News

Questionnaire for the UBC General Conference workshop

The City of Klaipeda and UBC Working Group on Gender Equality will have a workshop on gender equality topic during XV UBC General Conference in Kaunas on 15 October 2019, website http://ubc.kaunas.lt/
 
Before the workshop the organisers would like to gather some information from all countries participants. They ask for sharing the questionnaire among young people.
The questionnaire is at: https://bit.ly/32oGAuj
 

Youth Guarantee works

UBC conference “Supporting Youth Employment and the Implementation of the Youth Guarantee - The Good, The Bad and The Next Practices from Baltic Sea Region” was held on 20 May 2019 in Brussels, in the Committee of the Regions.
 
The aim of the confereFelix Schartner, Project Officer, Integrate NEETs, Flagship School2Work in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region
 
“More flexibility, and increase in finance”. Mantas Jurgutis, Vice President of the Union of the Baltic Cities
 

Territorial Scenarios for the Baltic Sea Region 2050

On 4 June 2019 in Riga there will be an innovative and interactive role-playing workshop in the framework of the VASAB (macro-regional cooperation on spatial planning and development in the Baltic Sea Region) initiated ESPON project “Territorial Scenarios for the Baltic Sea Region 2050”. A workshop with inspiring colleagues to provoke thinking out of the box, stimulate food for thought and develop creative ideas. 

The new Baltic Cities Bulletin "Cities’ co-operation beyond the Baltic Sea Region" is out!

The new Baltic Cities Bulletin "Cities’ co-operation beyond the Baltic Sea Region" is now available!
 
This issue features the examples of the co-operation beyond our region. Why do the cities look for alliances far from their borders?  They establish contacts with peers from other regions facing comparable sustainable development challenges. Through bilateral or multilateral projects they work on solutions to particular problems, share knowledge and best practices. This co-operation becomes very often a long-standing one, taking a form of twinning.

UBC’s Executive Board met in St. Petersburg

The 83rd Executive Board Meeting of the UBC was held on 23–26 April 2019 in St. Petersburg. On the meeting agenda were, among others, preparations for the XV UBC General Conference in Kaunas on 15–18 October 2019, 10th EUSBSR Annual Forum in Gdańsk in June, proposal of cooperation with VASAB, WG on Gender Equality project proposal, Shore Power and the Cruise Industry, The Baltic Sea House initiative, Anti-radicalisation BOX project, Empowering participatory budgeting in the Baltic Sea region, and UBC budget 2019.

Mikko Jokinen awarded for his life-long work for a cleaner sea

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Östersjöfonden (the Baltic Sea Foundation), the delegation of the foundation has decided to award four persons who, through their extensive life work, have engaged in improving the Baltic Sea environment.

Two of the awards came to Turku, as the former UBC board member, UBC Sustainable Cities Commission Chair and Environmental Manager of the City of Turku Mikko Jokinen and Professor of Marine Biology at the Åbo Akademi University Erik Bonsdorff got the award.

Registration to the Participation Day is now open!

Successful collaboration between organisations and people in the Baltic Sea Region requires broadest possible mobilization and participation of stakeholders in all respective countries.
 
The Participation Day offers an opportunity for local and regional stakeholders to get involved in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. It is, as usual, arranged in connection to the EUSBSR Annual Forum.
 
Time: Tuesday 11 June 2019
Venue: Polskie niebo, Augustyńskiego 1, Gdańsk
 

School To Work Annual Conference

The fourth conference of the Flagship School to Work will be held in Gdańsk on the 11th of June. This year the conference will have focus on sustainable and coherent strategies from school to work – finding a red thread from preventative work in schools to education and outreach work for NEETs.
The conference will cover all three areas of Flagship´s actions and is welcoming participants in workshops and co-creation.
 

Baltic 2030 Capacity Building Programme – Localising SDGs

The follow up of the Baltic Leadership Programme on 2030 Agenda is being organized. The UBC Cities are invited to be part of the programme in representation of their country/ministry.
 
