School to Work Aims to strengthen transnational cooperation between stakeholders in the Baltic Sea Region in the field of education and work in order to prevent early school leaving and develop support for vulnerable groups of students/youth. www.s2wflagship.eu
Baltic Training Programme Supports the internationalization of vocational education and training as well as entrepreneurship and the internationalization of business. www.baltictrainingprogramme.se
Baltic University Programme Largest university network in BSR focused on sustainable regional development through cooperation in education, research and applied projects www.balticuniv.uu.se
Baltic Sea Labor Forum Aims to promote social dialogue, tripartite structures and cooperation as crucial elements of sustainable growth and social development in the BSR www.bslabour.eu
Baltic Science Network Aims to provide science and research ministries of the Baltic Sea region states with an overall coordination framework to develop and implement science policy in a macro-regional dimension and to ensure a better representation of macro-regional interests on the EU level http://www.baltic-science.org/
On 15-16 June, the 6th Annual Forum of the European Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) entitled "Achieving e-Quality by Connecting the Region", took place in Jurmala, Latvia. The key themes of the event was the future of the EUSBSR, competitiveness of the region and digital connectivity – how information and communication technology is transforming the region and changing peoples' lives.
The Annual Forum is a major gathering of regional experts, government officials, businesses, representatives from non-governmental organisations (NGO), students and academics, and other stakeholders from the Baltic Sea Region that includes Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Poland. The Annual Forum provides an opportunity to discuss common challenges, analyse the overall progress of the EUSBSR and look forward to its future implementation. The Forum included thematic sessions, back-to-back meetings, networking village, seminars and workshops.
Panel discussion on research and funding
PA Education policy area coordinator, Anders Bergström, participated in the panel discussion on Funding Common Priorities in the BSR. In the main hall during the second day of the Annual Forum participants were discussing funding of common priorities within the EUSBSR. Key questions addressed during the workshop were: HOW is the EUSBSR embedded in various programmes and funding sources in the Baltic Sea Region? What tools are foreseen and needed to make cooperation happen on the ground? What are the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and challenges in implementing the commonly agreed priorities? What is the added-value of cooperation?
PA Education was traditionally represented in the Networking village. Changes in the Action Plan found their reflection in the new visual identity and communicational material. During two intense days PA Education coordinators from the Land of Hamburg and the Norden Association in Sweden got a chance to present the results of their work and involve new stakeholders for emerging initiatives and discuss with guests of the stand new possible projects. In the networking village three flagships were displayed: the Baltic University Programme, the Baltic Training Programme, and the Baltic Sea Labour Forum. Furthermore there were three possible flagships: School to Work, Entrepreneurship Lab, and the Baltic Science Network. At the stand guests of the Forum had the opportunity to meet representatives of the flagships, exchange ideas, and broaden their network of contacts. School to Work and Entrepreneurship Lab held thematic discussions and visual presentations of their work.
Speaker’s Corner Presentation of Baltic Science Network
New initiatives in the portfolio PA Education were presented during the forum in Jurmala.
Baltic Science Network – A Political Answer to Current Challenges of Science Policy in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) The questions brought during the discussion in the speakers corner touched upon the vision of macro-regional higher education and research policy in the BSR; prospective of making Baltic Sea Region the most competitive, innovative science Region of the world; ways to increase student and researcher mobility within the BSR; organisation of the more effective lobbying of BSR interests in Brussels.
Speaker’s Corner Presentation of S2W and Entrepreneurship Lab
Another speaker’s corner of PA Education consisted of two discussion blocks covering urgent issues of labour market in the Baltic Sea Region related to flagship initiatives within PA Education.
First block concerned that there are more than five million early school leavers across Europe, facing an unemployment rate of 41%. There is also an increasing number of NEETs (Not in Employment, Education or Training). Young people who fail to finalize their secondary education, early school leavers, are those who have most difficulties finding jobs and thus risk becoming NEETs. To face this challenge School to Work (S2W) was presented. Project coordinators from SALAR told that S2W aims to strengthen transnational cooperation between stakeholders in the Baltic Sea Region in the field of education and work in order to prevent early school leaving and develop support for vulnerable groups of students/youth. During the discussion it was highlighted that the policy gaps and system flaws will be identified and cooperation models once established, jointly worked through in order to develop new solutions, methods and models. The intention of S2W is that through running a multi governance project create capacity building in a macro region.
