms to continue the discussion, where they gave their own examples of engaging local communities in cross-border cooperation and had a chance to get to know each other better.

The conclusions of the discussions were noted by Project Officers and are available here for further reference.

At the end of the meeting, participants could check their knowledge about Europe and the South Baltic region in a short quiz. The first five people who answered correctly were awarded a kit of branded gadgets to celebrate 10 years of the European Cooperation Day.

The aim of the meeting was to connect not only the Programme’s stakeholders but also local communities and organisations that cooperate with EU-funded projects. At the point where a new programming perspective is around the corner, this is crucial for beneficiaries to have the opportunity to meet and talk and to be able to establish new relations which might bring ideas for new projects.

Solid experience and significant expertise of the speakers, together with the openness of other participants and their willingness to talk, made the meeting a great success. The same common values and goals, and variety of participants' backgrounds created a unique experience for everyone involved.