Module 1: 11-12 April 2019, Riga, Latvia 2030 Agenda as a framework for local development. The module will inspire and develop capacity on how the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs can be localized and used as strategic policy- and action-guiding frameworks;
 

Sport 4 Values Partner Initiation Workshop

The Sport 4 Values Partner Initiation Workshop will be held in Kaunas on Kaunas, 26-28.03.19.
 
‘Sport for Values’ project aims at identifying good practice, developing practical tools and disseminating them through a series of workshops, training and conferences for urban sports development.
UBC is an associated partner in this project.
 
The costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence for 3 persons from the UBC member cities (1 person from a city) will be refunded, on the first come first served basis. The other participants will pay by themselves.

Youthful Cities Commission invites for its meetings

 UBC Youthful Cities Commission invites to its open meeting in Kolding on 29 April – 2 May 2019. Also, the registration to the Baltic Sea Youth Camp has been opened.
 
One of the topics of the meeting in Kolding will be the youth involvement in political processes, but also planning of the upcoming UBC Youth Conference in October back-to-back with and in cooperation with the XV UBC General Conference in Kaunas, Lithuania.

PROSPECT H2020 last call for mentees will close in 1 week

H2020 PROSPECT project on innovative financing for local actions on energy and climate has launched its third and last call for applications for mentees.

Local authorities can apply until 8 March under one or several of the 5 following thematic modules, to learn with mentor cities, regions and energy agencies, who will share with them their knowledge and expertise through peer-to-peer learning activities:
 
1. Transport – Revolving / investment funds

Open Call for Seminars for the 10th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR

The organisers of the 10th EUSBSR Forum, to be held in Gdańsk on 12-13 June 2019, invite all strategic stakeholders to participate and propose seminars for the event.

Seminars are an essential part of the Annual Forums of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). They serve to exchange views on themes pertinent for the EUSBSR as well as to develop and disseminate new ideas and initiatives.

The assesment criteria:

Condolences from the UBC President and Member Cities

Per Bødker Andersen, President of UBC

The news of Paweł’s death came as shock to me. It is so painful to accept that he is gone! There are no words to express my grief and sorrow.
Please convey my deepest sympathy to his family, friends, co-workers. I am with them in my thoughts in this difficult moments. I stand in solidarity with all Gdańsk inhabitants, in condemnation of this act of violence.

Mayor of Gdańsk has died after stabbing at charity event

We are shocked and speechless after the death of Paweł Adamowicz, Mayor of Gdańsk, who was stabbed at the charity event yesterday evening.
No words to express our grief and sorrow. He will be remembered as a friend of UBC, an open-minded person so much devoted to the city of Gdańsk!

We are with his family, the city and inhabitants in our thoughts.

Condolences from the UBC President and the member cities: http://ubc.net/content/condolences-ubc-president-and-member-cities

 

Call for Participation - Projekt Hansa Annual Youth Event 2019

Projekt Hansa is organising the first edition of its Annual Youth Conference to promote partnerships and mutual understanding between young people from Northern Europe, and exchange views on business and cultural topics of concern to the new generations.
 
The event is set to take place in Brussels (Belgium) at the European Parliament on 20 February — with arrivals on the 19th. The agenda comprises two panels on Northern European trade and culture, as well as workshops dedicated to communication, leadership, and networking.
 

Fill in the UBC Inclusive and Healthy Cities Commission’s Questionnaire

The UBC Inclusive and Healthy Cities Commission met in Karlstad at its annual meeting in October 2018.  The theme of the meeting was 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. We had a general presentation and introduction of the global goals and how we can integrate the global goals with the work in the Commission. On 30 October we had a workshop focusing on selecting a goal that is relevant to the Commission’s work.

10th EUSBSR Forum in Gdańsk - Save the date!

The 10th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR will be held in Gdańsk on 12-13th June 2019. The Forum will be hosted by the Pomorskie Region together with the Baltic Sea States Subregional Co-operation in close cooperation with the European Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland and other partners.

About 800 participants from governments, international organisations, NGOs, universities, local and regional administrations and businesses will come together to discuss developments and challenges in the Baltic Sea Region.

UBC Cultural Cities Commission questionnaire to the cities

Cultural Cities Commission sends out the questionnaire for member cities and their representatives.

