Sharing knowledge and learning from each other at the Annual Event 2019 of the Interreg South Baltic Programme

Sharing knowledge and learning from each other at the Annual Event 2019 of the Interreg South Baltic Programme 
 
Over one hundred participants from Poland, Lithuania, Germany, Denmark and Sweden - project partners, beneficiaries, representatives of local and regional authorities, as well as representatives of non-governmental institutions (NGO) - met on 24-25 September in Ostróda, in Poland. The motto of this year’s event was “Let’s share and learn”. The event was focused on learning from each other, networking and making plans for the future. 


The conference has begun with welcoming words and the Programme’s state of play presented by Dominika Butkiewicz, Head of the Joint Secretariat, who underlined the importance and uniqueness of the Programme and the Baltic Sea as our common heritage. “It is time to find the way to continue looking together in the same direction”, she said. 


The subsequent speeches delivered by Gustaw Marek Brzezin, Marshal of the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship and Magdalena Bednarczyk-Sokół, Deputy Director of Territorial Cooperation Department in the Ministry of Investment and Economic Development also focused on the topic of future cooperation. 


The Joint Secretariat team’s members prepared an interactive game. The game consisted of 10 stations where each of them concerned a different issue or a task. Participants were divided into 10 groups accordingly. In a friendly and entertaining manner, the players of the game had a chance to get to know each other and to verify their knowledge about the Programme, the South Baltic region, and the projects. The outcomes of the groups’ work proved to be valuable information for everyone. 


Later in the conference, the presentation of Manuel Gonzales Evangelista from the Interact Programme touched on capitalisation of projects’ results in practice. The topic triggered lively discussions among participants of the event and had its continuation during workshops the next day. 


The second half of the first day of the conference was rich in leisure activities that supported networking and establishing contacts for future cooperation. Three attractions to choose from – the boat trip on the Drwęckie Lake, sightseeing of the Ostróda Teutonic Castle and relax in the South Baltic Chill & Chat Zone were offered to participants before the evening reception. Numerous regional accents, such as performance of the Pearl of Warmia Folk Dance Group, as well as beverages and food from the Warmia region, gave dinner even more flavour. Music lovers had a chance to check on their ear for music in the music quiz which turned to be a great integrating game. 


On the second day, the participants met at the morning yoga session led by Lina Lindell from the SB Well project. The project aims at promoting sustainable wellbeing tourism in the South Baltic region. The yoga session was followed by a series of three different workshops taking place in parallel. During the workshop about the future of the Programme post 2020 with an external expert, Wiktor Szydarowski, challenges and expectations were discussed. The Programme’s Swedish Contact Points - Johan Lundbäck, Johanna Rönn and Ulrika Melander - led a workshop dedicated to the durability of projects and long-lasting sustainability of results. The third workshop focused on communication, cooperation and capitalisation of projects’ results. Katarzyna Sempołowicz-Lipska, the Communication Officer of the Programme, together with Magdalena Leszczyna-Rzucidło from the Umbrella project,  continued with an exercise on capitalisation from the interactive game which took place the day before. The projects' representatives became more aware that common knowledge and experience is a priceless value and a great base for creating new initiatives. The audience was provided with a lot of inspiration for cooperation, as well as how to join forces and promote projects’ results. 


The two-day annual event was concluded by Witold Kielich, Head of Territorial Cooperation Office in the Marshal’s Office in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship. He underlined the importance of fundaments of Interreg programmes that have been built so far: „it’s crucial to develop capitalisation activities in order to promote achievements and demonstrate the added-value of cooperation carried out so far, use results in order to improve the quality of implementation, to improve delivery into regional policies, make Interreg more visible with tangible results and as well to provide solid inputs to the EU policymakers – from us, not only managing, national or even regional authorities, but us – project partners and implementers. Such input will be particularly important in the framework of EU Programmes post-2020 discussions”.
 
Participants of the Annual Event left Ostróda enriched with concrete knowledge, new contacts and inspiring ideas looking forward to seeing each other again next year in Sweden.

The presentation Capitalisation of projects' results in practice is available in the Interact Library here.

The full photo gallery form the event is available here.

The video for the conference is available here.