Education: News and Events Education: News and Events Wed, 24 Oct 2018 00:33:11 +0000 GroupSpaces Education: News and Events Welcome to Flagship S2W conference and study visit in Stockholm <div class="ugc"><p><strong>The flagship School to Work, one of the flagships within PA Education, invites participants to the conference Flagship School to Work: Navigation and Guidance. The conference is followed by a study visit in Stockholm.</strong></p> <p><strong>YOU ARE</strong> most welcome to take part in the conference, feed in ideas on topics to be discussed in the groups or learn more on what has been achieved so far in the Baltic Sea Region. The conference takes place on Monday, June 18 and the study visit will be on Tuesday, June 19.<br /><br /> You are welcome to find information about sessions, venues and times in agendas of conference and study visit (click on links below for attached files).<br /><br /><strong>REGISTRATION</strong> to both events is available until the 6th of June. Please follow the registration link below.<br /><br /><strong>NOTE</strong> that your participation will be confirmed by organisers in form of an e-mail within three working days after receiving your application. There are limited places available for the study visit.<br /><br /> The conference gathers public institutions, municipalities, schools, civil society organizations and private companies that work to prevent early school leaving, to integrate young people who are neither in education, employment nor training and newly arrived refugees into the labour market in the Baltic Sea Region. The conference is organized by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions who is the leader of the Flagship in policy area Education in the Baltic Sea Region.<br /><br /> More information about the Flagship School to Work can be found on our website <a href=""></a><br /><br /><a href="">School to Work, Conference Program, June 18</a><br /><br /><a href="">School to Work, Study Visit, June 19</a><br /><br /><a href="">Click here to register!</a><br /><br />  </p></div> 2018-05-21T11:10:17+00:00 2018-05-21T11:10:00+00:00 ECVET in practice - theme of conference in Latvia <div class="ugc"><p><strong>Smiltene Technical School invites to an international conference, "ECVET in Practice - Challenges and Solutions" in Smiltene, Latvia, from May 28th to May 30th, 2018.</strong></p> <p>During the conference the results will be shared<br /> - of the strategic partnership project <a href="">“ECVET Units as Initial or Additional Training to the European Veterinary Assistant Diploma”</a>, where the developers, performers and participants of the project will be sharing their experience and will interpret the future;<br /> - the current trends in vocational education of Latvia, including modular education;<br /> - Work environment-based learning experience;<br /> - Experience and trends of Estonia, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden and Lithuania in ECVET, vocational education and adult education.<br /><br /> On May 28th there will be an exclusive possibility<br /> - to take part in the master class "Coaching as a competence to support international vocational assignments, led by Anastasia Nekrasova – a learning designer and developmental coach, "Intelligent Mind-sets", Sweden;<br /> - to use the "free microphone", meet potential partners from different schools and enterprises for future projects, ask questions and make suggestions, as well as get to know one of the 21st Century vocational education provider of Latvia, and get acquainted with Latvian culture and cuisine.</p></div> 2018-04-30T09:48:28+00:00 2018-04-30T09:48:00+00:00 Stakeholder seminar, Vilnius: With focus on education <div class="ugc"><p>There was a great interest in the Baltic Sea Strategy among the participants attending the PA Education stakeholder seminar in Vilnius early in March.</p> <p><a href="">CLICK HERE</a> for more information about the seminar<br /><br />  </p></div> 2018-03-15T12:47:11+00:00 2018-03-15T12:47:00+00:00 PA Education organizes three new stakeholder seminars! <div class="ugc"><p><span style="font-size:1em;"><strong>PA Educaton organizes three stakeholder seminars during March, in Vilnius on March 2, in Riga on March 15 and in Tallinn on March 19.</strong></span></p> <p>Participants will first hear about Baltic cooperation and the work of the existing flagships. After that, the idea is to launch a creative discussion in five groups on following topics: early school leaving, improved quality of vocational education through internship and entrepreneurship, higher education in an international perspective, including labor market and integration of refugees.<br /><br /> Participants also have the opportunity to present and discuss their own project proposals. At the end of the event, there will also be an opportunity for individual consultation with the Policy Area Coordinator, who can provide valuable input for the development of the project ideas.</p> <p><strong>VILNIUS, March 2</strong></p> <p><a href="">Please click here to view the programme</a></p> <p><a href="">Please click here to register for the stakeholder seminar in Vilnius.</a></p> <p><strong>RIGA, March 15</strong></p> <p style="font-size:12.48px;"><a href="">Please click here to view the programme</a></p> <p style="font-size:12.48px;">P<a href="">lease click here to register for the stakeholder seminar in Riga.</a></p> <p><strong>TALLINN, March 19</strong></p> <p style="font-size:12.48px;"><a href="">Please click here to view the programme</a></p> <p style="font-size:12.48px;"><a href="">Please click here to register for the stakeholder seminar in Tallinn.</a></p></div> 2018-01-23T14:22:45+00:00 2018-01-23T14:22:00+00:00 Aligning Funding for Policy Impact <div class="ugc"><p><strong>“If we fix good multi-level coordination of discussions and activities, we might eliminate the need of persuading each other of the value, and move to more collaborative mode of engagement.” This was the conclusion of the open space exercise starting with the question “How will you convince the holder of national EU Funds to invest in macro-regional strategies?”</strong></p> <p>National Coordinators, Policy Area Coordinators and Horizontal Action Coordinators, together with representatives of Managing Authorities in European Structural and Investment Funds, 54 participants in total, gathered for the first module of the EUSBSR Support in Riga.<br /><br /> This module will be followed by five more in this capacity building programme for coordinators in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. The programme is based on peer learning with three prioritie: The topic for the 1st module was “Aligning Funding for Policy Impact” with discussions such as cooperation across functions: Alignment in Practice Exploring alignment of funding in smaller cross-functional teams, with real-life formats that PACs and HACs work in and Beyond 2020: feeding forward to the new funding period. Designing a collaboration interface between PACs/HACs, National Coordinators and the EU funding programmes.<br /><br /> Next module will be held in Tallinn on 12 and 13 December with the topic; Monitoring & Evaluation in the EUSBSR: WHAT? WHY? HOW?</p></div> 2017-12-01T00:31:05+00:00 2017-12-01T00:31:00+00:00 New call: Seed funding for projects in the Baltic Sea Region <div class="ugc"><p><strong>Would your organisation like to start or expand collaborations that contribute to sustainable economic, environmental or social development in the Baltic Sea Region? The Swedish Institute will soon open a new call for applications. </strong> </p> <p> Swedish organisations can apply for seed funding from the Swedish Institute in order to cooperate with organisations in the Baltic Sea Region countries and organisations in the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries.<br /> The project activities that the Swedish Institute supports via ‘seed funding’ must be clearly linked to one or more of the challenges identified in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. The projects should help to create conditions for long-term, sustainable relations in the region. <br /> The next call will open soon and close on 13 February 2018. More information about seed funding can be found on the website of the Swedish Institute.<br /><a href="">You can find more information via this link.</a></p></div> 2017-11-30T23:28:02+00:00 2017-11-30T23:28:00+00:00 ESF Transnational Platform publishes a newsletter <div class="ugc"><p><strong>The ESF Transnational Platform helps stakeholders using the ESF to find and collaborate with partners in other countries. The platform was established by the EU Commission in order to support transnational cooperation in the ESF.</strong></p> <p>The Platform runs nine thematic mutual learning networks and facilitates coordinated calls for proposals. It publishes articles, newsletters and technical dossiers, as well organising an annual event.<br /><br /><a href="">Click here to find much more information about the platform.</a><br /><br /> The latest newsletter is devoted to the annual conference which took place in Brussels on 1-2 June 2017. <a href="">Click here to download this and other newsletters</a>.</p></div> 2017-11-02T14:49:54+00:00 2017-11-02T14:49:00+00:00 Call for proposals under Erasmus+ programme <div class="ugc"><p><strong>The European Commission has announced a call for proposals under the Erasmus+ programme KA3, Support for policy reform, Joint qualifications in vocational education and training (VET).</strong><br /><br /> The overall objectives of the call are, on the one hand, to increase the employability of young people and to contribute to the development of a highly skilled, qualified and mobile workforce from which companies should also benefit and, on the other hand, to support joint developments in VET in Europe and strengthen overall its quality, relevance and attractiveness.<br /><br /> The specific objective of the call is to support the preparation or setting up of joint VET qualifications including at higher level or the improvement of such existing qualifications. The transnational qualifications should comprise strong work-based learning and a mobility component, address learning outcomes, quality assurance and proper recognition while making use of relevant European tools and instruments.<br /><br /> Against the background of high youth unemployment, skills mismatch and shortages as well as the need for higher level skills at sectoral level, joint VET qualifications have the potential to address these challenges and ensure that VET response better to labour market needs.<br /><br /><a href="">Click here for more information about the call.</a></p></div> 2017-10-29T23:36:23+00:00 2017-10-29T23:36:00+00:00 A difficult transition must be made easier <div class="ugc"><p><strong>The transition from school to work is one of the most difficult periods in the life of a young person. Even from a European societal perspective, the difficulties for young people to establish themselves in the labor market is one of our major political challenges.</strong></p> <p>School to Work is a process, so called flagship, within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, Policy Area Education. In this flagship, stakeholders should work together, within networks and projects, to find common solutions and good examples of policies that lead to better transition from school to work. The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) leads the Flagship School to Work.<br /><br /><strong>Three platforms focus on different groups<br /></strong><br /> The work at the Flagship is organized in three knowledge platforms. They have a focus on three different groups of people. One of the knowledge platforms is acitve in area of prevention of early school leaving and thus has a focus to young people who are 16 to 20 years old.<br /><br /> The second Flagship has a focus to those young people who are in a situation when they have no employment, education nor training.<br /><br /> And the third knowledge platform, which is also the latest one, assembles knowledge and expertise in work with integration of newly arrived refugees.<br /><br /> The knowledge platforms on prevention of early school leaving and integration of newly arrived refugees is led by the Division of Education of City Turku. The knowledge platform on integration of young people in NEET situation is managed by Norden Association in Sweden.<br /><br /><strong>New membership levels</strong></p> <p>At the beginning of the summer, a large number of stakeholders, public and private organizations and civil society representatives, were invited to find common denominations for continued cooperation. At this time, three levels of membership were also presented.<br /><br /> - The first level, Associate Members, can include stakeholders, municipalities and schools that are interested in projects and in learning something new, says Inta Edgarsson at SALAR. The second level includes among others, those who already work with projects and who need more expert support and knowledge about new methods.<br /> Stakeholders at this level may be interested in running projects under the ESF, who announced a call for transnational cooperation within youth employment.<br /><br /> The third level is strategic. This level consists of, among others, ministries, employment agencies and ESF, working together to support the development of new methods. In a first part of the work, a mapping of current activities is done to see what's actually been done.<br /><br /> - We are learning more about specific activities conducted by our members, how they are organizing them, what kind of personal approach they have towards the young people and how they are doing the follow ups, says Inta Edgarsson.<br /><br /> This autumn, many activities are being planned within the framework of the Flagship School to Work. One example is a visit to Turku, Finland, where around 20 participants from the Baltic Sea countries will study good examples of labour market integration, with focus on one stop shop for young people who need support and on how to increase the attractiveness of Vocational Education and Training.<br /><br /> More information about Flagship School to Work may be found <a href="">at SALARs website.</a></p></div> 2017-09-29T08:48:59+00:00 2017-09-29T08:48:00+00:00 Baltic Sea Region cooperates for better integration and more jobs <div class="ugc"><p><strong>The countries in the Baltic Sea Region will work together to improve the integration of migrants and vulnerable groups in the labor market, combat early school leaving, raise youth employment, secure knowledge supply and counteract the effects of an ageing population. Behind the decision on in-depth cooperation are all governments around the Baltic Sea, Iceland and Norway.</strong></p> <p>Labor Market Ministers, that are responsible for cooperation, have adopted a declaration that is supported by a wide range of parties: the declaration text has been worked out by the Swedish Institute through the Baltic Leadership Program, BLP, as well as the Baltic Sea Labor Forum, BSLF, which consists of both workers and employers organizations, researchers, civil society organizations and authorities at national, regional and local levels. BSLF is a flagship within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, Policy Area Education, coordinated by the Norden Association and the City of Hamburg. Common objectives include reducing poverty, all forms of inequality, unemployment and tearing barriers to inclusion in the labor market.</p> <p><strong>Common problems despite differences</strong></p> <p>Although the Baltic States economies are different, many of the problems are common. This was evident during the Berlin meeting when the Baltic countries adopted the declaration of cooperation. Integration of migrants is an area that almost all countries identified as important. Several of the participants emphasized the importance of free labor mobility, as a way of managing skills.</p> <p>Countries with strong economies can, by attracting highly skilled workers, solve some of the skills needs. But there is a backside to this: Emigration of highly skilled people is a big problem in, for example, Lithuania. Many well-educated young people leave the country in search of a better life in Britain, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Germany. Lithuania hopes that, in the context of closer Baltic cooperation, the countries will find common denominators and good examples of solutions.</p> <p>"It is important that those who move get safe and secure working conditions, where trade unions and employers are important players," said Ėglè Radišauskienė, Deputy Labor Market Minister in Lithuania. She also hopes for Baltic cooperation to create new jobs in Lithuania and that information may be disseminated to Lithuanians abroad about good living conditions if they return to their home country.</p> <p><strong>Russia is experiencing both sides of the coin</strong></p> <p>In Russia, both dimensions of the mobility of labor are present: The economic strength is unevenly distributed in the country. Highly educated young people leave economically weaker areas and help fill the needs of well-educated labor in economically stronger areas of the country. The economically weaker parts suffer from this migration.</p> <p>"This is an important issue for us and we are very interested in the cooperation," said Denis Vasilyev, deputy director of the Federal Labor Market Service in Russia.</p> <p><strong>The labor market requires new skills</strong></p> <p>Torben Albrecht, State Secretary at the Ministry of Labor in Germany, highlighted digitization and demographic changes as topics for Baltic cooperation.</p> <p>"We do not think robots and computers will take all the jobs, but many jobs disappear and new ones are created, which require other skills. Here it becomes interesting to learn from each other how to handle the skills supply.</p> <p><strong>Latvia focuses on vulnerable groups</strong></p> <p>Ingus Alliks, State Secretary in Latvia, said that the country prioritizes integration of vulnerable groups and looks forward to the exchange of good, evidence-based practices. He was also concerned about the consequences of an aging population:</p> <p>"Employers have a key role to play in creating an accessible labor market, where older people can also work with good conditions.</p> <p><strong>Work at full speed</strong></p> <p>This autumn, work in thematic working groups starts as a common learning process around the Baltic Sea. The groups include actors from local, regional, national, public and private actors as well as civil society. Annica Dahl, State Secretary at the Ministry of Labor in Sweden, looks forward to the deepening cooperation:</p> <p>"Now we have a platform for common priorities in the labor market. I think the most important thing is to learn from each other. An expert group is set up consisting of politicians and experts in these areas. We will see what results will come out of it.</p></div> 2017-09-28T17:26:42+00:00 2017-09-28T17:26:00+00:00 Cedefop call for tender on “Complementary pathways for adult refugees" <div class="ugc"><p><strong>Cedefop has launched a call for tender on “Complementary pathways for adult refugees: the role of VET, skills and qualifications”.</strong></p> <p>This call has been published in the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union 2017/S 130-265064 of 11/07/2017.<br /><br /><strong>Deadline of submitting tenders:</strong> 08/09/2017 (17h00 for hand-delivered tenders).<strong><br /></strong><br /> Requests for additional information/clarification should be received by 30/08/2017.<br /><br /> The answers to such requests, if any, will be published on the call page, therefore please visit Cedefop's website frequently for updates.<br /><a href="">Click here to find all related tender documents.</a><br /><br /> We would like to kindly ask you to disseminate this information to all those who might be interested.</p></div> 2017-07-24T09:32:17+00:00 2017-07-24T09:32:00+00:00 Coordination Group met in Berlin <div class="ugc"><p>The PA Education Coordination Group met in Berlin, in connection to the Annual Forum. The group discussed current topics, the status within the flagships and future work.