The questionnaire is created with an aim to know the members and their needs better, also to ascertain the possible collaboration between each other and stakeholders. The most relevant information will be made public and accessible to other partner cities beginning with the year 2019.

UBC delegation met the Government of St. Petersburg

On 29 November 2018, within the framework of the International Youth Forum of the Baltic Sea States, the Government of St. Petersburg hosted a round table on the strategic interaction of St. Petersburg with the Union of Baltic Cities.

The parties discussed the prospects for bilateral cooperation and identified priority areas for the next year. One of the main issues discussed at the round table was the meeting of the UBC Executive Board in St. Petersburg in March 2019.

Call for applications: European Youth Capital 2022

The application process for the European Youth Capital 2022 competition is already open! 

The European Youth Capital initiative is a title awarded by the European Youth Forum. It is granted to a European city for a period of one year that puts young people at the core of the city’s social, economic, cultural and political life. The applicant cities are asked to submit an application outlining their past performance in the youth field, their motivation, the key challenges facing young people, and a multi-faceted programme of activities designed to meet them.

UBC webinar on EU funding

UBC together with South Baltic Programme, Central Baltic Programme and Interreg Botnia – Atlantica heartily invites to the webinar on EU funding programmes and Interreg South Baltic Programme call for projects open till 18 December.

The webinar takes place on 4 December 2018 at 13.30–15.15 (CET).

The experts: Jennifer Billowie from South Baltic Programme, Elisa Bertieri from Central Baltic Programme and Jon Fransson from Interreg Botnia – Atlantica will inform about their Programmes and projects. They will be also happy to answer your questions.

Urban Transition Zones in Visby

Planning Cities Commission held the annual seminar in cooperation with Region Gotland in Visby on 21–24 October 2018. About 40 participants from UBC cities together with ten local planners joined the seminar.

Visby, a UNESCO World Heritage city and the main town on Gotland with 25 000 inhabitants, is located on the northwest coast of the island, about 100 km from the Swedish mainland.

European Charter on Youth work

On 8–11 October representatives of the Youthful Cities around the Baltic Sea met in Rostock. A total of 21 participants (youth and civil servants) from 11 cities had made their way to Germany. Also, two youth board members from the Baltic Sea States Subregional Cooperation were invited.
 
The main working themes of this meeting were: the “Charter on Local Youth Work”, “EU Competence model for international youth work”, “Youth and UBC General Conference 2019” as well as a cultural experiences of Rostock City.
 

The new Bulletin "Nothing about us without us!" is now available!

This issue presents the best practices on youth involvement and empowerment on the local and regional levels in the Baltic Sea Region. It brings a variety of examples on how to include the youth in dialogue, how to co-create the reality and share responsibility so that all what concerns the young inhabitants is discussed with them. Fostering young people's participation in civic and democratic life and supporting the youth initiatives are high on agenda of our members!
 

UBC's Executive Board met in Malmö

The UBC Executive Board met on 17–19 October in Malmö. In the beginning of the meeting on 18 October, the Board held a silent moment in memory of Armas Lahoniitty, a former Mayor of Turku and former Vice-President of the UBC.

The meeting was opened by UBC President Per Bødker Andersen and the Mayor of Malmö, Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh.

Sad to announce: Armas Lahoniitty has passed away

We are sad to announce that former Mayor of Turku and former Vice-President of the UBC Armas Lahoniitty has passed away at the age of 74.

During his career, Armas Lahonitty placed great value on especially international cooperation. The UBC Executive Board held a silent moment in memory of Armas Lahoniitty in the beginning of the Board meeting in Malmö on 18 October.

Our deepest condolences to his family and friends.

Project proposal in the framework of the "Europe for Citizens" Programme

Union of Polish Organisations in Sweden and Kashubian Education Center „Vademe” invite to the project proposal called “Solidarity Remembrance”, which will utilise the LARP (Live Action Role Play) concept to present the role of the Solidarity movement during the late 1980s. The project was developed at the Making Waves seminar held in Gdańsk in October.

This project is to be executed within the EU programme for European Remembrance, which supports projects that reflect on the meaning and consequences of major historical turning points during the 20th century in Europe.