Second block started with the statement that new jobs are generated mostly from new or young companies, start-ups and SMEs. Talents with entrepreneurial mind-sets needs to be traced early in school, their interest and ability for business needs to be supported and encouraged throughout their educations towards new companies or entrepreneurial development in existing ones. Entrepreneurial skills need to be fostered at all levels of education. Discussion brought up questions which experience already exist and what strategies work.
In this context new initiative The Entrepreneurship Lab was presented. Project coordinator from Uppsala University told that it offers a unique educational experience by connecting businesses, researchers and innovators with students for mastering the craft of entrepreneurship through connection in real-life cases. At the same time, innovators who are struggling with their ideas and inventions and lack the time, can take advantage of entrepreneurship students by letting them develop Business Plans for their existing idea or getting help with kick-starting entrepreneurial processes. The overarching idea is to integrate practice in an otherwise theoretical education, said Mikael Scherdin.
The last module of the HansaECVET project took place during the second week of June in Rovaniemi, Finland. Workshop was opened by Mirva Juntti, Head of Education in Business and Culture Unit of Lapland University of Applied Sciences. The first day of Workshop kicked off with presentation by HansaECVET Project Manager Anders Bergström with the theme “The bigger picture” with the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, the flagship Baltic Training Programme and the HansaECVET project. After that the participants were divided into four groups to have group discussions in the following issues: Match-making Validation Recognition Follow-up Individual projects. In all the groups participants listed some core issues that would increase quality for the system. Evaluations and suggestions for improvements were summarized and presented in the addition to this newsletter.
On the second Workshop day it was time to look forward. First Päivi Holopainen (Foresight Coordinator, Regional Council of Lapland) gave an inspiring speech on the importance of internationalisation of VET and foreseeing the future. After that the participants shared their knowledge and expertise through Learning Café. Following topics were discussed: future development of the work-based learning within VET; challenge to prepare high-skilled professional, enhancement of entrepreneurial capacity among our VET students and discussion of best mobility practices. You can find out more about the results of the work in the addition to this newsletter.
Next step in the project - HansaECVET Final Conference based on the results of HansaECVET a part of the flagship Baltic Training Programme within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. Conference will take place on September, 29 in Stockholm. Participants of the project together with professionals from educational sphere from all countries of BSR region will discuss how market integration in the Baltic Sea Region can be supported by VET, how on-the-job practice can give more than just vocational effects, how the gap between education and the labour market or own start-ups can be closed. The conference is targeting stakeholders such as policy makers, authorities national, regional and local, VET providers (upper secondary and post-secondary), business organisations, companies and VET students.
Second regular this year’s meeting of PA Education with Swedish stakeholders was held in the premises of Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions in Stockholm. The meeting was streamed online for the second time which gave opportunity for all who could not come to Stockholm – follow it in real time or watch it afterwards. Participants of the meeting got news from the EUSBSR mainly on the upcoming Annual Forum in Jurmala and New Action Plan for the strategy, recent updates on the flagships. Besides that, the guide on project funding in the field of Education, Youth and Labour Mobility was presented. All presentations from the meeting can be found here
Two new initiatives were presented. One of them Baltic Science network has an aim to create a forum for cooperation around research policy and increase mobility among researchers together with improvement of work on research infrastructure in the region. The initiative is led by the Ministry of Higher Education and research of Hamburg. The second initiative is called EntrepreneurshipLab, which has a goal, on one hand, develop extensive Master degree programme in Entrepreneurship, and on the other hand, support regional development. The project is now in development phase and involves partners from the BSR. Lead partner in the process is University of Uppsala.