</p> <p>You can find material from the meeting by following links below:<br /><br /> - Coordination Group meeting: <a href="">Programme</a><br /><br /><strong><span style="font-size:1.4em;">Presentations</span></strong><br /> - <a href="">Baltic Science Network</a><br /> - <a href="">Baltic Training Programme</a><br /> - <a href="">Erasmus+</a><br /> - <a href="">BSR Smart Life</a><br /><br />  </p></div> 2017-07-05T13:26:26+00:00 2017-07-05T13:26:00+00:00 A successful day for better cooperation <div class="ugc"><p><strong>A lot of hope is attached to regional cooperation and its ability to pull EU out of current difficulties, connected to Brexit and the refugee crisis.</strong></p> <p>Cooperation must get closer to the people and include organizations at all levels in society, local, regional, national, NGOs and academia. EUSBSRs first Participation Day ever, an idea that originated in the Danube Strategy, took place in Berlin in connection to this years Annual Forum. The arrangement gave new stakeholders possibility to meet experienced stakeholders and discuss new projects.<br /><br /><a href=""><strong>CLICK HERE</strong></a><strong> to read more about Participation Day 2017 in Berlin</strong>.</p></div> 2017-06-29T22:09:03+00:00 2017-06-29T22:09:00+00:00 Norden Association is looking for two subcontractors for an ESF funded transnational project dealing with integration of NEETs <div class="ugc"><p>"Integrate NEETs" project is part of the "School to Work" flagship (S2W), within the EU Baltic Sea Region Strategy (<span style="font-size:12.48px;">EUSBSR)</span><span style="font-size:12.48px;"> and</span><span style="font-size:12.48px;"> policy area Education (PA Education). The flagship aims to reduce the number of early school leavers as well as the number of NEETs (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) youngsters who neither work nor study in the Baltic Sea Region. </span><span style="font-size:11.5pt;font-family:Calibri;background-color:transparent;white-space:pre-wrap;">The project offers a platform for common experience and knowledge sharing, method and policy development across national borders in the Nordic region and the Baltic Sea Region. A structured learning based on the principle of multilevel governance involving practitioners, officials and politicians as well as private sector. </span><span style="font-size:12.48px;">The contract relates to the services within the framework of the project.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12.48px;">NB! </span>Only Swedish applicants are eligible for this task.<br /><br /> See request for proposals here<br /><a href="">Anbudsförfrågan_BSR_INTEGRATE_NEETs_fi<wbr />nal.pdf</a><br />  </p></div> 2017-05-05T12:54:03+00:00 2017-05-05T12:54:00+00:00 Register for Annual Forum and Participation Day in Berlin! <div class="ugc"><p><strong>The registration for the Annual Forum in Berlin is now open. Please, register as soon as possible, the number of participants is limited.<br /> The theme of this years Annual Forum is Connectivity. This choice of motto emphasizes the necessity to intesify contacts both within the Baltic Sea region and with neighboring regions.</strong><strong><br /><br /></strong>You will find more information about the Annual Forum och the EUSBSR website.<br /><a href="">Click here</a> to register for Annual Forum.<br /><br /> 19th Baltic Development Summit will be arranged back to back with the Annual Forum, on the morning of 13 June. Note that the process of registration for the Annual Forum and Baltic Development Forum is two staged.</p> <p><a href="">Click here</a> for more information and registration.</p> <p><span style="font-size:1.4em;"><strong>PARTICIPATION DAY</strong></span></p> <p><strong>Within the framework of the EU Baltic Sea Strategy and the Annual Forum in Berlin, a ”Participation Day" will be organized for the first time. This is a seminar that aims to enable local, both public and non-profit stakeholders to get in touch with stakeholders that already work within the strategy and its transnational development processes.</strong></p> <p>During the seminar local stakholders are given the opportunity to submit proposals for new initiatives and projects. The concept of "Participation Day" was launched three years ago within the Danube strategy, and we have now also decided to test it.</p> <p>Here you can find the link to the invitation (<a href="">EUSBSRParticipationDayInv.pdf</a>)and the program (<a href="">ParticipationDayProg.pdf</a>).</p> <p><a href=""><span style="font-size:1.4em;"><strong>Click here</strong></span></a> for the form where you can register your interest, describe your project proposal or any other initiative that you would like to develop within the framework of the Baltic Sea Strategy.</p> <p><strong>Last day for application is May 5</strong>.<br /> Additional information is available in the attached documents.</p> <p>We would be grateful if you would like to diseminate the invitation to organizations in your network that might be interested in participating in the seminar. Don´t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions:</p> <p><a href="">Anders Bergström</a><br /> Policy Area Coordinator/Horizontal Action Coordinator<br /> PA Education/HA Capacity</p></div> 2017-04-16T20:57:24+00:00 2017-04-16T20:57:00+00:00 Strategy Forum in Berlin <div class="ugc"><p>The 8<sup>th</sup> Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region will take place at the premises of the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin on 13 and 14 June 2017. The general subject of the forum will be “Connectivity”. “Connectivity in a broad political sense highlights the necessity to further intensify contacts in the Baltic Sea region and to develop a better awareness of each other’s perspectives and sensitivities. It includes the totality of the Baltic Sea region. It is a prerequisite to enable confidence building with neighboring regions. It also concerns an efficient and comprehensive collaboration between all levels of government. Connectivity is essential for today’s research activities as well as for cultural exchange including tourism. Connectivity has an important infrastructural dimension - be it in the area of transport, energy or communication. It is the basis for modern business, which is network based and outward looking.” During the forum around 20 seminars will take place, with approximately 800 participants. </p> <!--EndFragment--></div> 2016-12-13T15:52:51+00:00 2016-12-13T15:52:00+00:00 Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference <div class="ugc"><p>The 25<sup>th</sup> BSPC took place in Riga, Latvia and was opened by H.E. Mr Raimonds Vējonis, President of the Republic of Latvia. The focus of the conference, with around 200 delegates was, to pass a resolution on developing the Baltic Sea Region as a role model for future high quality education and labour. (<a href=""><wbr />lution-final-eng/</a>) The 26<sup>th</sup> BSPC will take place in Hamburg on 3-5 September 2017. The focus will be on sustainable tourism, democracy and participation and science, education and youth. Our flagship “Baltic Science Network” had been invited to the meeting of the Standing Committee in Hamburg, to present their flagship and to discuss their involvement in the next conference. </p> <!--EndFragment--></div> 2016-12-13T15:32:46+00:00 2016-12-13T15:32:00+00:00 Working together with EUSDR <div class="ugc"><p><strong><span style="color:#212121;">EUSDR PA9 | 4th International Stakeholder Conference - 5th October 2016 - </span>Investing in People and Skills in the Danube Region: Towards a New Dynamic for Socio-Economic Development</strong><strong><span style="color:#212121;"> </span></strong></p> <p><span style="color:rgb(35,35,35);">The 4th International Stakeholder Conference “<strong>Investing in People and Skills in the Danube Region: <em>Towards a New Dynamic for Socio-Economic Development</em></strong><em>” </em>of PA9 took place on 5th October 2016 in Vienna. It was hosted by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection and was organised with technical assistance funding received from the European Union.</span><span style="color:rgb(35,35,35);"> </span></p> <p><span style="color:rgb(35,35,35);">The 4</span><sup><span style="color:rgb(35,35,35);">th</span></sup><span style="color:rgb(35,35,35);"> Stakeholder Conference aimed at discussing current European growth and development policies, how effective approaches to skills and competences impact their success and what challenges they face with regard to education and training, labour market and civil society participation. Workshops on relevant topics such as quality and efficiency of education and training, educational outcomes, labour market policies and social inclusion were held to exchange current policies and identify requirements and needs to face future challenges and developments. In this context participants were invited to find new opportunities for wider cooperation and closer collaboration. Furthermore, information on funding opportunities was provided by experts and lead partners throughout the conference.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#212121;">Stakeholders from thirteen of fourteen Danube Region countries followed the invitation, 122 had registered and about 110 were actually present at the event. The following countries were represented (by number of registrations): EU Member States: Austria (54), Bulgaria (4), Croatia (4), Czech Republic (3), Germany (5), Hungary (6), Romania (8), Slovak Republic (6) and Slovenia (2), Accession Countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina (2), Montenegro (4) and Serbia (14), Neighbourhood Countries: Moldova (5) and Ukraine (0), International Organisations: European Commission and Danube Strategy Point (3), European Training Foundation (1), EUSBSR/Sweden (1). Participants’ working background is in ministries or other government bodies, educational institutions, NGOs, social partners or transnational bodies.</span><span style="color:#212121;"> </span></p> <p><strong><span style="color:#212121;">Highlights from the conference</span></strong><strong><span style="color:#212121;"> </span></strong></p> <p><em><span style="color:#212121;">Alois Stöger</span></em><span style="color:#212121;">, Austrian Federal Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection emphasised the importance of communication and cooperation in an area incorporating 14 countries and 120 million residents. He is grateful for 5 years of fruitful cooperation with the Austrian Ministry of Education and the Moldavian Ministries, Partners and all other stakeholders. In spite of the recent crisis in Europe, it will be necessary to regain trust in politics, to strengthen solidarity and the social dimension to prevent Europe from the influence of right wing populists. The EU should not be regarded merely as economic union, but as social union.</span></p> <p><em><span style="color:#212121;">Klaus Körner</span></em><span style="color:#212121;">: Policy Officer at the European Commission in the Directorate for Education and Culture In his statement, he related the question of the added value of EUSDR as a macro-regional process for European cooperation in Education and Training to the five Europe 2020 targets (increase employment rate, invest in research and development, turn to green energy, raise education, reduce drop-out rates and decrease number at risk of poverty and social exclusion). While there is no doubt about the value of the numerous projects that have been carried out incorporated in the EUSDR, the challenge on how to get from projects to sustainability and to generate new and significant results remains. He encouraged stakeholders to give feedback to the EC about their needs and to bring their ideas to the fore. He mentioned peer learning activities in different fields, launched to provide space for exchange of good practice and experience. Körner concluded, that regarding the main challenges on the skills agenda as well as the migration agenda it will perhaps be necessary to review the definition of “key competences” (from 2006) and to put more emphasis on civic competences rather than on technical skills.</span><span style="color:#212121;"> </span></p> <p><em><span style="color:#212121;">Anders Bergström</span></em><span style="color:#212121;">, Policy Area Coordinator PA Education/Horizontal Action Coordinator HA Capacity (both within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSBSR) The Baltic Sea Strategy was launched in 2009 as the first macro-regional strategy in Europe. It primarily affects eight Member States of the EU in the region (Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Denmark, counting 85 million inhabitants), but also non-EU countries are involved in Baltic Sea Region Cooperation, mostly Norway and Russia, as well as Iceland and Belarus. Apart from existing longer and being smaller, the EUSBSR shares some of the challenges and targets with the EUSDR. At present, refugees are a priority in primarily Finland, Germany and Sweden e. g., migration having been an issue for long, now the focus is on asylum seekers, their education and employability. Other priorities are the ageing population and lifelong learning, VET and work-based learning, excellence and entrepreneurship are key issues to be addressed in different education systems. Alignment of funding is a further key issue and at present networks exist for Managing Authorities in ESF, ERDF and EAFRD in the region. The tendency in the EUSBSR is less focus on projects but more on development processes gathering stakeholders in so called flagships. The flagships focus on societal challenges with thematic working groups where stakeholders in multilevel governance are working together, across borders. Projects are parts of the flagships concentrating resources for development and testing of new methods. Work on a local and regional levels are important as well as the integrated and coordinated governance of the Baltic Sea region. Success of the strategy also depends on the commitment by regional and local authorities and political actors in the respective countries.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#212121;">Documents related to the conference under the title </span><em>“</em><strong>Investing in People and Skills in the Danube Region: Towards a New Dynamic for Socio-Economic Development</strong><em>”</em><a href=""><span style="text-decoration:none;"> are availiable on the website</span></a><em>.</em></p> <p>Photos of the conference <span style="color:#212121;"><a href="">are availiable here</a></span></p> <p><span style="color:#212121;">Report from the conference in Vienna <br /><a href="">EUSBSR_4th_Stakeholder_Conferenc<wbr />e_Vienna_2016.10.05.pdf</a><br /><br /><br /></span></p> <!--EndFragment--></div> 2016-12-13T15:19:45+00:00 2016-12-13T15:19:00+00:00 Integration of Refugees - A New Action and A New Potential Flagship <div class="ugc"><p><span style="color:rgb(33,33,33);font-family:'Trebuchet MS', sans-serif;font-size:14.6667px;">Here you can find a priliminary description of the new Action. It has already been revised by the the National Coordinators (member states). It is still a working document but the </span><span style="color:rgb(33,33,33);font-family:'Trebuchet MS', sans-serif;font-size:14.6667px;">new Action will be adopted early next year.<br /></span><span style="font-size:1em;"><strong><em><br /> Action 5 </em></strong></span></p> <p><em>Recognising potential – easing the way for newly arrived refugees</em><em><br /></em><em></em></p> <p><em></em></p><em></em><p><strong></strong></p> <p><strong> </strong></p><strong></strong><p>The inflow of refugees and migrants to the European Union has dramatically increased in 2015 compared to previous years mostly due to the civil war in Syria but also due to other conflicts in Africa and in the Middle East and from countries with no armed conflicts, such as northern and western Africa. The migratory influx has been reduced in 2016; however, the integration of third country nationals residing legally in the Member States continues to be a key challenge for Europe. </p> <p></p> <p>The number of first time asylum applicants in the EU in 2015 was in total 1 255 640. In the member states of the Baltic Sea Region, they vary notably: Germany 441 800; Denmark 21 316 (out of which 10.849 were granted residence permits); Estonia 225; Finland 32 150 (out of which 6 534 have so far been granted residence permits); Lithuania 275 (out of which 86 were granted residence permits); Latvia 328 (out of which 29 were granted resident permits, 6 granted refugee status and 23 subsidiary protection status); Poland 10 255; Sweden 156 110.<a href="#_ftn1" name="gsuser__ftnref1"><!--[if !supportFootnotes]-->[1]<!--[endif]--></a></p> <p></p> <p>The increased number of refugees constitutes a challenge to those Member States where refugees choose to seek asylum. At the same time, many Member States struggle with demographic changes with an ageing population which within a decade will lead to a deficit of skilled workers – academic and non-academic - in for e.g. industry, health care and other sectors. This underlines the need for an effective integration of refugees in order for them to contribute to the building of inclusive, cohesive and prosperous societies which is of common interest to all Member States. </p> <p></p> <p>In particular, the refugees coming from Syria are young people, 90% under the age of 40 and 50% under the age of 20.<a href="#_ftn2" name="gsuser__ftnref2"><!--[if !supportFootnotes]-->[2]<!--[endif]--></a> Some of them are well educated and can take jobs in our countries.</p> <p></p> <p>Notwithstanding the work already undertaken through initiatives within the EU, such as the European Integration Network and the European Migration Forum, the Integration Action Plan and the Ministerial Conference on Integration, the rapid increase of migrants also calls for more cooperation between the national, regional and local authorities, organisations and civil society<strong> </strong>entrusted with the responsibility of integrating refugees. Complementary to, and supporting already existing initiatives, an effective system of collecting and making good practice available is also needed. Besides mutual learning there is also much to gain from developing new methods and new organisations together with others, across borders. </p> <p></p> <p>This Action focuses on: </p> <ul><li>Exchange of best practice for the integration to the labour market e.g. through vocational education and training, </li> <li>Exchange of best practice for increased employability, smoothening integration into the society, and</li> <li>Developing and testing methods and systems, primarily to be used by local actors to facilitate integration on the labour market.</li> </ul> <p></p> <p>The foreseen actions are: </p> <ul><li>a knowledge platform for exchange of experiences and development of new methods for increased employability, and</li> <li>development and testing joint trainings for key staff working with the target group.<span style="color:#000000;"></span></li> </ul> <p><span style="color:#000000;">The structured learning and development of new methods will take place in a so called knowledge platform. The platform will consist of thematic working groups where experts will gather for structured dialogue, learning from each other and joint development of new methods. The outcome of these processes will be documented and published on the website. Examples of thematic working groups are; civil society involvement </span>(including the work with ethnic and religious communities and migrant NGOs)<span style="color:#000000;">, digital support (for example apps and games) and language training (focusing on methods for fast learning). In one of the thematic groups a joint training for key functions will be developed and tested. It is foreseen that key functions are coaches and mentors. Curricula’s with both theoretical parts and practical training will be developed and tested.</span></p> <p><!-- [if gte mso 9]>96800x600<![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]>Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USJAX-NONE<![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 10]><![endif]--><!--StartFragment--><!--EndFragment--></p> <p><!--[if !supportFootnotes]--><br clear="all" /></p><!--[endif]--> <p><a href="#_ftnref1" name="gsuser__ftn1"><!--[if !supportFootnotes]-->[1]<!