IMOFEST 2018 - Galați Investment Forum

The City Hall of Galați has the pleasure to invite you to the first edition of IMOFEST 2018 - Galați Investment Forum, on 30 October 2018, starting at 10 o’clock, in the conference room of Vega Hotel, Galați.
IMOFEST 2018 Forum is dedicated to attracting new investments in Galați and the municipality will present public and private unused land that is open to investment and reuse.

Registration open: UBC Seminar on International City and Business Marketing

UBC and the City of Rostock invite you to get updated with the currents of international city, business and NGO marketing in Rostock on 28–29 November 2018! Registrationis now open at http://bit.ly/UBCcomm

The seminar is part of the work of UBC's Communications Network and is open to all representatives of the UBC cities who are interested in the topics of international communications and marketing.

Time and venue
28–29 November 2018, Rostock City Hall

Time to nominate candidates for the Baltic Sea Award 2019

It is time to nominate candidates for the Baltic Sea award 2019.

The organisers seek the person who or organization which have done meaningful and outstanding achievements for the Baltic Sea environment. The candidates can be active in the fields of science, culture, or in environmental movements. Authorities or decision-makers in the business world or public administration can also be nominated.

ESPON Transnational Outreach events

ERRIN and Inova+ are supporting ESPON in organising a series of transnational outreach events across Europe. In October there will be two seminars:

- in Växjö on October 2nd 2018. The seminar will examine Economic development in rural regions – new thinking and policies in finding and exploiting endogenous capacities https://www.espon.eu/vaxjo 

- in Tallinn on October 16th 2018, the workshop will examine New challenges and thinking for spatial planning systems  https://www.espon.eu/tallinn

New calls for cooperation projects in the Baltic Sea Region

The Swedish Institute seeks to strengthen Sweden's relations and develop cooperation with the countries around the Baltic Sea and the countries of the Eastern Partnership.
The Swedish Institute provides funding for project cooperation in the region. During the autumn there are new calls for two financing instruments: Seed funding for cooperation projects and funding for Third Country Participation.

Conference on Extended Youth Guarantee

The conference on Extended Youth Guarantee will take place on the 17th of October at the Stockholm Region EU Office on Avenue Marnix 28 in Brussels.
 
The purpose of the conference is to highlight successful initiatives that have taken place at national and transnational level.  During the event there will be a platform for exchange of opinions from various actors about successful efforts in the past that have provided valuable inputs for continuous work but require a common vision for the entire EU.

UBC Seminar on International City Marketing and Business Marketing

UBC and the City of Rostock invite you to get updated with the currents of international city, business and NGO marketing in Rostock on 28–29 November 2018!
 

The seminar is part of the work of UBC's Communications Network and is open to all representatives of the UBC cities who are interested in the topics of international communications and marketing.

Time and venue

28–29 November 2018, Rostock City Hall

Themes and speakers

The Bulletin "Nothing about us without us!" call is open!

The next Bulletin will provide a space for sharing best practices on youth involvement and empowerment on the local and regional levels in the BSR and for discussing different approaches to active youth involvement in all ten Baltic Sea countries.

Involving the youth in the decision-making, fostering young people's participation in civic and democratic life and supporting the youth empowerment are today high on the UBC agenda. The youth want to be talked with, not to!

Night of ancient bonfires

The Estonia 100 Grand Celebration Week ends with the magical night of ancient bonfires! 

Come to the shore of the Baltic Sea at sunset on August 25 and enjoy a bonfire or light one yourself. The sea unites all of us. It is a link between our neighbours, fellow-countrymen and people from all around the Baltic Sea. 