During the meeting participants got a chance to find out about two interesting initiatives functioning in the BSR. Strategic Youth Policy in EuroRegion Baltic (SYPERB) the Regional Council in Kalmar County. The aim of it is to tighten youth cooperation in EuroRegion Baltic ERB based on knowledge gained from surveys and comparative analysis; to use this tool to make joint actions for the benefit of the youngsters; to use this tool in the Baltic Sea Region to compare the situation for young people and to make joint actions based on knowledge. More on SYPERBhere
The Centre for Baltic and Eastern European Studies (CBEES) Södertörn University’s research environment that has a particular focus on studies of the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe and conducts its own research. Tasked with stimulating, coordinating and developing Södertörn University’s research and doctoral education. More info on CBEEShere
“From exclusion to inclusion” Seminar on combating NEETs was organised in the cooperation of The Swedish Public Employment Service and PA Education and took place on 6th of May in Stockholm.
The seminar gathered together representatives of Public Employment Services from all 8 member states within the Baltic Sea region (BSR) to discuss situation with young people who are “Not in Education, Employment and Training” (NEETs).
The day started with the presentations of the best practices, initiatives implemented in all BSR countries and those that are planned for the new ESF period 2014-2020. There was in total eight presentations, one from each country and also one from the Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues (Nordic Council of Ministers). Most of the presented initiatives were supported by the national funds as well as by European Social Fund. You can find all presentations from this event here.
After the overview of work in the member states, participants were divided into groups in order to identify cooperation projects that could involve all or several countries. Three topics were discussed: Identification of NEETs, motivating them to join programmes towards education and/or labour market; guiding, counselling and training programmes preparing NEETs for education and/or labour market - success factors; Programmes supporting NEETs when entering the labour market.
All the results of the discussion groups were gathered and summarized and can be foundhere.
This year’s first regular meeting of PA Education with Swedish stakeholders was held in the premises of Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions in Stockholm. Participants from different regions of Sweden got possibility to follow meeting via web broadcasting. After short introduction of the PA Education, the proposal to the new Action Plan was presented. The revision of the Action Plan for the EUSBSR Strategy has now started and will continue during spring and will be officially approved by the European Commission by the beginning of June 2015. Comments and inputs to the PA Education Action plan has been made and will be considered while preparation of the final draft version.
The discussion followed by the progress report from the flagships; Baltic University Programme, Baltic Training Programme, Baltic Sea Labour Forum. Afterwards two new initiatives were presented.
One of them potential flagship School to Work (S2W) which aims to strengthen transnational cooperation between stakeholders in the Baltic Sea Region in the field of education and work in order to prevent early school leaving and develop support for vulnerable groups of students/youth. Another emerging initiative in Entrepreneurship Lab offers a unique educational experience by connection businesses, researchers and innovators with students for mastering the craft of entrepreneurship through connection in real-life cases. Flagship conducts preparations for establishing a Baltic Sea Network of Entrepreneurship Labs.
Culture.pl, the Pomeranian Film Foundation in Gdynia, the Gdynia Film Festival, and the Gdynia Film School are organising a short-film competition about the Baltic Sea countries – their cultural identity, their history, their society, their transformation. Participants have a month to submit a film lasting 1 to 5 minutes, and are encouraged to reflect on current facets of the Baltic Sea, and how to best present it on film. The competition is open to both professional and amateur filmmakers. Films can be sent until August 25 and should be sent through the form available on Culture.pl. Details and contest regulations available on Culture.pl. To register, click here.
More information can be found by clicking on the links below:
The general objective of the call is to assess and test the need, possible benefits and obstacles for an EU level action supporting a short term intra EU and cross-border mobility for employees from companies, in particular SMEs.