--[endif]--></a> Asylum application numbers according to: <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:none;"><wbr />uments/2995521/7203832/3-0403201<wbr />6-AP-EN.pdf/790eba01-381c-4163-b<wbr />cd2-a54959b99ed6</span></a>, 29.08.2016</p> <p><a href="#_ftnref2" name="gsuser__ftn2"><span style="text-decoration:none;"><!--[if !supportFootnotes]--><span style="text-decoration:none;">[2]</span><!--[endif]--></span></a><span style="text-decoration:none;"> </span><span style="text-decoration:none;"><a href=",_2015_(%C2%B9)_(%25)_YB16.png"><span style="text-decoration:none;"><wbr />tistics-explained/index.php/File<wbr />:Distribution_by_age_of_(non-EU)<wbr />_first_time_asylum_applicants_in<wbr />_the_EU_and_EFTA_Member_States,_<wbr />2015_(%C2%B9)_(%25)_YB16.png</span></a></span><span style="text-decoration:none;">, 29.08.2016</span></p> <!--EndFragment--></div> 2016-12-13T15:13:14+00:00 2016-12-13T15:13:00+00:00 News from the coordinators| Introducing Solveg Schmidt <div class="ugc"><p><span style="font-size:1em;"><span style="font-family:serif;">Solveg Schmidt is the successor of Christiane Schadow as Priority Area Coordinator and colleague to Anders Bergström. Ms Schmidt is representing the Land of Hamburg. She has been working as a teacher for Economics and English at a vocational school in Hamburg for 4 years.  She is new at the the HIBB which exists since January, 1st, 2007 as an independent State Office of Schools and Vocational Training Authority (BOD). Before, it belonged to the Ministry of Education and Sport. It comprises the 39 state vocational schools in Hamburg and the central office.</span></span></p> <!--EndFragment--></div> 2016-12-13T14:58:18+00:00 2016-12-13T14:58:00+00:00 BSR Smart Life - New initiative on lifelong learning <div class="ugc"><p>Interview with project manager Lelde Abele<br /><br /><strong>Most important achievement in 2016</strong><br /> A new flagship initiative “BSR SMART LIFE” (BSR Lifelong Learning for Smart Specialization) in Action  4 “A society of longer lives” of the PA Education Action Plan, was initiated by Vidzeme Planning Region (Latvia). First initial meetings of the flagship have been held and the most important stakeholders have been gathered in order to share their experience and knowledges. The consensus among the involved stakeholders is achieved about the focus of the flagship and main issues to be tackled as well as specific aim of the flagship and necessary actions to reach it.</p> <p>The demographic change with an aging population, calls for recruitment of personnel that can fill gaps when the present workforce reaches retirement age. Labor markets are changing and they demand workforce that shows constant growth and development of skills in order to keep up with the new technological and market advances. The availability of lifelong learning in a region is one of the most influential factors in its socioeconomic development.</p> <p>The importance of working in partnership among all stakeholders has resulted in a common project concept note for Seed Money Facility. It was only the first step seeking for funding to realize the planned activities. The concept note focused on the lifelong education in the region of Baltic Sea that is closely linked to the concept of smart specialization. Adult education programs should be elaborated in coherence with the needs of labor market of the regional industries and according to the business environment and culture. A common understanding was reached that attention should be directed not only to education of employees, but also to education of business managers and human resources managers who are the ones that encourage their employees to further their skills and competences.<br />   <br /><strong>Flagship concept in practice </strong><br /> The initiative brings together partners from Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and Germany working together to identify the necessary improvements in the lifelong learning domain and to implement them in the Baltic Sea Region. The “BSR SMART LIFE” is an emerging flagship initiative, so far process is ongoing and other stakeholders on local, regional and national levels, in public and private sector who are in some way related to the field of adult education are welcome to get involved to develop the initiative further. Next workshop will take place in the beginning of 2017 in Lithuania. All institutions interested to take part are welcome to join in by contacting Vidzeme Planning Region.<br /><br /><strong>Challenges when implementing flagships</strong><br /> The first main aspect is - in all countries are different experience working with lifelong learning education and not for all countries is clear vision where to go by the lifelong learning education. Also to gather stakeholders from different countries with different experiences is of course challenging.</p> <p>The contact person for the Flagship is Lelde Ābele, Project Manager at Vidzeme Planning Region. Contact information for further communication:  (Phone) +371 64219022; E-mail: <a href=""></a></p> <p><img src="" border="0" align="left" class="imgleft" alt="" style="border-width:0px;border-color:#000;border-style:solid;" /></p> <!--EndFragment--></div> 2016-12-13T14:21:54+00:00 2016-12-13T14:21:00+00:00 Entrepreneurship Lab | Diversifying - new target groups and new regions <div class="ugc"><p>Mikael Scherdin, project manager tells:<br /><br /> Entreprenership Lab has got funding to start forming an Eco-system and Lab in Ida-Virumaa, Estonia. There is also an ongoing pilot work in Nacka Municipality where newly arrived refugees get training in entreprenership. The initiative had a success and Nacka Municipality will continue this work in 2017. For more information contact <a href=""></a> and visit <a href=""></a></p> <!--EndFragment--></div> 2016-12-13T14:18:03+00:00 2016-12-13T14:18:00+00:00 Baltic Sea Labour Forum| Proposals for the Ministers of Employment to be developed within BLP – labour mobility <div class="ugc"><p><span style="color:#212121;">Interview with Project Coordinator Daria Akhutina</span></p> <p><span style="color:#212121;">Baltic Sea Labour Forum is one of today five flagships in the portfolio of PA Education, with CBSS as the flagship leader. Currently the flagship is under reconstruction. PA Education together with CBSS with support from the Swedish Institute implement a Baltic Leadership Programme (BLP) focusing on labour mobility.</span><span style="color:#212121;"><br /></span></p> <p><span style="color:#212121;">BLP – labour mobility has been launched 30th of November in Gdansk and will be implemented further on in 2017, continuing in Malmö at the end of January, finalised with a 3rd module in June 2017 in Berlin back-to-back with the EUS BSR Forum. The programme gathers some 30 participants representing trade unions, employer organisations, state agencies and cross-border services. The result of the programme will be recommendations on how labour mobility can be supported, identifying and removing hindrances but also how the return of needed labour force can be supported, so called “brain circulation”. These recommendations will be ready to be presented at a Round Table in June 2017, also involving the Ministers of Labour and Employment.  <br /></span></p> <p><span style="color:#212121;">The number of steps is going to be taken in order to ensure the renewing process of the BSLF, namely, the updating of the member list of the BSLF’ steering committee, consideration of the inclusion of the additional topics and policy areas which are on the top of the Agenda BSR and Europe wide such as - demography, migration and skill supply (labour market research and forecasting).The thematic groups in the framework of the BSLF should be updated accordingly.<br /></span></p> <p><span style="color:#212121;">The relevant solutions for the funding of the future BSLF’ activities on a sustainable basis will be considered in the nearest future.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#212121;">For more information contact  <a href=""><span style="color:#212121;text-decoration:none;"></span></a></span><span style="color:#212121;"> and visit <a href=""></a></span></p> <!--EndFragment--></div> 2016-12-13T14:15:25+00:00 2016-12-13T14:15:00+00:00 Baltic Science Network | Establishment of the network <div class="ugc"><p>Interview with project director Klaus von Lepel</p> <p style="margin-left:14.2pt;"><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]>Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USJAX-NONE<![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 10]><![endif]--><!--StartFragment--><!--EndFragment--></p> <p style="margin-left:14.2pt;"><strong><span style="color:#212121;">Major achievements</span></strong><strong><strong><span style="color:#212121;"> </span></strong></strong></p> <p><span style="color:#212121;">- The <strong>establishment of the Baltic Science Network</strong> as such is the main achievement in 2016.  All Science Ministries in the Baltic Sea Region and other stakeholders are involved as project partners and associate organisations. This ensures that strategies, tools and programmes developed in the frame of BSN, will also very likely be implemented.</span><br /><span style="color:#212121;">- Baltic Sea Region-wide <strong>political foras</strong> (the CBSS and the BSPC) dedicated their discussions to the BSN matters, thus proving the commitment of states assembled by the Network that academic and research mobility as well as research and innovation excellence are crucial to the welfare of the region. Great societal challenges have to be solved together.</span><br /><span style="color:#212121;">- BSN was also recognised as a crucial initiative by the <strong>policy makers</strong>, since it was endorsed as an EUSBSR flagship, as well as discussed during the Meeting of the Four Region Councils of the North.</span><br /><span style="color:#212121;">- The joint political and policy level commitment was further proved by the willingness of other major stakeholders of the region to join the Network. Namely, during the second half of the year the Network was expanded, since it welcomed <strong>new members</strong> – NordForsk and Ministry of Education and Research of Norway.</span></p> <p><strong><span style="color:#212121;">Flagship concept</span></strong><span style="color:#212121;"> </span><span style="color:#212121;">(with reference to the EUSBSR Action Plan pp. 17-18 flagship qualifications):</span><span style="color:#212121;"><br /></span></p> <p><span style="color:#212121;">- BSN falls into the category of a flagship being a network, a new cooperation platform which  is addressing the core challenge of <strong>disparities</strong> faced by the region, also outlined by the most recent foresight <a href="">report “Looking towards 2030: Preparing the Baltic Sea Region for the future”.</a> The tools developed by the flagship are aimed at tackling the disparities in academic and research performance across the region. The tools are aimed at ensuring a more cohesive development and research and innovation excellence as well  as fostering transnational science collaboration across the Baltic Sea Region. Therefore BSN aims to develop strategies and tools for ensuring sustainable circulation of talent and highly skilled research and academic workforce to the institutions where their specific expertise is most needed, ensuring access to research infra structure and aligning research strategies.</span><br /><span style="color:#212121;">- BSN currently contribute to the PA Education, but has a potential in future to also be a relevant component or enabler of goals advanced by <strong>HA Neighbors</strong>. BSN membership already spans beyond EU borders. This BSN geographical advantage will be further explored in 2017 during a conference <em>Baltic Sea Science Day</em> in St Petersburg on 8 Feb 2017 as well as other events.</span><br /><span style="color:#212121;">- BSN aims towards establishing macroregional academic and researcher mobility monitoring tools.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#212121;">The <strong>policy learning dimension</strong> of BSN is further enhanced through its close ties with <strong>Baltic TRAM</strong> as the other cornerstone of the <strong>CBSS Science, Research & Innovation Agenda</strong>. This policy learning dimension and sharing of experiences will be further enhanced in 2017.</span></p> <p><strong><span style="color:#212121;">Challenges<br /></span></strong><strong><span style="color:#212121;"><br /></span></strong><span style="color:#212121;">Challenges in implementing flagships are to get the needed visibility and also to be able to implement the achieved results. Thus, it is important to involve the relevant stakeholders with national or regional decision making power from the very beginning. On the other hand being a flagship in a PA of the EUSBSR gives a supporting frame. Also a flagship has to convince the stakeholders of its necessity as there exist already a huge amount of networks and platforms. The unique selling point, added value and benefit for the stakeholders have to be pointed out.</span><span style="color:#212121;"><br /></span><span style="color:#212121;">Further information on <a href="">BSN website</a> and <a href="">CBSS subsection dedicated to BSN</a>.</span></p> <p><!--EndFragment--></p> <p><span style="color:#212121;">Photos are downloadable on the <a href="">BSN website</a> and the  <a href="">CBSS Flckr account</a>. Photos from the event in Stockholm are accessible here.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#212121;"><img src="" border="0" class="imgnone" alt="" style="border-width:0px;border-color:#000;border-style:solid;" /><br /><br /><br /></span></p> <!--EndFragment--></div> 2016-12-13T14:02:13+00:00 2016-12-13T14:02:00+00:00 Baltic Training Programme | A new project BBVET <div class="ugc"><p><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]>Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USJAX-NONE<![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 10]><![endif]--><!--StartFragment--><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]>Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USJAX-NONE<![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 10]><![endif]--><!--StartFragment--><!--EndFragment--><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]>Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USJAX-NONE<![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 10]><![endif]--><!--StartFragment-->Interview with project manager Marie Björk</p> <p><!--EndFragment--> <!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]>Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USJAX-NONE<![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 10]><![endif]--><!--StartFragment--><!--EndFragment--><span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:Calibri;">Boosting Business Integration through joint  Education (BBVET) will develop the first international cross-border vocational training in media and mechatronics, involving 40 students in the partner countries Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden.</span><span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:Calibri;"> </span><span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:Calibri;">Project duration: May 2016 – July 2018. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:Calibri;">In November NetPort Science Park visited HIBB, one of Hamburg's biggest players in vocational training. The meeting was arranged to discuss common cross-border programs that can connect business and education between our regions.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#212121;">For more information: </span><span style="color:#212121;">contact</span><span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:Calibri;">: <a href=""></a> or visit</span><span style="color:#212121;"> <a href=""><wbr />295/</a></span></p> <!--EndFragment--></div> 2016-12-13T13:53:56+00:00 2016-12-13T13:53:00+00:00 School to Work | New knowledge platforms and members instead of partners <div class="ugc"><p><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]>Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USJAX-NONE<![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 10]><![endif]--><!--StartFragment--></p> <p><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]>Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USJAX-NONE<![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 10]><![endif]--><!--StartFragment-->Interview with project coordinator Inta Simanska<!--EndFragment-->    <span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:Calibri;"><br /><br /> Preventive and Integrative Work on School Dropouts and NEETs Continues in the Baltic Sea Region.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:Calibri;">Year 2016 has intensified collaboration in the Flagship School to Work (S2W). Flagship focuses on adaptation of methods that prevent early school leaving amongst youngsters, especially newly arrived refugees. It aims to bring results at the transnational level. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:Calibri;">Another ongoing ambition is to create a platform for exchange of knowledge on integration of young people who are no longer in the education system and who are not working or being trained for work (NEETs). The platform aims to provide services in a holistic manner and also to empower youngsters with entrepreneurial skills.</span></p> <p><strong><span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:Calibri;">Other highlights of the Flagship School to Work</span></strong></p> <ul><li><span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:Calibri;">Flagship leader has received funding from Swedish government that allows to perform coordinative functions in Sweden and in the Baltic Sea Region, and also act as an intermediate actor at the transnational level,</span></li> <li><span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:Calibri;">S2W has two knowledge platforms: Knowledge Platform on NEETs that is coordinated by the Norden Association (Sweden) and Knowledge Platform on Early School Leaving, coordinated by City of Turku Education Division (Sweden).</span></li> <li><span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:Calibri;">Ongoing work of more formalized framework for further cooperation within the Flagship to increase the effectiveness of joint efforts.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:Calibri;">Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) is the Flagship leader and has supported and guided members to develop project initiatives and submitted them to various funding sources (e.g. ERASMUS+, ESF Transnational call) in 2016.</span></p> <p><strong><span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:Calibri;">Flagship Members</span></strong></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:Calibri;">SALAR is very proud that together with enthusiastic and experienced coordinators of Knowledge Platforms, Flagship has numerous activities that are implemented by its members. SALAR is determined to foster cooperation in the BSR by initiating common initiatives and by providing platforms for exchange of knowledge and information.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:Calibri;">SALAR and Knowledge Platform Coordinators support, mediate, bring together and raise awareness on the EUSBSR, and the commitment to reduce the percentage of early school leaving to less than 10% until 2020. Particularly, strong emphasis is on approaches that provide holistic measures to ease school to work transition and to increase employability of young people.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:Calibri;">Flagship School to Work gathers 54 members of which most are public institutions. Membership covers the entire territory of the Baltic Sea Region.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt;font-family:Calibri;">Contact persons: Gunnar Anderzon, (e-mail: <a href=""></a>) and Inta Simanska (e-mail: <a href=""></a>).</span></p> <!--EndFragment--></div> 2016-12-13T13:50:18+00:00 2016-12-13T13:50:00+00:00 Baltic Science Network is bringing the EUSBSR one step closer to attaining the objective of increasing prosperity <div class="ugc"><p>The 7<sup>th</sup> Strategy Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) in Stockholm, Sweden served to showcase how the Baltic Science Network (BSN) is advancing one of the three macroregional goals “Increase prosperity” through promoting the research and academic excellence. Namely, on 9 November 2016, the <strong>session “</strong><a href=""><strong>Do we need a macro-regional dimension in higher education, science & research policy in the Baltic Sea Region?