Flagship School to Work study visit

Knowledge Platforms of Prevention of Early School Leaving and Integration of Newly Arrived Refugees invite to participate to study visit in Kristiansand, Norway, 17-18 September 2018. 
The ways and methods of integration of newly arrived refugees will be presented.
Among the topics there are: Kongsgaard School Center -  Collaboration with «Newly Arrived Refugees Integration Programme». Identifying knowledge and skills in order to plan educational programs
- Individual plan and long-term planning
- Industry-specific internship/practical work placement

Cultural Cities Commission calls for the next meeting host

Rūta Stepanovaitė, a culture manager from Kaunas, Lithuania with a background in visual arts, is a new Cultural Cities Commission chair. She is also the head of Kaunas Artists’ House (KAH) in Lithuania, an institution with a history of 46 years, and counting. The Commission invites to cooperation and is looking now for a host of the next Commission's meeting. The proposals should be sent until 10 August 2018.

Baltic Leadership Programme on Smart Specialisation

Over the last few years Smart Specialisation has become a key instrument for place-based development. It now represents the most comprehensive policy experience on innovation-driven development in Europe.
For this reason, the Swedish Institute together with its collaboration partners has developed a Baltic Leadership Programme on Smart Specialisation (BLP S3).
BLP S3 addresses the needs and challenges of S3-stakeholders in the Baltic Sea Region when developing and implementing their work on S3.

Baltic Leadership Programme on Youth & Bioeconomy

Swedish Institute together with cooperation partners is developing a training programme with the intent to tackle the challenges of youth participation in the Bioeconomy sector.

BLP Youth addresses the need to better integrate younger generations into the field of Bioeconomy. Youth (up to 30 years of age) are vital for renewing and innovating the sector, which is necessary in the transition from a fossil based to a bio based society/economy, but today necessary links and methods for attracting and involving youth are lacking.

Inclusive and Healthy Cities Commission meeting, Karlstad, 30-31 October 2018

UBC Inclusive and Healthy Cities Commission will held a meeting in Karlstad, Sweden, 30 - 31 of October 2018.

The theme for the meeting/workshop will be:
Inclusive and Healthy Cities Commission and the Global Goals 2030
- How can we use the Global Goals for sustainable development in our commission?
- How can our work in the Commission contribute to achieving the goals?
 
More information and a detailed schedule will be announced in the beginning of September.

 

UBC Safe Cities Commission met in Lahti

UBC Safe Cities Commission met in Lahti on 12-14 June 2018 to hold its first meeting of the year.

Youth safety issues, organizing of large-scale events, climate change and collaboration between institutions were the main topics of the meeting.

The meeting participants on the arrival day were warmly welcomed at the Lahti City Hall by Lahti Mayor Mika Mäkinen who expressed gratitute for the opportunity to share their safety challenges and experiences in safety issues.

Digitalization and urbanization seem to go hand in hand

The increasing digitization is changing all municipal processes and it redefines relations between a city and a society, and also between a city and a region. The seminar held in Malmö on 29 May 2018 by Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC) and Baltic Development Forum (BDF) gathered answers to this disruptive revolution.

City cases

The first part of the seminar started with two perspectives on how to deal with the potentials and challenges of digitalization in the Cities of Hamburg and Malmö.

Blue Biotechnology in the Baltic Sea Region – from Science to Business

Marine or „blue“ biotechnology is a young field of modern biotechnology, based, upon well established traditions of basic science at universities of the Northern European shores. With the rise of the blue biotech business sector, biological ressources from marine habitats become more and more interesting. Due to their ability to adapt to harsh ocean environments, marine organisms are a promising source for new medical drugs, new enzymes for food and feed production and provide alternative ways of producing chemicals.

ReGeneration 2030 Movement Summit

Young people in the Baltic Sea Region have expressed their willingness and commitment to take action and implement the 2030 Agenda, and to this purpose they have established the ReGeneration 2030 Movement. The first Summit will take place on the 18-20 August in Åland, where youth will develop a Manifesto declaring their engagement towards the achievement of the SDGs, in particular SDG12. This Manifesto will be delivered to the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference and will be complemented by and Action Plan defining the way to fulfill these commitments.
 

UBC events at the EUSBSR Annual Forum on 4–5 June 2018

The 9th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR will be held in Tallinn on 4–5 June 2018. About 700 participants from governments, international organisations, NGOs, universities, local and regional administrations and businesses will come together to discuss developments and challenges in the Baltic Sea Region.

The Forum will be hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia together with the Baltic Development Forum in close cooperation with the European Commission and other partners.