The European Social Fund Network in The Baltic Sea Region (ESF-BSR) is an important network, the first in its kind gathering the Managing Authorities for the ESF in the eight Member States of the Baltic Sea Region. At he meeting in Hamburg on March, 5 and 6 the focus of the agenda was the upcoming calls in the new Programme and how they are adjusted to the priorities of the EU Strategy of the Baltic Sea Region. The Commission was represented by Ms. Sónia de Melo Xavier fromDG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion. Sónia presented the “EU-level platform to facilitate the setting up of transnational partnerships, the exchange of experiences, capacity building and networking, and the capitalisation and dissemination of relevant outcomes”. This platform will provide support also to the ESF-BSN. Mr. Anders Bergström, Priority Area Coordinator PA Education gave a status report on the implementation of the Strategy including the flagships and new initiatives relevant to ESF. He also gave a report in brief on the process of revising the Action Plan for the Strategy. The next meeting in ESF-BSN will be in Jurmala (Latvia) on June, 15, back-to-back to the Annual Forum.
The Baltic Science Network Conference was being held on 19 February 2015 in
Hamburg Senate Guesthouse / Germany.
The Agenda of this Brainstorming Seminar had the following lead questions:
a. Is there an added value of intensified scientific cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region?
b. In which areas or topics is an intensified scientific cooperation necessary?
·Research / Research-infrastructures
·Innovation / Technology transfer
·Politics / Lobbying
c. How and in which structures could we reach our aims and goals? Do we need a “Baltic Science Network” in addition to EU + Nordic Council of Ministers committees?
d. If yes: What are the next steps and what sort of governance structure should a
“Baltic Science Network” have?
After a welcome by Senator Dr. Stapelfeldt and CBSS Director General Jan Lundin, the concept idea “Baltic Science Network” had been presented by Klaus von Lepel, Hamburg Ministry of Science and Research.
A talk about the Dimensions of educational and research co-operation in the Baltic Sea Region – A Status Quo Analysis had been given by
Dr. Paula Lindroos, Former Director Baltic University Programme and
Prof. Kazimierz Musial, Deputy Director of the Institute of Scandinavian Studies from the Gdansk University.
After a vibrant discussion and brainstorming the participants had been working in four groups on specific project questions.
The ideas were very concrete for the project developing:
·Political actions, lobbying: Joint activities in Brussels
·Structure: Window of opportunities
·Education and Mobility: Joint study programmes (Baltic Sea Master)
·Research and innovation: identify barriers for cooperation, research results; region fields of excellence
After the lunch a best practice-example of "Research cooperation within the Central-European Initiative" from outside the region was presented by Alessandro Lombardi, General Secretariat Central European Initiative (CEI).
On February, 4 PA Education with its core group organised a meeting with experts from Directorate Generals relevant for the policy areas of PA Education. The meeting was held in the premises of the Hanse-Office, the representation in Brussels for the Land of Hamburg and the Land of Schleswig-Holstein.
The EU Commission was represented by experts from; DG for Regional and Urban Policy; DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion; DG Education and Culture, DG Grow and DG Research and Innovation. The hosts represented the Land of Hamburg, the Hamburg Institute for Vocational Education and the Norden Association in Sweden.
Mr. Stefan Herms from the Senate Chancellery opened the meeting followed by an introduction of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region by Mr. Anders Bergström, one of the two Priority Area Coordinators. Mr. Bergström continued with an overview and status report of PA Education. The first part of the meeting was finalised with a presentation of the draft new Action Plan made by Mrs. Christiane Shadow, the other Priority Area Coordinator assisted by Mrs. Claudia Baumann from the Senate Chancellery.
The second part of the meeting included a dialogue with the representatives from the EU Commission where they gave feed back and comments to the draft Action Plan on PA Education. The core group got a lot of valuable contributions to the continued work on the document. Another important result of the meeting was that all participants acknowledged the importance of closer cooperation between these Directorate Generals and the Priority Area Coordinators. It was agreed to hold the second meeting this year in the coordinating group in Brussels inviting experts from the EU Commission.