</strong></a><strong>”</strong> introduced wider audiences to the main goals, current scope of the BSN membership, as well as provided reflections on how systemic challenges on the macroregional level are related to the individual considerations of the staff at research and academic institutions. The panel discussion was dedicated to the on-going work of BSN towards drafting action plans which would enhance the mobility of staff between institutions of varying performance. The panel expressed joint support towards advancing macro-regional research and academic policy.</p> <p>Further discussions on BSN undertakings took place during the <strong>BSN Steering Committee and Partner Meeting</strong> organised back-to-back with the Forum on 10 November 2016. Moreover, the BSN members convened on a special day of world-wide celebration of research advancement – the <a href=""><strong>World Science Day for Peace and Development</strong></a>. In line with the existing disparities outlined in the foresight report “<a href="">Looking towards 2030: Preparing the Baltic Sea Region for the future</a>”, the BSN members exchanged information regarding the progress in drafting the policy tools. BSN members reflected on how Dr. Tom Schumacher´s findings published in the study “<a href="">International Mobility of Researchers in the Baltic Sea Region</a>” could be best addressed within the scope of the newly proposed policy tools.</p> <p>These discussions also served as a timely input to the meeting of the <strong>Four Regional Councils of the North</strong> which was hosted by the CBSS Secretariat on 28 November in Stockholm, Sweden, where special attention was paid to discussing the science, research and innovation cooperation in regional settings with specific focus on ensuring the sustainability of coordination structures and solutions developed within the councils´ supported projects.</p> <p><em>For a more detailed outline on the proceedings of the Forum session please go to the BSN website </em><a href=""><em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p><em>For a more detailed outline on the proceedings of the BSN Steering Committee and Partner meeting please go to the BSN website </em><a href=""><em>here</em></a><em>.<br /><br /></em><span style="font-family:Tahoma;"><span style="font-size:12.8px;">Text provided by the BSN Communication Team</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-family:Tahoma;"><span style="font-size:13px;">Graphic recording by Raquel Benmergui</span></span><span style="font-family:serif;font-size:12.8px;"><br /><br /><br /></span></p> <p><em><img src="" border="0" class="imgnone" alt="" style="border-width:0px;border-color:#000;border-style:solid;" /><br /><br /></em></p> <!--EndFragment--></div> 2016-12-04T14:36:13+00:00 2016-12-04T14:36:00+00:00 Baltic Leadership Programme Labour Mobility has started in Gdansk <div class="ugc"><div style="margin: 0 30px"> <p>A well-functioning skill supply is essential for the competitiveness of the Baltic Sea Region. Skill shortages are already a reality in several member states and the demographic trend is pointing towards an ever-increasing problem. The Baltic Leadership Programme Labour Mobility aims at creating a meeting place for relevant actors to discuss opportunities and challenges related to mobile labour market in the Baltic Sea Region. Today the first module of the programme started in Gdansk.</p> <p>The programme is a joint effort by the Swedish Institute, the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), the Norden Association, Policy Area Education and Horizontal Action ’Capacity’. The Baltic Leadership programme is divided in two modules, each covering three days. The second module will take place in Malmö in January 2017. </p> <p>Some of the highlights from the first day were group discussions focused on building a contextual map of the topic, and an inspiring presentation by Franz Thönnes (MP, former Parliamentary State Secretary, Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the German Bundestag) on "Visions for the Baltic Sea", accompanied by remarks from Anders Bergström, strategist, Norden Association. </p> <p>An intense day came to a close with a tour of the European Solidarity Centre and a theatre workshop at the Centre.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" border="0" alt="" style="border-width:0px;border-color:#000;border-style:solid;" /></a><br /><br />  </p> </div></div> 2016-12-04T14:12:11+00:00 2016-12-04T14:12:00+00:00 Turning the Political Spotlight on the Baltic Sea Region-wide Cooperation in Science, Research and Innovation <div class="ugc"><p>On 4 June 2016, the Baltic Science Network (BSN) was presented during the <strong>9<sup>th</sup> International Conference on Progressive Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region </strong>(BSR), which took place in Berlin, Germany. Members of parliaments, politicians and scholars from Estonia, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Åland Islands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Russia gathered in order to discuss solutions to topical challenges related to the labour markets and education in the BSR. The 9th International Conference on Progressive Cooperation in the BSR was organised by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.</p> <p>The BSN was presented by its Project Partner, the Baltic University Programme. The presentation “Cooperation and coordination in higher education in the Baltic Sea Region” outlined main objectives of the BSN and introduced the conference attendants to the Project Partners and Project Associates.</p> <p>The 9<sup>th</sup> International Conference on Progressive Cooperation in the BSR served as a preparatory meeting for the <a href=""><strong>Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference´s 25th annual conference</strong></a>, which was organised on 28-30 August 2016 in Riga, Latvia. This Silver Jubilee edition conference contributed to the promotion of BSR-wide cooperation in science, research and innovation, as it is outlined in the <a href="">Conference Resolution</a>.</p> <p>The BSN stakeholders are pleased with such widespread recognition and support of their on-going work. It should be mentioned that within three months the BSN has been endorsed both the governments during the <a href="">CBSS Conference of Science Ministers in Kraków</a>, Poland, as well as by parliamentarians gathered by the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference in Riga, Latvia.</p> <p style="font-family:Times;font-size:medium;"><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]>Normal0falsefalsefalseLVJAX-NONE<![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 10]><![endif]--><!--StartFragment--><!--EndFragment--></p> <p>Further on, wider audiences will be introduced with the latest developments of the BSN during the <a href=""><strong>7th Strategy Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region</strong></a> in Stockholm on 9 November 2016 during the session “<a href="">Do we need a macro-regional dimension in higher education, science & research policy in the Baltic Sea Region?</a>” The session is planned to address topical challenges related to transnational cooperation in science and research. Namely, science policy in the BSR is organised and pursued mainly from a regional, national or European angle. A macro-regional dimension is missing. In a moderated panel key decision-makers will discuss with BSR stakeholders the importance, benefits and obstacles of closer collaboration in science policy within the BSR. <br /><span style="font-family:serif;font-size:12.8px;">Text provided by the BSN Communication Team</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:serif;font-size:12.8px;"><br /><img src="" border="0" class="imgnone" alt="" style="border-width:0px;border-color:#000;border-style:solid;" /><br /></span></p></div> 2016-10-20T07:25:57+00:00 2016-10-20T07:25:00+00:00 “Bridge It!” non-formal education Programme <div class="ugc"><p><span style="font-size:1em;">On 15-21 August 2016, the project meeting of the “Bridge It!” non-formal education Programme took place in Tartu, Estonia. That was the second stage of the Programme directed at involvement of young people aged between 18 and 28 from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the NorthWest of Russia in the development of the Baltic Sea region, finding solutions for current social problems, and establishment of good neighbouring ties between the targeted countries.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em;"><span style="color:rgb(33,33,33);font-family:'wf_segoe-ui_normal', 'Segoe UI', 'Segoe WP', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif;">Please find a media release devoted to the second stage of the "Bridge It!" </span></span><br /><span style="font-size:1em;"><span style="color:rgb(33,33,33);font-family:'wf_segoe-ui_normal', 'Segoe UI', 'Segoe WP', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif;">To learn more on the "Bridge It!" Programme, please go to </span></span><a href="" target="_blank"><span style="font-size:.8em;"></span></a><span style="font-size:1em;"><span style="color:rgb(33,33,33);font-family:'wf_segoe-ui_normal', 'Segoe UI', 'Segoe WP', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif;"> or our Facebook page at </span></span><a href="" target="_blank"><span style="font-size:.8em;"><wbr />tprogram</span></a><span style="font-size:.8em;"><span style="color:rgb(33,33,33);font-family:'wf_segoe-ui_normal', 'Segoe UI', 'Segoe WP', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif;">.</span></span><span style="font-size:1em;"><span style="color:rgb(33,33,33);font-family:'wf_segoe-ui_normal', 'Segoe UI', 'Segoe WP', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif;"><br /><br /><a href="">MediaRelease22.08.2016.pdf</a><br /></span></span><br /> Source:<a href="" target="_blank"><span style="font-size:.8em;"></span></a></p></div> 2016-09-19T12:44:37+00:00 2016-09-19T12:44:00+00:00 Resolution of the 25th Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference <div class="ugc"><p><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]>Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USJAX-NONE<![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 10]><![endif]--><!--StartFragment--><br /><span style="font-family:Helvetica;">The Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference held its 25<sup>th</sup> annual conference on 28-30 August 2016 in Riga. The Latvian parliament was host of this Silver Jubilee edition under the chairmanship of the BSPC-President and President of the Baltic Assembly Prof. Dr. Jānis Vucāns. Around 200 parliamentarians, ambassadors of the Baltic Sea States in Latvia, experts and other invited guests participated in the conference.</span> </p> <p><span style="font-family:Helvetica;">Please see attached the resolution of the Conference. Special attention is paid to the Competitiveness of the Region linked to the education and labour market. Moreover focus was made on labour mobility, em</span><span style="font-family:Helvetica;font-size:1em;">ployment opportunities and youth unemployment.<br /><br /></span><a href="">Resolution - 25th BSPC.PDF</a></p><p><span style="font-family:Helvetica;">Source: <a href="">BSPC website </a></span> <!--EndFragment--></p></div> 2016-09-18T11:07:31+00:00 2016-09-18T11:07:00+00:00 BLP – labour mobility <div class="ugc"><p>One of the two priorities of the flagship, Baltic Sea Labour Forum is labour mobility. On order to support an increased labour mobility in the region but a responsible one also supporting circulation of the work force a so called Baltic Leadership Programme on labour mobility will be implemented, launched in autumn 2016.<span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);">The Baltic Leadership Programme is a training programme designed to develop the region by bringing together future leaders and giving them the tools they need to create successful cross-border partnerships. The programme is operated and financed by the Swedish Institute. In order to prepare the programme a survey on the state of the region in regards labour mobility was made by the Norden Association in Sweden, financed by the Swedish Institute. You find the report </span><span style="font-family:'Trebuchet MS';font-size:13px;background-color:rgb(229,236,249);"><a href="">BLP_Labour_Mobility_Report_2016.<wbr />06.19.pdf</a></span><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-size:1em;">.</span></p></div> 2016-07-13T19:24:22+00:00 2016-07-13T19:24:00+00:00 BSR Lifelong Learning <div class="ugc"><p><span style="color:rgb(33,33,33);">A new emerging flagship on the 4th Action of the PA Education Action Plan, “A society of longer lives” is the BSR Lifelog Learning. Vidzeme Planning Region (Latvia) together with </span>Siauliai Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts (Lithuania) took the initiative on forming this flagship after a workshop in Riga on April, 25. A concept note is now being drafted by the two organisations and will be presented and discussed at a next workshop in Riga to be held on September, 20. The flagship is focused on the age 55+ and will be linked to the concept of smart specialization.</p></div> 2016-07-13T14:34:03+00:00 2016-07-13T14:34:00+00:00 BYSED – kick-off meeting <div class="ugc"><p><span style="font-family:'Trebuchet MS', sans-serif;font-size:14.6667px;">This is one of the latest seed money funded projects within PA Education. BYSED (BSR youth social entrepreneurship development) is focusing on heightened capacity for social entrepreneurship among young people. The European Commission states that “Social enterprises seek to serve the community’s interest (social, societal, environmental objectives) rather than profit maximization. They often have an innovative nature, through the goods or services they offer, and through the organization or production methods they resort to. They often employ society’s most fragile members (socially excluded persons). They thus contribute to social cohesion, employment and the reduction of inequalities”. The kick off meeting was held in Stockholm on April, 1</span><sup>st</sup><span style="font-family:'Trebuchet MS', sans-serif;font-size:14.6667px;"> with partners from Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.</span></p></div> 2016-07-13T14:32:33+00:00 2016-07-13T14:32:00+00:00 Workshop in Hamburg on supporting newly arrived refugees’ integration in society <div class="ugc"><p><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]>Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USJAX-NONE<![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 10]><![endif]--><!--StartFragment--><br /> On the 30th of May PA Education coordinators from the Hamburg Institute for Vocational Education and Training together with Norden Association in Sweden held a workshop on integration. The workshop aimed at offering a platform for exchanging experiences and best practices on how to integrate newly arrived refugees in the labour markets as well as in society. In the Land of Hamburg “Work and Integration for Refugees (W.I.R)” is an example of a well-functioning one-stop-shop. It offers a venue that combines support and services to develop social skills and thus increase the employability in close cooperation between public and private sectors as well as with civil society. This study visit is meant to be the basis for the following exchange.</p> <p>Among 19 participants of the works were representatives of: City of Umeå, Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, City of Bromölla, Save the Children, Norden Association, Hamburg Institute for Vocational Education (HIBB), City of Skellefteå, Swedish Public Employment Service, Swedish Public Employment Service City of Umeå, Swedish Public Employment Service Skellefteå, Batteriet Nord-Norge, City of Bodö, Federal Employment Agency, Skåne Association of Local Authorities, Youth Job Agency, Youth Active Plus, City of Oulu.</p> <p>Generally the visit at W.I.R and the presentation of the “AnkommenApp” were perceived very positively. As the result of the meeting the participants offered and gathered many ideas about a possible one-stop-shop system, close to the one in Hamburg. They went home with new thoughts about methods and processes needed to integrate newly arrived refugees. The next step will be a study visit in Oulu, Finland. </p> <!--EndFragment--></div> 2016-07-06T18:27:47+00:00 2016-07-06T18:27:00+00:00 Planning meeting for creating JobCentre North for NEETs in Luleå, Sweden <div class="ugc"><p>Planning meeting for creating JobCentre North for NEETs, newly arrived refugees and long-term unemployed took place in Luleå on 28th of June 2016. The meeting started with short introduction of participants followed by status report of what had been done so far. Afterwards partcipants got information on the ESF common framework call and partnership. Preliminary project partners are Skellefteå, Umeå and Oulu with the Norden Association  Norrbotten as coordinators. Umeå is not in the programme area so they will be associate partners. In regards to a Norwegian partner meetings will take place in Bodö and in Oslo in August/September. Workshop in Oulu will be held in early October. It will be one day followed by a one day planning meeting for the project partners. The theme for the workshop will be digital solutions and civil society involvement.</p> <p>The aim of the workshop was planning an application for Interreg North concerning a knowledge platform for exchange of best practice and capacity building in relation to integration of newly arrived refugees, NEETs and long-term unemployed.</p> <p>Among 21 participants were representatives of following organisations: Swedish Public Employment Service, Swedish Social Insurance Agency, Swedish Migration Agency, City of Luleå, City of Skellefteå, City of Umeå, City of Oulu, City of Alta, City of Bodö and Norden Association.</p> <p>The outcome of the discussion groups lead to definition of the project with three parts;</p> <ul><li>A knowledge platform for exchange of best practice and development of new methods in thematic groups,</li> <li>Developing and testing JobCentres,</li> <li>Developing and testing a mobility programme for NEETs and long-term unemployed.  </li> </ul> <p> As a result, participants of the workshop made inputs to the concept note prepared by the Norden Association Norrbotten.</p> <p>As a next steps, a workshop will be held in Oulu in October 2016 both for the initiative in the North Calotte region but also for other participants from the whole Baltic Sea Region, Austria, the Netherlands and EU COM.</p> <!--EndFragment--></div> 2016-07-06T09:08:24+00:00 2016-07-06T09:08:00+00:00 School to Work (S2W) conference at Arlanda airport <div class="ugc"><p>In the end of May the Swedish Association for Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) conducted a conference dedicated to flagship project School to Work. The aim for the conference was to get together stakeholders around project initiatives in the context of both Early School Leaving (ESL) and NEETs, that can lead to applications to the ESF Common Frame Work, a call for transnational projects that is open until the end of September.</p> <p>Goal of the conference was to start up the work with 2-3 applications for project initiatives to ESF Common Framework, that are open until the 30th of September in Sweden, Finland and Poland.</p> <p>The conference was split in two parts. The first part was lectures on what is known in the field of Early school leaving and NEETs from the Baltic Sea Region, information about the ESF Common Framework and <a href="">AEIDL</a>. The second part was a workshop where the participants had the opportunity to discuss what kind of topics they would like to have transnational project around, like immigrants, mentoring and one-stop-shops. Participants of the conference through a fruitful discussions got better understanding on the possibilities for transnational projects within the Baltic Sea Region, regarding funding from ESF. They also openned discussion on possible topics that the participants would like to gather around.