Keep all members up-to-date with news from your city!

The cities and city institutions can send their exchange proposals, partner search queries, news and events to the UBC Secretariat.

The UBC is expected to be a platform for collaboration and development of cities around the Baltic Sea, a forum to find partners for projects and interesting best practices, and also an agent that spread out the cities’ innovative solutions, ideas and news.

The UBC website and social media channels are perfect tools for promotion.

Youth seminar "Nothing about us without us"

UBC Youthful Cities Commission was active in the last two European strategy forums for the Baltic Sea Region. On June 4th at the EU Strategy for BSR Forum in Tallinn the Commission is coorganising together with Council of Baltic Sea States, Baltic Sea States Subregional Cooperation and Euroregion Baltic the third edition of the seminar "Nothing about us without us".

As a direct followup of the previous seminars in Stockholm and Berlin, this year the focus will be on digital tools to raise participation of youth.

Call for city cases for UBC seminar: "Digitalization from an urban perspective"

The Smart and Prospering Cities Commission will be hosting a seminar during this year’s Fehmarnbelt Days in Malmö on 29 May 2018 together with Baltic Development Forum. The organizers call for cities who are interested in contributing to the central discussion of urban digitalization and the impact of city collaboration.

The seminar “Digitalization from an urban perspective – Potentials through City Collaboration and Regionalization” is separated into two parts:

Baltic Sea Pioneers for better pollution monitoring and reporting

Last year SIWI Swedish Water House and Race for the Baltic (RFTB) run the project “Baltic Sea Pioneers for better water pollution monitoring and reporting”. The policy brief that concludes the recommendations that came out from the project is attached. The recommendations are based on the project research and workshop discussion with more than 100 participants from local, national and regional stakeholders. In brief, the project concludes that

The UBC Bulletin is now released!

The new Baltic Cities Bulletin "Sharing the European Dream" is now available!
 

This issue presents the challenges and achievements in integration of immigrants and refugees. The cities' stories show e.g. what measures have been taken to welcome the migrants in our societies, how the integration of new citizens as full members of the society has been supported.

Also, it contains:

Register to the 9th EUSBSR Annual Forum!

The 9th EUSBSR Annual Forum will be organised in Tallinn, Estonia, on 4-5 June 2018! Registration is open until 18 May.

Three plenaries with internationally acknowledged speakers, 21 seminars encompassing a variety of topics timely to the EUSBSR, and live demonstration to show rescuers on the field. Networking Village with valuable contacts and Speakers corner with outstanding ideas.

Invitation to the Participation Day in Tallinn

The Participation Day will take place on 4 June 2018 in Tallinn, back-to-back with the EUSBSR Annual Forum. The aim of the event is to attract local and regional levels to take part in EUSBSR cooperation and present concrete project proposals and concepts.

The event has been planned together with the Association of Estonian Cities and Municipalities. Last year the first Participation Day gathered some 60 stakeholders to Berlin. In total 21 project proposals were presented.

Forum for ecological municipal building construction 'Komunalwood 2018'

Forum for ecological municipal building construction 'Komunalwood 2018' is now taking place in Gdańsk. UBC is one of the co-organisers of the Forum.

The main aim of this event is promotion of modern standards in wooden, passive and energy efficient buildings’ construction of public facilities. Technologies and good practices in this field are presented. Yesterday the participants during the study tour learned about completed modular public facilities in Gdańsk: kindergarten, nursery, municipal building.

"The Hanseatic Way: a Musical Journey Through the Shared Past”

Vilnius based Early music ensemble Canto Fiorito in collaboration with Austrian ensemble Musica Antiqua Salzburg has developed original musical and educational project  "The Hanseatic Way: a Musical Journey Through the Shared Past” which presents music by composers of XVI-XVII c. c. from the Hanseatic League countries, including Germany, Sweden, Poland, Latvia/Estonia and Lithuania.

Call for Cultural Cities Commission steering committee members

The City of Kaunas took over the Cultural Cities Commission chairmanship in 2018 and it calls for members of the Commission's steering committee.