Early school leaving continues to increase in many member states in Europe meaning that we will have a large amount of the upcoming generation without sufficient education and therefore not being able to attract the labour market. For that reason it’s better to prevent early school leaving than having to tackle when the problem has already occurred.The European Council recommends that preventive measures are being taken both in general education and vocational education and training with special attention to groups of youth with an increased risk of becoming early school leavers. The Flagship project School to Work (S2W) aims to strengthen transnational cooperation between stakeholders in the Baltic Sea Region in the field of education and work in order to prevent early school leaving and develop support for vulnerable groups of students/youth. The project will thus contribute to the achievement of relevant targets in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the EU's overall strategy Europe 2020. Policy gaps and system flaws will be identified and cooperation models once established, jointly worked through in order to develop new solutions, methods and models. The initiative will create a common platform of understanding and learning and disseminate different successful methods to deal with the issues around drop outs. The actions performed within the Flagship project will contribute to the Europe 2020 aims of both “smart growth” and “inclusive growth” and are of significant importance for the future of our region. The first part of the initiative was financed by Swedish Institute (SI, Seed money), and for continuing the work with all partners we have achieved funding from the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS). At the moment flagship partners are working for new applications to ESF, SI and Erasmus+ from all countries in the project, to have the ability to work during a longer time. Initiator of this flagship is SALAR (The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions). At the moment there are 35 stakeholders involved from all of the countries in the Baltic Sea Area. 5 will be responsible partners for one of each focus area. SALAR will host one part, preventive measures. Swedish Board of Youth Affairs will be responsible for Statistics and Measures, Norden Association are responsible for Re-integrative measures, Ministry of Labour, Family, Social and Family Affairs Integration in Hamburg, together with GSM- Come In project will host the area One Stop Shop, and stakeholders from the Region Stavostwe Powiatowe Wolominskie Voivodeship in Poland will be responsible for Guidance and counseling.
Presentation of the flagship working groups (Sweden Salar Scool to Work) tgether with information on activities of the National Employment Agencies in all BSR countries here
Interview with project coordinator you can read here
We asked Katarina Danielsson, S2W project coordinator from SALAR, about the background of the project, challenges and her personal experiences.
Where does School to Work originate from?
S2W is originated from the Swedish national project for combating early school leaving called Plug in. Sweden has a large number of students with high levels of absenteeism and who leave upper secondary school without a diploma providing basic qualifications for higher education. In the long term, many of these students risk being excluded from society, with no foothold in the labor market. The objective for Plug In was to halve the number of students who fail to complete their upper secondary studies within four years in the participating regions. One interim objective was to reduce unemployment among young people who do not return to education despite the efforts made. Main role of SALAR was to develop the overall framework for the project and to collect and analyze results at national level. At the regional level the project was managed by 5 Autonomous Regional Associations. They had a mainly coordinating role; coordinating the development of local initiatives and report to the national level.
What are the main outcomes from Plug In?
Since Plug In started in 2012, there was a full focus on trying out methods of providing more young people with the conditions to complete their studies. This major initiative and all the work put in are now starting to produce results. Half of the participating municipalities believe that school attendance has increased for the target group. Along with that, the evaluation of the process shows that the project so far has contributed a number of positive interim results that benefit the project’s overall objective: - Plug In’s local workshops have provided many young people with better conditions for completing their studies. - The number of NEETs identified has increased – work on the municipal responsibility to be informed about NEETs is highlighted in particular as an area where there has been development. - Tools have been developed to prevent students leaving school early. The municipalities have also been given more opportunities to make use of these tools in their work. - Collaboration on the issue of early school leavers has increased, both vertically and horizontally. - The problem of students leaving school early and the necessity to work proactively have emerged on the political agenda and are starting to appear in various forms of steering documents. One important element of Plug In is PlugInnovation.se. This is where the methods being developed and tried out in the municipalities involved are brought together. The website also makes research in this field available, along with ongoing development work on statistics, which aims to produce a prototype for student follow-up. During the winter of 2014 Plug Innovation has conducted a series of in-depth analyses to find and summarize success factors from the interventions used in the different sub-projects. The findings so far have identified some important beneficial factors when working with at-risk students: - Strengthened ties to the school - A holistic focus on the individual - Flexibility in terms of organization and content of teaching For those young people who have dropped out of school the initial findings show that routines for follow-up and intense individualized measures to bring students back to education are successful. PlugInnovation will continue to develop the tentative findings throughout the course of the project.