</p> <p>The next step will be to work on the applications to ESF Common Framework for those partners that have already a collaboration on a certain topic. For other partners in the flagship they need to decide what they would like to have a transnational project around.  </p> <!--EndFragment--></div> 2016-07-06T09:05:58+00:00 2016-07-06T09:05:00+00:00 Seminar Norden more than Scandinavia 2016 – The Nordic Way; challenged by the refugee crises? <div class="ugc"><p>During the yearly one-day seminar for the Diplomatic Missions in Sweden, PA Education coordinators contributed to a discussion on the topic “The Nordic Way; challenged by the refugee crisis”.  Seminar was held in the folk high school Nordens Biskops-Arnö, situated in lake Mälaren 60 km north-west of Stockholm. The seminar attended over 70 diplomats representing countries from all over the world.  It was supported by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Embassies of Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway. <br /><br /> Speakers together with guests discussed how Nordic societies are coping with integration challenges in light of the present migration crisis in Europe. Per capita immigration to the Nordic countries is among the highest in the world. It was not until 30–40 years ago that these previously culturally homogenous countries started their transformation into multicultural societies. In many ways, people are just beginning to realise this; issues that they did not have to deal with before are now beginning to appear overwhelming. Moderator was Dr Theo Sommer, former editor-in- chief and publisher of the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit. A panel representing the five countries discussed the integration challenges and possible solutions, from a number of perspectives. Discussion panel consisted of: Mr. Pertti Torstila, President of the Finnish Red Cross, Ambassador; Dr. Lars Dencik, Professor in Social Psychology at the Roskilde University, Denmark; Mr. Pertti Torstila, President of the Finnish Red Cross, Ambassador, Finland; Mr. Thorir Gudmundsson, Director of the Reykjavik Red Cross, Iceland; Mr. Trygve Nordby, Chief Adviser on refugee issues, Oslo City; Dr. Lisa Pelling, Chief Analyst at the Stockholm-based think tank Arena Idé and an expert in migration and integration issues, Sweden. </p> <!--EndFragment--></div> 2016-07-06T09:01:17+00:00 2016-07-06T09:01:00+00:00 Baltic Science Network Political Kick-Off Event <div class="ugc"><p><span style="font-size:1em;"><span style="font-family:serif;">On 16 – 17 June 2016 the Baltic Science Network (BSN) Political Kick-Off Event took place back-to-back with the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) Science Ministerial in Kraków, Poland.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:.8em;"> </span></p> <p style="font-family:Times;font-size:medium;"><span style="font-size:.8em;"><span style="font-family:serif;">The aims and areas of thematic focus of the BSN were presented by Dr. Eva Gümbel, Deputy Minister of the Hamburg Ministry of Science, Research and Equality (Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg), representing the lead partner of the project. Ms Teresa Czerwińska, Deputy Minister of Science at the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, representing the Polish CBSS Presidency, provided broader context in terms of how the BSN fits in a wider Baltic Sea Region (BSR) governance framework. Mr Bernd Hemingway, Acting Director General of the CBSS Secretariat, welcomed the project as one of practical steps which will complement the BSR-wide science cooperation in areas, which so far have not received sufficient support. Further notes on the role of BSN in advancing science cooperation agenda in the BSR were provided by Mr Rolandas Zuoza, Vice-Minister of the Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science, and Mr Hans Müller Pedersen, Director General of the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:.8em;"> </span></p> <p style="font-family:Times;font-size:medium;"><span style="font-size:.8em;"><span style="font-family:serif;">BSN is a newly founded macro-regional science policy network in the BSR, funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme. Its aim is to provide science and research ministries of the BSR 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. BSN also aims to develop and implement transnational strategies, incentives and programmes to support higher education, research and innovation and to develop research and innovation excellence.</span></span></p> <p style="font-family:Times;font-size:medium;"><span style="font-size:.8em;"><span style="font-family:serif;">The BSN partnership consists of 20 organisations from all BSR-countries, representing the key decision-makers in science policy in the BSR (national and regional science ministries; funding agencies and programmes; university and research networks and key actors of the BSR cooperation). BSN is embedded in the BSR cooperation structures. On the one hand, it is connected to the EU Strategy for the BSR. BSN is a flagship of Policy Area Education. On the other hand, BSN brings to the fore the CBSS mandate in science and research cooperation. For almost a decade, or in other words, since the 2007 Chair´s Conclusions adopted in Riga, CBSS has reinstated its intention to engage more actively in strengthening science-related cooperation. Baltic Science Network serves as one of the most recent examples how this commitment is translated into practical steps. The project and its role in advancing science cooperation is also mirrored in the recently adopted </span></span><span style="font-size:.8em;"> </span><a href=""><span style="font-size:.8em;"><span style="font-family:serif;">CBSS Polish Chair´s Conclusions “Baltic Science: Renewing the Commitment to Science/Research Joint Actions in the Baltic Sea Region”.</span></span></a></p> <p style="font-family:Times;font-size:medium;"><span style="font-size:.8em;"><span style="font-family:serif;">The Kick-Off Event was followed by a BSN partner meeting. It focused on the deliverables and time tables of project work packages. It also served as a timely occasion for project partners and associates to exchange ideas regarding the project content and the visual identity of the BSN, as well as map the most important upcoming events, where different issues covered by the project will be presented and discussed. For more information on the BSN, please visit the relevant CBSS website subsection </span></span><span style="font-size:1em;"><a href=""><span style="font-size:.8em;"><span style="font-family:serif;">´Baltic Science Network´.</span></span></a></span><span style="font-size:.8em;"><br /></span><span style="font-size:1em;"><a href=""><span style="font-size:.8em;"><span style="font-family:serif;"><br /></span></span></a></span><span style="font-size:.8em;"><span style="font-family:serif;">Please see following links for photo report from the meeting;</span></span><span style="font-size:.8em;"><span style="font-family:serif;"><br /></span><br /></span><span style="font-family:serif;"><span style="font-size:1em;"><span style="font-size:.8em;"><a href=""><span style="font-size:.8em;">CBSS Flckr album features CBSS produced photos<br /></span></a></span></span></span><span style="font-size:.8em;"><br /></span><span style="font-size:1em;"><span style="font-size:.8em;"><span style="font-family:serif;"><a href=""><span style="font-size:.8em;">CBSS Flckr album features photos produced by the Polish ministry of Science and Higher Education</span></a></span></span></span><span style="font-size:.8em;"><br /><span style="font-family:serif;"><br /> Text provided by the BSN Communication Team</span></span></p> <p style="font-family:Times;font-size:medium;"><span style="font-size:.8em;"><span style="font-family:serif;"><img src="" border="0" align="left" class="imgleft" alt="" style="border-width:0px;border-color:#000;border-style:solid;" /><br /><br /></span><span style="color:rgb(33,33,33);font-family:'wf_segoe-ui_normal', 'Segoe UI', 'Segoe WP', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span><span style="font-size:1em;"><img src="" border="0" align="right" class="imgright" alt="" style="border-width:0px;border-color:#000;border-style:solid;" /><br /></span></p></div> 2016-07-06T08:49:59+00:00 2016-07-06T08:49:00+00:00 PA Education meeting with Swedish Stakeholders <div class="ugc"><p><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]>Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USJAX-NONE<![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 10]><![endif]--><!--StartFragment--></p> <p>A regular meeting of PA Education with Swedish stakeholders was held in the premises of Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions in Stockholm. As usual, the meeting was streamed online which gave opportunity for all who could not come to Stockholm – follow it in real time or watch it afterwards. <br /><br /> First, participants got introduction to the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, news from the flagships and emerging initiatives within PA Education as well as the upcoming EUSBSR Annual Forum in Stockholm in November. The theme of the meeting this time was Integration of the newly arrived refugees. Representatives of Swedish Migration Board and Region Skåne presented initiatives that are being implemented on national and regional level. Besides that the EUSBSR knowledge platform was presented.</p> <p>Next meeting is preliminary planned for the beginning of November.</p> <p>All presentations from the meeting can be found <span style="color:#2A76B0;border:none 1pt;"><a href="">here</a> </span></p> <!--EndFragment--></div> 2016-07-06T08:37:21+00:00 2016-07-06T08:37:00+00:00 Stakeholder seminar in Rostock “Educational Cooperation and Projects in the Baltic Sea Region” <div class="ugc"><p>Stakeholder seminar in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania took place on the 27th of January 2016 in Rostock, Germany. The meeting was organized by the Chair of Business, Economics and Entrepreneurship Educations<span style="font-size:1em;">,</span> University of Rostock (Martin French and Philipp Rose) in cooperation with <span style="font-size:13px;background-color:#FFFFFF;">the </span><span style="font-size:13px;background-color:#FFFFFF;">State Chancellery Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and </span><span style="font-size:12.48px;">the Coordinator of the Policy Area Education, Christiane Schadow</span><span style="font-size:1em;">. Among 42 participants of the meeting were representatives of the governmental and educational institutions as well as non-governmental sector. Participants were greeted by Prof. Dr. Andreas Diettrich, University of Rostock and Wolf Born, State Chancellery Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Representatives of the flagships presented priorities of the PA Education. Afterwards participants of the meeting had a group discussions on possible additional aims for the priorities and new initiatives.</span></p> <p>Overal, participants gave a very positive feedback regarding the presentation and discussion of the EUSBSR, the priority objectives and (new) initiatives and projects. For all the four priority objectives suggestions for improvement were brought up and new projects/ initiatives were discussed and compiled. All participants  agreed that focus of further regular seminars should be on the topic „Educational cooperation and projects in the Baltic Sea Region” (annual/ semi-annual). Besides that, it was requested to conduct separate seminars on each of the four priority objectives that can be a platform for participants to exchange information about initiatives, projects and further cooperation. Seminar results can be linked to the network “Forum Ostsee M-V” of the State Chancellery Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in Germany. Last but not least, the Chair of Business, Economics and Entrepreneurship Education at the University of Rostock offered possibility to function as an information and coordination point for educational cooperation and projects in the Baltic Sea Region. Consultations on this matter will be discussed with policy makers and Baltic Sea Region stakeholders in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.</p> <p><a href="">Click here for presentations and report (both in German and English) from the Seminar</a><br /><br /><a href="">Click here for the photos from the Seminar</a><br /><br />  </p> <!--EndFragment--></div> 2016-07-06T08:30:55+00:00 2016-07-06T08:30:00+00:00 PA Education Stakeholder Seminar in Vilnius, Lithuania <div class="ugc"><p>This year’s meeting with stakeholders in Lithuania was held on the 26<sup>th</sup> of April and organised by the Ministry of Education and Science of Lithuania in Vilnius. Traditionally, the aim was to form a network of stakeholders involved in the implementation of the EUSBSR.</p> <p>Meeting attended in total 18 participants from: Ministry of Education and Science, St. Ignatius of Loyola College, Norden Association, Rietavas Tourism and Business Information Centre, Hamburg Institute for Vocatational Education, Vytautas Magnus University, Klaipeda State University of Applied Sciences, Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences, Projektų valdymo skyriaus vedėja Vilniaus kolegija,  Ministry of Transport and Communications, International Business School at Vilnius University, Lithuanian Education Employees Trade Union, Kaunas University of Technology, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, National Center for Special Needs Education and Psychology, Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences, Mykolas Romeris University.</p> <p>After an introduction to the present flagships and activities, participants formed two groups in which they identified common challenges and potential projects and initiatives that could help resolve them.</p> <p style="font-size:12.48px;"><span style="font-size:1em;">Next step is to organise a workshop on E-Learning in Finland this year and invite interested participants. As a result of the meeting - Lithuanian PA Education network has been set up and will be expanded. The aim is to develop a better cooperation between the stakeholders of the Areas Education, Research and Employability and to invite stakeholders to join existing projects or to set up new projects. To support these goals the Stakeholder Seminar will take place once a year in Lithuania.</span></p> <p style="font-size:12.48px;"><span style="font-size:1em;">Additionally Stakeholders are given advice and information for all initiatives by the Priority Area Coordinators.</span></p> <p style="margin-left:0cm;"><span style="font-size:1em;"><strong>Group 1: A labour market for all and using resources of longer lives</strong></span></p> <p><u><span style="font-size:1em;">Challenges:</span></u><span style="font-size:1em;"> Lifelong Learning is very important to keep the quality of life; fewer people join the labour market in Lithuania; technology influences lives even more (e-learning, internet banking etc.), especially older people are facing difficulties here; people 55+ are often missing information about the possibilities they have.</span></p> <p><u><span style="font-size:1em;">Projects and initiatives:</span></u><span style="font-size:1em;"> Involvement of older generation (job opportunities in the region, offer them things to get involved); third age universities: join young and old, how to implement projects and how to get financing; teachers need to be more motivated/ qualified; EduLab in Lithuania that provides teacher training.</span><span style="font-size:1em;"> </span></p> <p><u><span style="font-size:1em;">Next steps: </span></u><span style="font-size:1em;">Participants of the meeting will send a description to PACs, to organize a workshop with other stakeholders; include participants in BSR Lifelong Learning initiative.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em;"><strong>Group 2: International excellence in higher education and research</strong></span></p> <p><u><span style="font-size:1em;">Challenges:</span></u><span style="font-size:1em;"> Decreasing number of students (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia); students from abroad: how to integrate them, how to establish a certain language level; absence of joined activities in attracting foreign students.</span><span style="font-size:1em;"> </span></p> <p><u><span style="font-size:1em;">Projects and initiatives:</span></u><span style="font-size:1em;"> Create one region for higher education, joined marketing (there are good teachers and researchers); make the region more known and attractive; establish network on best practices in universities.</span></p> <p style="margin-left:89.5pt;"><span style="font-size:1em;"><strong> </strong></span></p></div> 2016-05-23T15:45:21+00:00 2016-05-23T15:45:00+00:00 PA Education Stakeholder Seminar in Riga, Latvia <div class="ugc"><p>Yearly PA Education meeting with stakeholders in Latvia took place on the 25<sup>th</sup> of April, 2016 hosted by the Ministry of Education and Science in Riga, Latvia. Aim was to form a network of stakeholders involved in the implementation of the EUSBSR.</p> <p>Among 30 participants, who attended the meeting were representatives of: Ministry of Education and Science, National Centre for Education, Norden Association, Krāslava Council, Kuldiga Technology and Tourism school, State Education Development Agency, Vidzeme Planning Region, AIESEC Latvia, University of Latvia, Riga Technical University, Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia, Līvānu 1. (Secondary school), Riga City Council, Education, Culture and Sports Department, Hamburg Institute for Vocatational Education, Preiļi Council, Baltic Bright, Ministry of Economics, Smitlenes Tehnikums.</p> <p>Policy area coordinators discussed with stakeholders the implementation of the Action Plan, on present flagships and new initiatives. After an introduction to the present flagships and activities, participants formed three groups covering several urgent challenges Educational systems of EUSBSR are facing today. <br /> As a result of the meeting Latvian network for PA Education was set up and will be expanded. The aim is to develop a better cooperation between the stakeholders of the Areas Education, Research and Employability and to invite stakeholders to join existing projects or to set up new projects. To support these goals the Stakeholder Seminar will take place once a year in Latvia. Additionally Stakeholders are given advice and information for all initiatives by the Priority Area Coordinators. <br /> Here are some <span style="font-size:1em;">highligh</span>ts of the discussions:</p> <p><strong>Group 1: Reducing the rates of early school leaving and smoothening the transition from school to work.</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em;">Among the <u>challenges</u> organisations are facing were identified following: lack of student motivation; problematic social situation (lack of money); high expectations; emigration of parents; not very positive image of VET.</span><span style="font-size:1em;"> </span><strong> </strong></p> <p><u><span style="font-size:1em;">Potential projects or initiatives</span></u><span style="font-size:1em;"> that could help to resolve the challenges were suggested:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em;">tracking of students; increase attractiveness of schools, by offering school dorms, more creative teachers, more activities at school; offering career guidance and information on job possibilities; introducing possibility of international exchange; organizing information days at Vocational Schools when professionals come to school in order to promote educational programmes.</span></p> <p><strong>Group 2: Improving the quality of VET and Higher Education through work based learning and fostering entrepreneurial mind sets</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em;">Among the common <u>challenges</u>, following were identified: a high deficit of mentors, tutors, coaches in VET and work based learning; industry/companies are not very involved in academic education</span><span style="font-size:1em;"> </span></p> <p><u><span style="font-size:1em;">Projects or initiatives</span></u><span style="font-size:1em;"> that could help to resolve the challenges are: establishing network of highly skilled mentors, mentorship program for VET and Higher Education; for the students; involving companies and experts to the universities for problem solving together with the students; higher involvement of companies, for example, through an alumni association.