What are the focuses of Plug In 2? What are the remaining challenges you would like to address?
For all areas, we focus on steering issues, and include the whole chain of actors: local politicians, local administrators, principals, teachers and pupils. In the projects we have different dissemination activities such as participating in conferences, publications support for specific municipalities etc. OECD has made a case study of Plug In for the Local Strategies for Youth Employment Project. The report says “The overall framework was developed at a national level, moderated at the regional level and translated into individual action project at the local, municipal and school level. This complex governance structure is not without problems but appears to have contributed to the achievements of the sub-goals, notably the development of processes of collaboration, the knowledge about what works and competencies to implement specific measures.”
From your experiences of Plug In, what can a Baltic Sea wide flagship like S2W contribute with to prevent yearly school leaving and combat NEETs?
The core part of Plug In is the more than 70 initiatives or projects developed and implemented at the local, municipal or school level. This multi-level solution has so far proved a success. Over the three years of the project, more than 7,500 young people will take part in around 500,000 hours of Plug In work. This makes Plug In the largest, most complex project dealing with the issue of early school leavers in Sweden. It is also a major initiative in a European context. Through the knowledge we gained from the Plug in project, that a multi-level management can be very successful in this type of project, we see it as an option to do it in a bigger scale in the Flagship School to Work.
What has been most challenging when forming this flagship?
To gather so many stakeholders from different countries with both different laws, systems for education and project experiences is of course challenging. But since all partners have shared the vision of the importance of preventing early school leaving and find ways to support young people in the risk of social exclusion, the work to form the flagship and agree on themes for all partners has been quite undemanding. The most challenging part for us as the project manager has definitely been to find finance for all parts, and partners. That work is still going, but we begin to see solutions in several areas. It has been a great help to have so many knowledgeable partners in this area with us, like the Nordic Association, national authorities and the ESF.
This year’s second coordinating group meeting in PA Education was held on December, 11 in Hamburg. The meeting was hosted by the Hamburg Institute for Vocational Education and Training. Director of the Institute, Mr. Rainer Schulz and Priority Area Coordinator Ms. Christiane Shadow welcomed guests and pointed out the importance of international cooperation in the areas of education youth and labour mobility for all the countries in the Baltic Sea Region. Meeting was attended by representatives from the European Commission, Ministries of Education and Research, governmental agencies, European Social Fund, research institutions, international and non-governmental organisations from Austria, Germany, Estonia, Lithuania and Sweden. First part of the meeting covered the state of play in PA Education. The Priority Area Coordinators reported on results of the work conducted during 2014: policy meetings and discussions, networking and communication activities, current and emerging flagships. Furthermore there was a report on communication channels promoting the work that has been accomplished. For the meeting a discussion paper was prepared outlining some possible actions to be included in the new Action Plan. The plan will be adopted in spring next year. Participants discussed in groups. The results of this exercise was summarized, and will be taken into account, in the first draft AP for PA Education to be presented to the coordination group for comments early next year. The second part of the meeting, after lunch started with included with an overview of funding instruments in the new programme period 2014-2020 relevant for PA Education policy areas. The draft of the document will be finalized and available on our website in the beginning of next year. Further on Priority Area Coordinator Mr. Anders Bergström together with several flagship leaders gave status reports from current flagships, as well as presented emerging and possible flagships. Report, presentations of flagships, memo note and list of participants from the meeting you can find and download here.
One of our focus areas are entrepreneurship in education. So far we have one flagship, the Baltic Training Programme supporting entrepreneurship within vocational education and training (VET). The Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship-Young Enterprise & the Danish Ministry of Education organised the Copenhagen Policy Innovation Summit on Entrepreneurship Education on November, 19. The purpose was to create a stronger network in the Baltic Sea Region, as well as to explore potential areas for a closer collaboration to promote strategic work with Entrepreneurship Education. The focus of the summit was sharing experiences with national strategies for Entrepreneurship Education and training in formal education with a specific focus on educator development. Exploring how Entrepreneurship can be a part of school curriculum and have a positive effect on the teaching and the subjects in the school system. In 2015 we will continue the discussions in the now formed network on possible flagship initiatives in this area. You can read more from the Summit at www.bsr-ee.com.