</span></p> <p><strong>Group 3: International excellence in higher education and research</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em;">Current <u>challenges</u> include: need of reforms in educational sphere; student’s uncertainty what to study; improvement of teacher/ professor education; closer cooperation between universities and business.</span><span style="font-size:1em;"> </span></p> <p><u><span style="font-size:1em;">To resolve these challenges</span></u><span style="font-size:1em;"> participants suggest: introducing guidance counsellors for students, to help them choose the right field of education; creating a platform for teacher/professor training that can include following activities an exchange of experiences, best practises, e-learning opportunities, teacher/professor exchanges; closer cooperation between university and business, to implement business needs in higher education.</span></p></div> 2016-05-23T15:34:48+00:00 2016-05-23T15:34:00+00:00 Guidance Centre for NEETs and migrants – information meeting in Oulu, Finland <div class="ugc"><p>On the 29th of April 2016, City of Oulu together with Norden Association in Sweden held an informational meeting to discuss draft of the knowledge platform for exchange of best practice and capacity building in relation to integration of newly arrived refugees</p> <p>Six participants representing City of Oulu and Norden Association worked on preparing an application to Interreg North on a platform and centre for capacity building for guidance centres targeting both NEETs and newly arrived refugees in the age of 20 – 30. Discussions tackled experiences from Oulu and how to adjust the proposal on a knowledge platform to their needs. Meeting also included visits to two centres, one for NEETs and one for migrants.  As a result, City of Oulu will join the knowledge platform and will conduct workshop in Oulu this autumn.</p></div> 2016-05-19T09:48:03+00:00 2016-05-19T09:48:00+00:00 Guidance Centre for NEETs and migrants – second workshop in Skellefteå, Sweden <div class="ugc"><p>This time organisers of the meeting, Norden Association Norrbotten, had an aim to draft a knowledge platform for exchange of best practice and capacity building in relation to integration of newly arrived refugees. Workshop was held on the 11th of April 2016 in Scandic Hotel, Skellefteå, Sweden. </p> <p>15 collaborators represented Public Employment Service, City of Skellefteå, City of Umeå, Migration Agency, Norden Association in Sweden, Norden Association Youth. </p> <p>Activities of the workshop were focused on preparing an application to Interreg North on a platform and centre for capacity building for guidance centres targeting both NEETs and newly arrived refugees in the age of 20 – 30. Participants were divided into smaller groups to define services that should be included in an ideal guidance centre for newly arrived refugees.  Discussions resulted in a second step, namely, defining an ideal guidance centre but also start drafting what should be included in the feasibility study targeting Interreg North. Next meeting with ESF to be held in Skellefteå on 23 May. Afterwards a workshop in Hamburg on May, 30.</p></div> 2016-05-16T14:38:18+00:00 2016-05-16T14:38:00+00:00 Guidance Centre for NEETs and migrants – first workshop in Luleå, Sweden <div class="ugc"><p>Norden Association Norrbotten organised a workshop to explore the possibility and interest for a knowledge platform for exchange of best practice and capacity building in relation to integration of newly arrived refugees. Workshop took place on the 17th of February 2016 in Elite Stadshohellet in Luleå, Sweden.  Among 14 participants were representatives of Public Employment Service, City of Luleå, City of Skellefteå, City of Umeå, City of Oulu, Validation Forum and Norden Association in Sweden.</p> <p>Main goal of the meeting was to form a knowledge platform and centre for capacity building for guidance centres targeting both NEETs and newly arrived refugees in the age of 20 – 30. During workshop discussions were conducted in smaller groups where participants exchanged experiences and results from present activities. This work was a start to draft an ideal guidance centre for both NEETs and migrants. An accomplishment of the workshop was learning about present activities and defining the added value with transnational cooperation within this field. Next workshop planned in Skellefteå on 11 April.</p></div> 2016-05-16T14:35:53+00:00 2016-05-16T14:35:00+00:00 Baltic Science Network – kick-off meeting in Hamburg, Germany <div class="ugc"><p>The Baltic Science Network has been granted funding for three years from the Interreg BSR Programme. The network will focus on the following areas;<br />  </p> <!--[if !supportLists]--> <p>·<span style="font-size:7pt;font-family:'Times New Roman';">        </span>Establishment of the Network and joint presentation of interest</p> <p><!--[if !supportLists]-->·<span style="font-size:7pt;font-family:'Times New Roman';">         </span><!--[endif]-->Development of research and innovation excellence</p> <p><!--[if !supportLists]-->·<span style="font-size:7pt;font-family:'Times New Roman';">         </span><!--[endif]-->Mobility in Research and Higher Education</p> <p><!--[if !supportLists]-->·<span style="font-size:7pt;font-family:'Times New Roman';">         </span><!--[endif]-->Widening Participation in Research and Higher Education</p> <p>Meeting was held on the 7th of April 2016 in the premises of the Senate Guest House in Hamburg, Germany. It was organised by Ministry of Science, Research and Equality, Land of Hamburg. Among 30 participants of the meeting were representatives from: Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Science and Equality of the Land Schleswig-Holstein, Ministry of Education and Research of Republic of Estonia, Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania, Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia, University of Gdansk, Danish Agency for Science and Innovation, Swedish Research Council, University of Turku, CBSS, Turku Academy, Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre (MOSTA), Norden Association in Sweden.</p> <p>Main goal of the meeting was to start the project implementation. The partner organisations presented themselves and their expectations on this project. The work packages were discussed in separate groups, outlining the programme for the coming year. </p> <p>As a result of the meeting a well-designed project plan. Commitment was presented from all partners and stakeholders.</p> <p><img src="" border="0" class="imgnone" alt="" style="border-width:0px;border-color:#000;border-style:solid;" /><br /><br />  </p></div> 2016-05-16T14:29:04+00:00 2016-05-16T14:29:00+00:00 Registration open: Workshop on on supporting newly arrived refugees integration in society <div class="ugc"><p style="font-size:12.48px;">The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region with its Policy Area Education<strong>welcome you to a workshop in Hamburg on May, 30</strong>. We offer <strong>a platform for exchanging experiences and best practice</strong>. The <strong>target groups are national agencies and municipalities</strong> with formal responsibilities for the integration of refugees <strong>but also representatives from civil society</strong> with experiences from contributing to the integration of refugees in our societies.</p> <p style="font-size:12.48px;">Sign up via link <a href=""><wbr />664/019dcec4f2</a> </p></div> 2016-05-10T16:29:36+00:00 2016-05-10T16:29:00+00:00 Report: Entrepreneurship Education at School in Europe <div class="ugc"><p><span style="font-family:Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13.3333px;">A new report published recently by the European Commission examines how European countries teach and promote entrepreneurship in schools. <br /><br /></span>The 'Eurydice Highlights' provides a snapshot of some of the main findings of the report. Here is an Introduction of these Highlights: <br /><br /> "Developing and promoting entrepreneurship education has been one of the key policy objectives of the EU institutions and Member States for many years. Indeed, in the context of high youth unemployment, economic crises and rapid changes related to our complex knowledge-based economy and society, <strong>transversal skills such as entrepreneurship are essential not only to shape the mindsets of young people, but also to provide the skills, knowledge and attitudes that are central to developing an entrepreneurial culture in Europe.</strong> However, although some countries have already been committed to fostering entrepreneurship education for more than a decade, others are just starting.<br /><br /> Following the <a href="">2012 Eurydice report on entrepreneurship education</a>, this new analysis captures the latest developments in Europe. It provides updated and more detailed information on strategies, curricula and learning outcomes, and also covers new themes such as funding schemes and teacher education. <br /><br /> The report <strong>focuses on primary education, lower and general upper secondary education as well as school-based initial vocational education and training (IVET)</strong>. It contains information for 2014/15 from 33 countries participating in the Eurydice network. <br /><br /> In addition, national information sheets provide an overview of entrepreneurship education in each country. In the context of the report, <strong>entrepreneurship education is defined as being about learners developing the skills and mindset to be able to turn creative ideas into entrepreneurial action.</strong> This is a key competence for all learners, supporting personal development, active citizenship, social inclusion and employability." <br /><br /> Full text of the Eurydice Highlights of the report can be found <a href="">here</a></p> <p>Plese find the full text of the report <a href="">here</a><br /><br />  </p></div> 2016-02-23T16:40:56+00:00 2016-02-23T16:40:00+00:00 Report 2015 on New priorities for European cooperation in education and training <div class="ugc"><p>Joint report of the Council and the Commission has been issued recently tackling the implementation of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020). </p> <p>The Report is pointing out the growing importance of efforts and investments that should be made by Member States in the field of education and training specially in the context of u<span style="font-size:12.48px;">rgent tasks Europe is facing now together with long-term challenges that have to be adressed</span><span style="font-size:12.48px;">. </span></p> <p> Based on mid-term evaluation of the ET 2020 strategic framework the Report is drawing out three main policy conclusions: <br /><br /> — The value of an integrated framework covering education and training at all levels is important. That means tight connection and integrity of education at all levels based on the principle of lifelong learning: from early childhood education and schools through to higher education, vocational education and training and adult learning.<br /><br /> — The policy focus needs to include both the pressing economic and employment challenges and the role of education in promoting equity and inclusion. This includes communicating common European values, intercultural competences and active citizenship. <br /><br /> — It is important to include exchange of experiences and mutual learning between Member States in order to contribut to the overall EU agenda for jobs, growth and investment, including the European Semester. <br /><br /> Besides this, Report is pointing out new relevant priority area for European Cooperation in Eduction and Training and concrete issues related to them and outlins governance and recommended working methods.<br /><br /> Full text of the Report is availiable <a href="">here </a><br /><br />  </p></div> 2016-02-23T16:21:59+00:00 2016-02-23T16:21:00+00:00 Coordinating group meeting in Brussels <div class="ugc"><p><span style="color:#292F33;">Second PA Education coordinating group meeting of 2015 took place in Brussels on the 3rd of December. Meeting was held in the Permanent Representation of Sweden to EU.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#292F33;">Together with the Policy Area Coordinators meeting was hosted by the members of the core group from City of Hamburg and Norden Association. Participants included representatives from ministries of education /employment from countries of the Baltic Sea Region, representatives of the EU Commission (DG for Regional and Urban Policy; DG Grow- Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs; DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion; flagship leaders and colleagues working in EUSDR Strategy Point.  </span></p> <p><span style="color:#292F33;">Meeting agenda included presentations of the status report of the EUSBSR and PA Education; latest updates on the flagship projects and emerging initiatives within Policy area. Afterwards discussion took place participants brought up suggestions and comments for the issues that should be in focus of PA Education in the upcoming year. Next coordinating group meeting will be back-to-back with the Strategy Forum in Stockholm on November, 8 and 9, 2016.</span> </p> <p><span style="color:#292F33;">All presentations and memo notes from the meeting <a href="">are available via link</a></span></p></div> 2016-02-23T12:29:17+00:00 2016-02-23T12:29:00+00:00 Final conference of HansaECVET in Stockholm <div class="ugc"><p><span style="color:#292F33;">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. </span></p> <h4><span style="color:#292F33;font-weight:normal;">Conference took place on September, 29 in Stockholm. Participants of the project together with professionals from educational sphere and private sector from all countries of BSR region discussed 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 participants were policy makers, authorities national, regional and local, VET providers (upper secondary and post-secondary), business organisations, companies and VET students. The dialogue of different approaches and views took place. Aiming to finalize the results of the HansaECVET project Conference gave rise to new discussions, new international partnerships and new projects between national and local authorities, VET providers, their host companies and students. For more details please </span><a href=""><span style="font-weight:normal;">see HansaECVET web page</span></a></h4></div> 2016-02-23T12:27:35+00:00 2016-02-23T12:27:00+00:00 Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Policy Area Education! <div class="ugc"><p><a href=""><img src="" border="0" alt="" style="border-width:0px;border-color:#000;border-style:solid;" /></a></p></div> 2015-12-23T10:56:31+00:00 2015-12-23T10:56:00+00:00 EUSBSR Newsletter: Policy Area Education in focus <div class="ugc"><p>Read more about work of Policy Area Education in the latest Newsletter of the EUSBSR<br /><br /><a href="">EUSBSR_News_September2015.pdf</a></p></div> 2015-10-13T13:35:33+00:00 2015-10-13T13:35:00+00:00 Coordinating group meeting of PA Education in Jurmala <div class="ugc"><p><span style="border:none 1pt;">This year’s first coordinating group meeting took place in Jurmala, Latvia during the EUSBSR Annual Forum. </span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">The agenda of the meeting was quite intense and included both presentations and discussion group work. </span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">Priority Area Coordinators provided participants with the status report and work programme for 2015/16. Among the main updates was a new Action Plan that has been adopted on June, 3rd. This marked the end of the governance process that started in 2013. The EUSBSR now consists of 13 policy areas and 4 horizontal areas. More information on changes and updates can be found</span> <a href="">here</a>. <span style="border:none 1pt;">PA Education has now 3 policy areas: education, research, employability and four actions. And 4 action plans: </span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">Action1: Reducing the rates of early school leaving and smoothening transition from school to work; </span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">Action2: Improving the quality of VET and Higher Education through work based learning and fostering entrepreneurial mind sets; </span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">Action3: International excellence in higher education and research; </span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">Action 4: A labour market for all and using resources of longer lives</span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">More information on the chapter on PA you can find <a href="">here</a></span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">Next on the agenda was state of play of flagships and new initiatives and introduction of the guide on EU Funding. A guide to financial instruments relevant for projects within PA Education has been developed. The guide is possible to down load from our website. Presentations were followed by the discussion in groups based on the four new Actions started but because of lack of time it was decided to continue this exercise when the coordinating group meet next time in Brussels.  The next meeting in the coordinating group will be held in Brussels on December, 3, a full day meeting from 10.00 – 17.00 together with representatives from five Directorate General namely; DG Education & Culture, DG Growth, DG Research & Innovation, DG Employment, Social affairs and Inclusion and DG Regional Policy. </span></p> <p>School to Work (S2W), the latest flagship was adopted in the beginning of June. The preparations started in 2013 with a feasibility study and partner search. This resulted in five thematic groups and a list with 33 organisations interested in taking part in projects under this flagship. The thematic groups are; statistics and measures (7 partners); guidance and counselling (11 partners); re-integrative measures (13 partners); one-stop-shop (8 partners) and preventive measures (17 partners). More information in the attached presentation.</p> <p><strong>Baltic University Programme</strong>, the oldest of the flagships dating back to 1992 (before the EUSBSR) is a network with 225 universities in the Baltic Sea Region focusing on sustainable development. That is why much of the activities are linked to HA Sustainable within the EUSBSR. </p> <p><strong>Baltic Training Programme</strong>, focusing on entrepreneurship and internationalisation of vocational education and training (VET). The latest project in the flagship HansaECVET will be finalized in September. A workshop with partners in the flagship was held in Stockholm on May, 12. It was decided to continue in two directions namely internationalisation of VET based on ECVET and developing a supportive environment for fostering entrepreneurial mind sets. The latter will be developed in close cooperation on the emerging flagship, EntrepreneurshipLab.</p> <p><strong>Baltic Sea Labour Forum</strong>, a network with 27 labour market organisations where a mobility initiative is under development. The initiative will hopefully be developed in the framework of a so called Baltic Leadership Programme financed by the Swedish Institute.  </p> <p>   NEW INITIATIVES</p> <p><strong> Baltic Science Network,</strong> a network gathering the respective ministries in the member states responsible for research as well as CBSS and the Nordic Council of Ministers. A brainstorming meeting was held in Hamburg in February and based on the results an application was submitted to the Interreg Baltic Sea Region. The Network was preselected to the second round of applications of the INTERREG Baltic Sea Programme. The full application will be handed in in July 2015. Further information in the enclosed presentation.</p> <p><em> </em><strong>EntrepreneurshipLab,</strong><em> </em><span style="border:none 1pt;">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. 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 a Business Plan for their existing idea or getting help with kick-starting the entrepreneurial process. A Baltic Sea Region wide network is under development. Furthermore a junior and senior version is considered.</span></p> <p>  <br /> </p></div> 2015-10-13T13:29:21+00:00 2015-10-13T13:29:00+00:00 Digest: PA Education on EUSBSR Forum in Jurmala <div class="ugc"><p><u><strong><span style="background-color:rgb(255,255,255);">EUSBSR Forum in Jurmala</span></strong></u></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">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.<br /><br /> 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.  </span></p> <p>Panel discussion on research and funding</p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">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?</span></p> <p><strong><u>Networking village </u></strong></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">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.</span></p> <p> <u><strong><br /><br /></strong></u><u><strong>Speaker’s Corner Presentation of Baltic Science Network</strong></u></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">New initiatives in the portfolio PA Education were presented during the forum in Jurmala.  </span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">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.<br /><br /><u><strong>Speaker’s Corner Presentation of S2W and Entrepreneurship Lab</strong></u></span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">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.<br /><br /></span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">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. </span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">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.  </span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">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. </span></p></div> 2015-10-13T13:24:19+00:00 2015-10-13T13:24:00+00:00 HansaECVET Workshop in Rovaniemi 8-9 June <div class="ugc"><p><span style="border:none 1pt;">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.</span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">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.</span></p> <p>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.</p></div> 2015-10-13T13:18:15+00:00 2015-10-13T13:18:00+00:00 Meeting with Swedish Stakeholders in Stockholm in June <div class="ugc"><p><span style="border:none 1pt;">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 </span><a href=""><span style="border:none 1pt;text-decoration:none;">here</span></a><span style="border:none 1pt;"></span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;"> 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. </span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">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 SYPERB</span> <a href="">here</a></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">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 CBEES</span> <a href="">here</a></p></div> 2015-10-13T13:17:40+00:00 2015-10-13T13:17:00+00:00 From Exclusion to Inclusion – Seminar with Swedish Public Employment Agency in May <div class="ugc"><p><span style="border:none 1pt;">“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. </span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">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).</span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">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 </span><a href=""><span style="border:none 1pt;text-decoration:none;">here</span></a><span style="border:none 1pt;">. </span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">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. </span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">All the results of the discussion groups were gathered and summarized and can be found</span> <a href="">here</a>. </p></div> 2015-10-13T13:16:57+00:00 2015-10-13T13:16:00+00:00 February, 16 – Meeting with Swedish Stakeholders in Stockholm <div class="ugc"><p><span style="border:none 1pt;">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. </span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;"> 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. </span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;">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.</span></p> <p><span style="border:none 1pt;"> </span></p></div> 2015-10-13T13:16:10+00:00 2015-10-13T13:16:00+00:00 Time to FILM :Participate in Common Baltic Short Film Contest – A Month by the Baltic Sea <div class="ugc"><p style="margin-left:0in;"><span style="color:#333334;">, 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.<br /></span><span style="color:#333334;"><br /></span><span style="color:#333334;">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 <strong>until August 25</strong> and should be sent through the form available on Details and </span><span style="color:#000000;"><a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF;border:none 1pt;">contest regulations</span></a></span><span style="color:#333334;"> available on To register, click <a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF;border:none 1pt;">here</span></a>.<br /><br /> More information can be found by clicking on the links below:</span></p> <p><span style="color:#212121;"><a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF;"><wbr />mon-baltic-short-film-contest-a-<wbr />month-by-the-baltic-sea</span></a></span><span style="color:#212121;"></span></p> <p><span style="color:#212121;"><a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF;"><wbr />_policy/baltic/polish_presidency<wbr />/common_baltic___short_film_cont<wbr />est</span></a></span><span style="color:#212121;"></span></p> <p></p> <p><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]>Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USJAX-NONE<![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 10]><![endif]--><!--StartFragment--><!--EndFragment--></p> <p><span style="color:#999999;">Photo in the top right from Mateusz Sarełło project Swell, taken at the seaside in Poland, photo courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="color:rgb(33,33,33);font-family:'wf_segoe-ui_normal', 'Segoe UI', 'Segoe WP', Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif;font-size:15px;"><span style="font-size:11pt;"><br /></span></p></div> 2015-08-04T08:48:04+00:00 2015-08-04T08:48:00+00:00 Open Call for proposals on "Mobility for Professionals" <div class="ugc"><p>The call for proposals on "Mobility for Professionals" has been launched yesterday. For more details please visit: <a href=""><wbr />jsp?catId=629&langId=en</a></p> <p>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.</p> <p style="margin-left:0cm;">The deadline for submission of proposals is <strong>26 June 2015</strong>, inquiries can be sent to <a href=""></a></p></div> 2015-04-28T15:12:47+00:00 2015-04-28T15:12:00+00:00 Meeting of European Social Fund Network for The Baltic Sea Region <div class="ugc"><p>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 from<strong> </strong>DG 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.</p> <p><img src="" border="0" align="left" alt="" style="border-width:0px;border-color:#000;border-style:solid;" /><br /><br />  </p></div> 2015-03-10T16:30:58+00:00 2015-03-10T16:30:00+00:00 The Baltic Science Network Conference in Hamburg <div class="ugc"><p>The Baltic Science Network Conference was being held on 19 February 2015 in</p> <p>Hamburg Senate Guesthouse / Germany.</p> <p>The Agenda of this Brainstorming Seminar had the following lead questions:</p> <p>a. Is there an added value of intensified scientific cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region?</p> <p>b. In which areas or topics is an intensified scientific cooperation necessary?</p> <p style="margin-left:36pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]-->·<span style="font-size:7pt;font-family:'Times New Roman';">         </span><!--[endif]-->Mobility</p> <p style="margin-left:36pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]-->·<span style="font-size:7pt;font-family:'Times New Roman';">         </span><!--[endif]-->Research / Research-infrastructures</p> <p style="margin-left:36pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]-->·<span style="font-size:7pt;font-family:'Times New Roman';">         </span><!--[endif]-->Innovation / Technology transfer</p> <p style="margin-left:36pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]-->·<span style="font-size:7pt;font-family:'Times New Roman';">         </span><!--[endif]-->Politics / Lobbying</p> <p>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?</p> <p>d. If yes: What are the next steps and what sort of governance structure should a</p> <p>“Baltic Science Network” have?</p> <p>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.</p> <p>A talk about the Dimensions of educational and research co-operation in the Baltic Sea Region – A Status Quo Analysis had been given by </p> <p>Dr. Paula Lindroos, Former Director Baltic University Programme and </p> <p>Prof. Kazimierz Musial, Deputy Director of the Institute of Scandinavian Studies from the Gdansk University.</p> <p>After a vibrant discussion and brainstorming the participants had been working in four groups on specific project questions.</p> <p>The ideas were very concrete for the project developing:</p> <p style="margin-left:36pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]-->·<span style="font-size:7pt;font-family:'Times New Roman';">         </span><!--[endif]-->Political actions, lobbying: Joint activities in Brussels</p> <p style="margin-left:36pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]-->·<span style="font-size:7pt;font-family:'Times New Roman';">         </span><!--[endif]-->Structure: Window of opportunities</p> <p style="margin-left:36pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]-->·<span style="font-size:7pt;font-family:'Times New Roman';">         </span><!--[endif]-->Education and Mobility: Joint study programmes (Baltic Sea Master)</p> <p style="margin-left:36pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]-->·<span style="font-size:7pt;font-family:'Times New Roman';">         </span><!--[endif]-->Research and innovation: identify barriers for cooperation, research results; region fields of excellence</p> <p>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).</p> <p><img src="" border="0" class="imgnone" alt="" style="border-width:0px;border-color:#000;border-style:solid;" /><br />  </p></div> 2015-03-02T13:22:04+00:00 2015-03-02T13:22:00+00:00 Meeting with representatives of the EU Commission in Brussels <div class="ugc"><p><!-- [if gte mso 9]>Normal021falsefalsefalseSVJAX-NONE<![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 9]><![endif]--><!-- [if gte mso 10]><![endif]--><!--StartFragment--></p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.  </p> <p>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.</p> <!--EndFragment--></div> 2015-02-12T09:59:38+00:00 2015-02-12T09:59:00+00:00 Flagship project School to Work <div class="ugc"><p><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> </span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> </span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> </span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> </span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span></p> <p><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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 <a href="">here</a> <br /><br /> Interview with project coordinator you can read <a href="">here</a> <br /><br /></span></p></div> 2014-12-23T11:50:13+00:00 2014-12-23T11:50:00+00:00 Interview with Katarina Danielsson, coordinator of S2W <div class="ugc"><p><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">We asked Katarina Danielsson, S2W project coordinator from SALAR, about the background of the project, challenges and her personal experiences.</span><br /><br /><strong>Where does <em>School to Work</em> originate from?</strong><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">  </span><br /><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> </span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> </span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span><br /><br /><strong>What are the main outcomes from <em>Plug In</em>?</strong><br /><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> </span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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:</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">- Plug In’s local workshops have provided many young people with better conditions for completing their studies.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">- 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.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">- 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.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">- Collaboration on the issue of early school leavers has increased, both vertically and horizontally.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">- 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.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> </span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">One important element of Plug In is 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:</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">- Strengthened ties to the school</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">- A holistic focus on the individual</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">- Flexibility in terms of organization and content of teaching</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> </span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span><br /><br /><strong>What are the focuses of <em>Plug In 2</em>? What are the remaining challenges you would like to address?</strong><br /><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> </span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.”</span><br /><br /><strong>From your experiences of <em>Plug In</em>, what can a Baltic Sea wide flagship like S2W contribute with to prevent yearly school leaving and combat NEETs?</strong><br /><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span><br /><br /><strong>What has been most challenging when forming this flagship?</strong><br /><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span></p></div> 2014-12-23T11:38:43+00:00 2014-12-23T11:38:00+00:00 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! <div class="ugc"><p><img src="" border="0" align="left" alt="" style="border-width:0px;border-color:#000;border-style:solid;" /><br /><br /><br /><br />  <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> To download the greeting click here <a href="">christmas and new year greeting (1).pdf</a></p></div> 2014-12-23T08:58:58+00:00 2014-12-23T08:58:00+00:00 Coordinating group meeting in Hamburg <div class="ugc"><p><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> </span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> </span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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 </span><a href="" target="_blank">here.</a></p></div> 2014-12-23T08:45:40+00:00 2014-12-23T08:45:00+00:00 Entrepreneurship in Education – conference in Copenhagen <div class="ugc"><p><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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).</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> </span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">The Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship-Young Enterprise & the Danish Ministry of Education organised the Copenhagen Policy Innovation Summit on Entrepreneurship Education on November, 19.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> </span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> </span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> </span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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 </span><a href=""></a><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">.</span></p></div> 2014-12-23T08:44:41+00:00 2014-12-23T08:44:00+00:00 3rd International Stakeholder Conference in Vienna <div class="ugc"><p><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> </span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">At the conference, held in Vienna on 6</span><sup>th</sup><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> and 7</span><sup>th</sup><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> 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 </span><a href="">web page</a><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">.</span></p></div> 2014-12-23T08:43:31+00:00 2014-12-23T08:43:00+00:00 ESF-BSN – meeting in Riga <div class="ugc"><p><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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 </span><em>Social investments and Social Regimes in the Baltic Sea Region, </em><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span></p></div> 2014-12-23T08:42:19+00:00 2014-12-23T08:42:00+00:00 BSR Lifelong Learning – workshop in Tallinn <div class="ugc"><p><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.<br />  <br /> 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.<br />  <br /> This initiative is based on the results of two previous projects; QuickIGA (<a href=""></a>) and BestAgers Lighthouses <em>(</em><a href=""></a>). These projects were both funded by the INTERREG IVB Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013.<br />  <br /> 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;</span> </p> <ul><li>Statistics / analysis / monitoring,</li> <li>"Age Management" (aimed at employees and their employers)</li> </ul> <p><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">- Career advice<br /> - Attitudes in the workplace for older workers</span> </p> <ul><li> Education (aimed at educational institutions)</li> </ul> <p><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">- Teacher training / development of new methods for learning<br /> - The development of courses for polytechnics and universities</span> </p> <ul><li>Entrepreneurship</li> </ul> <p><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">- Training / coaching / financing<br /> - Mix of young and older entrepreneurs (mentoring)<br />  <br /> 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 <a href=""></a>.</span></p></div> 2014-12-23T08:41:09+00:00 2014-12-23T08:41:00+00:00 Stakeholder seminars in Warsaw <div class="ugc"><p><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">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.</span></p></div> 2014-12-23T08:39:09+00:00 2014-12-23T08:39:00+00:00 Stakeholder seminars in St Petersburg <div class="ugc"><p><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">In cooperation with the Horizontal Action Neighbors, PA Education organised a seminar in St Petersburg targeting stakeholders in northwest Russia. More than 40 representatives from over 10 universities participated. Mr. Jan Lundin, Secretary General of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) moderated the seminar. Mr. Mikko Lohikoski, Head of International affairs at the City of Turku gave an overview of the EUSBSR. Mr. Anders Bergström, PAC PA Education introduced the priority areas activities in the three policy areas: education, youth and labour mobility followed by presentations of current and emerging flagships. Next on the agenda was a presentation of the project </span><a href="">EuroFaculty</a><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">, aiming to upgrade university educations in Business Economics and Business administration. The Eurofaculty in Pskov initiated this project what later came to involve several universities in Russia and other countries in the Baltic Sea Region.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> </span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;">There were many questions from the audience on how to get involved in flagships or how to start projects within PA Education. Many new contacts were established. Internationalisation of educational programs and educational training abroad is recognized to be an important component of future cooperation between Russia and EUSBSR. Besides, there is a need of continuous dialogue regarding existing initiatives and funding possibilities. As a result, PA Education coordinators received one-page summaries from five universities in St Petersburg, presenting proposals on new project initiatives.