PA Education was represented at a conference organised by Priority Area 9 (PA9) “Investing in People and Skills” within the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR). PA 9 is partly corresponding to PA Education in the EUSBSR. This PA is coordinated by the Republic of Austria together with the Republic of Moldova, involving a wide network of stakeholders from 14 countries in the Danube Region. Main activities, projects and actions of PA 9 are covering the policy areas: general education, labour market and marginalised communities. At the conference, held in Vienna on 6th and 7th November, participants were invited to report on results, outcomes and impacts of activities carried out during the past three years. In the working sessions participants analysed outcomes of the projects and further steps in order to address common challenges for the future and to discuss and develop innovative policies, projects and networks. The participants represented all 14 countries of the EUSDR. The conference was also attended by Mr. Klaus Körner, from DG Education and Culture who besides presenting the importance of the macro regional strategies from the European prospective, participated in the working sessions, giving valuable inputs for the participants. For further details on the PA9 “Investing in people and skills” and for the results of the conference, please visit web page.
The Baltic Sea Network – European Social Fund (BSN-ESF) was initiated by the Swedish ESF Council, Managing Authority for the European Social Fund (ESF) in Sweden. The network started its activities in 2010 and hold meetings twice a year. On November, 6 the meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Finance in Latvia. At the meeting we were updated on the respective Operational Programmes (OP) as well as the Trans National Component (TNC). Furthermore Director Ms. Andriana Sukova-Tosheva from DG Employment updated us on the bigger picture in regards to the opening of the new programme. One part of these meetings is always a thematic seminar. In this meeting the topic was Social investments and Social Regimes in the Baltic Sea Region, with Professor Joakim Palme from Uppsala University as speaker. We also got an opportunity to introduce PA Education and our activities focused on future funding by the ESF.
Our societies are aging rapidly, with fewer births and longer life expectancies. This demographic shift presents challenges in the realm of politics, employment, education and social services, among others.
A new initiative has been taken by the Estonian Non-formal Adult Education Association. The overall aim with the initiative is to meet the challenges of an aging population and thus need to enable older people (55+) to stay longer in the labour market or become entrepreneurs.
This initiative is based on the results of two previous projects; QuickIGA (www.quickiga.eu) and BestAgers Lighthouses (www.best-agers-lighthouses.eu). These projects were both funded by the INTERREG IVB Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013.
On October, 7 this possible flagship was scooped at a workshop in Tallinn gathering Estonian organisations with different experiences from lifelong learning. The workshop resulted in four thematic areas to be addressed;
Statistics / analysis / monitoring,
"Age Management" (aimed at employees and their employers)
- Career advice
- Attitudes in the workplace for older workers
Education (aimed at educational institutions)
- Teacher training / development of new methods for learning
- The development of courses for polytechnics and universities
- Training / coaching / financing
- Mix of young and older entrepreneurs (mentoring)
The next step will be to prepare an application for seed funding. If you are interested in this initiative please contact Ms. Tiina Jääger at email@example.com.
The stakeholder seminar in Warsaw on November, 18 gathered 60 participants representing organisations from different parts of Poland. The seminar was organised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and hosted in the beautiful Fokal palace. The flagships, emerging flagships, possible flagships and new initiatives were partly presented by Polish project partners. During the lunch new initiatives were discussed and new contacts were made. This concept with stakeholders seminars will continue next year, hopefully will we be able to organize these events once a year in each member state.
The Baltic Sea Strategy aims at reaching more stakeholders.
Regional meetings will attract stakeholders from several sectors and levels of governance to learn more about what the Baltic Sea Strategy can offer in the form of a framework for effective cooperation. Two regional meetings have already taken place, in Umeå and in Hässleholm.
More information about the event in Hässleholm can be found here.