</span><br /><span style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Arial, Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"> </span></p></div> 2014-12-23T08:37:17+00:00 2014-12-23T08:37:00+00:00 New Priority Area Coordinator <div class="ugc"><p><span style="font-family:Calibri, sans-serif;font-size:11pt;">Christiane Schadow is the successor of Susanne Lonscher-Räcke as Priority Area Coordinator and colleague to Anders Bergström. Mrs Schadow is representing the Land of Hamburg. </span>She has been working as coordinator for international projects at the Hamburg Institute for Vocational Education and Training (HIBB) for four years.</p> <p><a href="">The HIBB</a> exists since January, 1st, 2007 as an independent State Office of Schools and Vocational Training Authority (BOD). Before, it belonged to the Ministry of Education and Sport. It comprises the 44 state vocational schools in Hamburg and the central office. </p></div> 2014-09-12T13:36:26+00:00 2014-09-12T13:36:00+00:00 Finnish international educators' days <div class="ugc"><p>This annual event is organised by the Centre for International Mobility (CIMO), this year in cooperation with Tampere University of Applied Sciences, the Tampere University of Technology and the University of Tampere. The event provides the latest information about the international education activities of the higher education institutions. The main themes of the days are neighbourhoods and partnerships, and sustainable development. The seminar on the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region gathered 25 participants. The EUSBSR was presented in general and PA Education more in depth. Lapland University of Applied Sciences presented HansaECVET, one of the projects in our flagship, Baltic Training Programme. HansaECVET supports internationalisation of vocational education and training (VET). </p></div> 2014-08-28T13:09:18+00:00 2014-08-28T13:09:00+00:00 A study visit to the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) <div class="ugc"><p><span style="color:rgb(0,0,0);"><br /></span></p><p><a href="">The 3rd Annual Forum</a> in the EU Strategy for the Danube Region was hosted by the Austrian Government together with the City of Vienna. The topics for the Forum were;</p> <p>-          Inclusive, sustainable growth as a focus and prerequisite for prosperity,</p> <p>-          Multi-stakeholder European policies for an integrated and competitive Danube Region,</p> <p>-          Governance as a criterion of success for the EUSDR.</p> <p>The Forum gathered close to 1 000 participants and was organised in the beautiful town hall in Vienna. With Austria and the City of Vienna as Priority Area Coordinators for PA 9 People and Skills with in the Strategy a lot of attention was put to education, both vocational and higher education. </p></div> 2014-08-28T12:27:35+00:00 2014-08-28T12:27:00+00:00 A study visit to the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) <div class="ugc"><p><span style="color:rgb(0,0,255);"><span style="font-size:1.4em;">Participation Day in Eisenstadt</span></span></p> <p>The 1<sup>st</sup> Participation Day was organized at the Esterhazy Palace in Eisenstadt, 50 km  from Vienna. The EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) has been elaborated to address common challenges and provide comprehensive development in the Danube Region. The EUSDR as an integrated framework attempts to develop improved solutions by a "concrete process on the ground" that is operated by clear strategic visions, concrete concepts and projects. Thus, “by 2020, all citizens of the Region should enjoy better prospects of higher education, employment and prosperity in their own home area. The Strategy should make the Danube Region a truly 21st century region, secure and confident, and one of the most attractive in Europe.”. In this context, the participants of the 1st Participation Day of the EUSDR have discussed opportunities for enhanced participation of local and regional actors as well as civil society in the implementation of EUSDR. The conference gathered 120 participants from 14 countries. An important part was the discussions in smaller groups with the following theme; local administration, civil society, culture and youth.</p></div> 2014-08-25T14:53:03+00:00 2014-08-25T14:53:00+00:00 Seminar on Vocational Education and Training during Almedalen in Visby, Sweden <div class="ugc"><p>During the political week in Visby on the island of Gotland, PA Education together with <a href="">European Social Fund in Sweden</a> and <a href="">Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Stockholm</a> held seminar on vocational education and training (VET) in Finland, Sweden and Germany. During the seminar, guests learned more about the Finnish VET and the German dual education comparring them with Swedish VET.</p> <p>Vocational education and training is more responsive to labor market needs and lead faster to job compared to educations that are preparing for university studies. Interest to it is growing all around Europe. The Higher Vocational Education and Training (Yrkeshögskolan) was established in Sweden five years ago. This education proves to provide employability directly after finalized education. Finland has long experience of providing post-secondary VET and also with good results. Germany is often presented as one of the best examples of well-functioning VET. <br /><br /> Panelists discussed main components of such success and challenges that countries are facing. Event was attended by over 20 professionals from the educational field. Discussion was moderated by PA Education coordinator Anders Bergström. Panelists were Benjamin Krautschat from German Trade Union Youth, Stefan Skimutis from the Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education and Edvard Johansson from Åland University of Applied Sciences.</p></div> 2014-08-12T14:51:53+00:00 2014-08-12T14:51:00+00:00 Baltic development Forum and Annual Forum of the EUSBSR Turku Finland, 3-4 June 2014 <div class="ugc"><p>     During the first week of June stakeholders of the EUSBSR met in the city of Turku, Finland for the week of seminars, workshops and networking activities to connect and develop collaboration in the Baltic Sea region.</p> <p>Within the framework of Baltic Sea Days coordinators of the PA Education took active part in the 16th Baltic Development Forum (BDF) and 5th Annual Meeting of EUSBSR. Priority area coordinators used this opportunity to hold <strong><a href="">coordination group meeting</a></strong>.<br /><br /> During two days PA Education was present in the networking village during the BDF representing current flagship projects: Baltic University Program, South Baltic Training Program, Baltic Sea Labor Forum, Baltic Sea Youth Forum, School 2 work, Quick IGA. Anders Bergström, during the speaking sessions, presented PA Education and made a short overview of implemented and ongoing projects. </p> <p>Read more: <br /><br /> about Baltic Development Forum and Annual Forum of EUSBSR<br /><a href=""></a><br /><br /> for video from the forum click on the link below<br /><a href=""></a><br />  </p></div> 2014-08-12T14:37:20+00:00 2014-08-12T14:37:00+00:00 Coordination group meeting of PA Education in Turku, Finland <div class="ugc"><p>Our coordination group meeting took place on June 2<sup>nd</sup>. In one place we succeeded to gather representatives of different levels and this ensured fruitful discussion and informative presentations. Participants of the meeting were representing DG Employment and DG Regio, Ministries of education/labour(Estonia, Finland, Lithuania and Poland). Flagship leaders (present, emerging and possible), representatives from ESF (European Social Fund) and land of Hamburg were present on the meeting.</p> <p>We started with the news and <span style="font-family:Calibri, sans-serif;font-size:11pt;">current status from EUSBSR and PA Education. </span><span style="font-size:1em;">Presentation with facts and figures you can <a href="">find here</a>. </span><br /><br /><span style="font-size:1em;">Christian Råbergh from ESF updated on <a href="">funding opportunities</a> : programmes (ESF Baltic Sea Network, ERDF and Erasmus +) and seed money facilities. </span><span style="font-family:'Trebuchet MS', sans-serif;font-size:13px;">Most of the programmes will open their calls in the end of this year or early 2015.<br /></span><span style="color:rgb(0,0,0);"><span style="font-family:'Trebuchet MS', sans-serif;font-size:1em;">Anders Bergström gave a report in brief on the two remaining seed money facilities; Swedish Institute (SI) and CBSS Project Support Facility. Most probably this year only SI will be open for new applications.</span></span></p> <p style="color:rgb(80,0,80);font-family:arial, sans-serif;font-size:13px;"><span style="margin-left:36pt;"> </span> </p><p> Targets and Indicators (baselines for education) were also discussed. The Priority Area Focal Points reported difficulties in collecting data for the baselines of our first two targets. Furthermore it was discussed whether the data will be relevant in regards to measuring progress and outcomes when implementing the Strategy. It was decided that Anders Bergström will discuss with DG Regio whether we need to have broad targets and indicators like today or if we could instead have targets and indicators related to our flagships and their projects. </p> <p><span style="font-size:1em;">Flagship leaders presented milestone results of their projects. Afterwards, we shared ideas, comments and next steps in the upcoming period. You can read more about our flagships and status report <a href="">here</a>. <br /><br /></span>The next coordinating group meeting is planned in June 2015, during the Annual Forum of EUSBSR in Riga.  <br />  </p></div> 2014-08-12T14:18:46+00:00 2014-08-12T14:18:00+00:00 Official visit of the mayor of Hamburg Olaf Scholz in Stockholm <div class="ugc"><p>During the visit, on the 20<sup>th</sup> of May, Swedish and German experts in educational questions gathered in the Secretariat of Council of the Baltic Sea States to discuss concrete proposals of cooperation in the educational sphere in the Baltic Region. For example, development of network of educational institutions in the region for exchange of competences and experiences. Priority area coordinator Anders Bergström took active part in the discussion and presented one of the current flagships HansaECVET, with leading partners from Sweden, Finland and Germany (Land of Hamburg), which supports internationalization of vocational education and training in all 8 Baltic Sea States. <a href=""></a></p> <p>For more photoes <a href=""><wbr />ariat/sets/72157644376949030</a><br />  </p></div> 2014-08-12T13:49:52+00:00 2014-08-12T13:49:00+00:00 Core group meeting of PA Education in Stockholm – updated targets and indicators, future priorities set <div class="ugc"><p>     On the 19<sup>th</sup> of May Priority Area Coordinators met for the core group meeting in Nordens Biskops Arnö, 60 km north-west from Stockholm. Representatives from Land of Hamburg and Norden Association revised action plan and discussed results of the PA Education activities during autumn 2013/Spring 2014. Coordinators admitted importance of all three policy areas that PA Education covers and focus will be made on the initiating new flagship projects that touch upon education, youth and labor mobility in the Baltic Sea Region. Fact and figures of current status you can find here                  <a href="">PA Education_Status 2014.ppt</a> </p></div> 2014-08-12T13:22:49+00:00 2014-08-12T13:22:00+00:00 10th annual meeting of OECD LEED Forum in Stockholm, 23-25 April, 2014 <div class="ugc"><p>This year, <span style="color:#222222;">annual meeting of the OECD LEED Forum on Partnerships and Local Development brought together some 250 representatives from local partnerships, government officials, public employment services, local leaders, youth organisations, social entrepreneurs, business representatives, and academics.<br /></span><br /><span style="color:#222222;">Organisers of the meeting claim, that </span><span style="color:#222222;">in the recovery, local communities can boost economic growth and sustainability by investing in a skilled workforce who is less expendable, more adaptable to change and better able to contribute to productivity growth and the creation of new jobs. In order to contribute to this agenda, employment and training organisations need to align their services effectively with local conditions and with broader local economic development strategies. </span></p> <p style="margin-left:0cm;"><span style="color:#222222;">Three days meeting consisted of plenary sessions</span><span style="color:#222222;">, interactive workshops and the Local Initiatives. Forum provided opportunities to learn from international experience, present projects and network with peers from other counties. Important part of the meeting were <strong>project visits</strong>, when participants had the opportunity to learn directly from a range of projects based in Stockholm and discussed their work with staff and service users.</span></p> <p style="margin-left:0cm;"><strong><span style="color:#222222;">Special focus</span></strong><span style="color:#222222;"> was displayed during a series of pre and post-events and reviewed the latest development in understanding: ways to reduce school dropout rates; links between skills, economic diversity and local development; new approaches to area-based partnerships and local governance; ecosystems for social innovation; brokerage as the key to unlocking the new economy</span></p> <p style="margin-left:0cm;"><span style="color:#222222;"> </span><span style="color:rgb(34,34,34);font-family:'Times New Roman', serif;font-size:10pt;">More materials and presentations from the meeting you can find via <a href=""><wbr />eed/10th-fplg-meeting.htm</a></span></p></div> 2014-05-30T11:39:42+00:00 2014-05-30T11:39:00+00:00 5th working meeting of the EUSBSR in Tallinn – closer look at practical aspects of implementation of the strategy. <div class="ugc"><p>On 9-10 of April coordinators of national contact points, priority area coordinators and horizontal action leaders of the EUSBSR discussed opportunities and difficulties that are emerging during the implementation stage of the Baltic Sea Strategy.</p> <p>During first day, discussion touched upon enhancement and coordination within the EUSBSR, primarily in Priority areas and horizontal actions.</p> <p>It is clear, that the role of steering committees and coordination groups plays vital role in the progress of the priority areas, especially when it comes to initiation and launching of new flagship projects. Participants got a chance to learn about main principles when setting up a steering committee and lessons learnt from the coordinator of Priority Area Ship.</p> <p>Now there is more clarity in the question of what horizontal action leaders can offer to different stakeholders in the Baltic Sea strategy. Horizontal action leaders presented rapports about their activities and links to priority areas needs. It gave insight into support they can offer to the project managers and priority area coordinators when working with developing and implementation of the projects. Presentation from the Horizontal Action Leaders you can find via  <span style="color:#1F497D;"><a href=""><wbr />ommunication/events/600073-5th-w<wbr />orking-meeting-of-the-eusbsr/eve<wbr />nt_details</a></span></p> <p>Second day, participants touch upon funding possibilities during period of 2014-2020: support of EUSBSR through EU Funds and Funding programs; latest communication activities and <a href="">new tools for managing international projects online.</a></p></div> 2014-05-30T10:25:38+00:00 2014-05-30T10:25:00+00:00 Swedish BSR networking meeting in Stockholm,4 April, 2014. New media for improved communication. <div class="ugc"><p>Networking meeting of Swedish national and regional authorities, conducted by <span style="font-family:Calibri, sans-serif;font-size:11pt;">Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth,</span> was dedicated to the relevant questions for those working with Baltic Sea Strategy.</p> <p>Communicators from Swedish Institute and Foreign Ministry presented strategy of their work with social media. According to them, it is important to use social media because it is a new way to track the worlds news; to network in the modern society, because every person is an opionor builder. Followers on social media are now even substituting business cards exchange. Among those most relevant tools are still website, twitter and networks for professional exchange.  People tend to spend less time reading long articles and reports. So it is important to keep information short and consistent. Other challenge is to involve young generation into political process. Modern social media tools: like blogs, instagram, linked in and facebook is a relevant challenge to reach out youth.</p> <p>From the previous experiences of leading international projects, managers point out on the importance to manage cultural differences and be flexible when it comes to adding or changing partners in the project. Combination of resources is vital, when particular stakeholders accomplish tasks they are specialized in.  </p></div> 2014-05-30T10:16:38+00:00 2014-05-30T10:16:00+00:00 Seminar in Sweden on transnational cooperation. Different countries similar challenges. <div class="ugc"><p>On the 25th March Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth conducted a seminar <span style="font-size:1em;">on transnational cooperation. Participants from different organisations that work on national, regional and local level shared experiences of possibilities and outcomes of cooperation with Baltic Sea States.</span><br /><br /> One of three main transnational programs 2014-2020 in Sweden is Baltic Sea Program. Besides it, there is North Sea Region Program and Northern Periphery and Arctic program.</p> <p>Participants of the meeting underlined, that the result of projects and cooperation should be – products or services tested during the flagships and provide community with the solution to common problems in the region.</p> <p>For better cooperation on all levels, Swedish institutions in upcoming period will focus on skills and competences of professionals, working with the strategy; and political leadership of the country are to point the direction to regional and national actors and lead the implementation. When starting cooperation, it is important to be enthusiastic and see possibilities, not obstacles.</p> <p>Advices for those actors, who want to initiate project were: to engage into project development those stakeholders, who will benefit from its outcomes. Most probably, they can come up with reasonable suggestions. Getting to know project partners before the project start will ease communication and help to prepare common vision of the project implementation and results.  </p></div> 2014-05-30T09:47:35+00:00 2014-05-30T09:47:00+00:00 6-7 March, 2014. Meeting of the ESF Baltic Sea Network in Tartu <div class="ugc"><p>ESF Baltic Sea Network (ESF-BSN) organized a meeting which was held on 6-7 of March, 2014 inTartu, Estonia. Participants of the network meeting were from Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden and Germany. International cooperation specialist Asta Jurgute represented ESFA and participated in the discussions of the Network.</p> <p>The members of the Network during the fruitful 2 days meeting discussed about Common Themes, Common/minimum criteria for calls and project assessment, Partner search activities, set the preliminary dates for the Launch of first synchronized call, agreed on future plans of the network. The topics for discussions were related to the EU Baltic Sea Region strategy, the links of the strategy with the ESF.</p> <p>The aim of the Network is to strengthen the transnational cooperation between projects funded by the ESF in the Member States. A particular focus of the network is on the cooperation between projects and stakeholders in the Member States in the Baltic Sea Region.<br /><br />  </p></div> 2014-03-31T15:38:45+00:00 2014-03-31T15:38:00+00:00