The steering committee/advisory board will be the driving force of the Commission. It is expected to make the management more effective and help to develop the Commission's activities.

Interested cities are welcome to contact:

Rūta Stepanovaitė
Chair of the Commission
Tel. +370 37 227222,
e-mail: vadovas@kmn.lt

CBSS PSF Call is open

CBSS Project Support Facility Call for projects that put culture at the heart of Baltic Sea cooperation and empower the future-builders of the region is now open!

Regional Identity is a long-term priority of CBSS aiming to develop and foster the concept of a belonging to the Baltic Sea Region through engagement, dialogue, people-to-people contacts, networks and multilevel governance. The call is open for projects that focus on either one or all of the following: culture, education, children and youth.

UBC kicks off second year of cooperation with world´s leading climate reporting organisation CDP

CDP, the global climate change disclosure non-profit organisation, and the leading city network in the Baltic Sea Region, the Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC), agreed on a two-year MoU to increase the number of Baltic Sea Region cities using systematic reporting of their climate change related actions. After the first year of cooperation UBC more than doubled the number of member cities using the platform and the goal for 2018 is to get up to 50 UBC cities involved.

AEBR announces the launch of the EU pilot initiative “b-solutions”

As of 1 February 2018 Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) will be managing the EU pilot initiative “b-solutions”, which is a 2-year project financed by the EU budget and promoted by the European Commission’s DG REGIO as one of the actions proposed in the referred Communication “Boosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border Regions”. The Call for Proposals is now open until 30 April 2018.

UBC Gender Equality Working Group is searching for new coordinators

For the last 4-5 years the Gender Equally Working Group has been trying to work horizontally in order to strive for mainstreaming gender equality -  in practice to get all other UBC Commissions to promote gender equality when possible. The Gender Equality Working Group has also arranged seminars/conferences to tackle the actual challenges faced in the promotion of gender equality.

Since 2015 the group has been co-ordinated by Helsinki and Gdańsk but with valuable help of active cities in the WG like Kalmar, Kristiansand, Liepāja, Panevėžys, Umeå and Örebro.

Save the date: SEMIC 2018

The 8th edition of SEMIC, the annual semantic interoperability conference, will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria on 14 June 2018. The event, organised by the ISA2 Programme of the European Commission in collaboration with the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, will bring together policy makers, IT practitioners and researchers interested in topics related to semantic interoperability for public administration.

Call for city events in 2018

The UBC cities are welcome to send information about their events in 2018 that will be published on the www.ubc.net.

The information should contain:

  • name of event
  • date and place of the event
  • highlights / short description (max 2-3 sentences for each event)
  • contact persons (names, phone numbers, fax, e-mails, websites, etc)
  • good photo(s)

 
More information:
UBC Secretariat

How to make UBC even more efficient and useful for its members?

Discussions at the XIV UBC General Conference in Växjö proved that the stronger cooperation and exchange between the cities are required.

The UBC Secretariat asked the cities to answer five questions to get broader knowledge about cities’ needs and interests:

1. Is your city open to investments and startups? If so in which sectors?

2. Are companies in your city looking for new markets / partners in the Baltic Sea region ? Do you have an investment agency?

European Youth Capital 2021 Call for Applications open

How to make cities more youth friendly and create environment that truly benefits young people?

The European Youth Capital initiative is a title awarded by the European Youth Forum. It is granted to a European city for a period of one year that puts young people at the core of the city’s social, economic, cultural and political life. Since 2014 the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe is an official endorsing partner of the EYC title.

Seed funding for cooperation projects in the BSR

The Swedish Institute provides funding for joint projects in which Swedish organisations meet transnational challenges together with organisations from the Baltic Sea Region countries and the countries of the Eastern Partnership.

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.

Youth Guarantee seminar in Estonia

The conference ‘Community guarantee or how can the community support young people neither in employment nor in education or training?’ will take place on Thursday, 9 November from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Hotel Lydia in Tartu (Ülikooli 14, Tartu). To know more about Estonia, prior to the conference there will be also organised study visit in Tartu. The workshop will focus on how to build and strengthen cross-sectorial and transnational cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region.

Statutory UBC General Assembly convened in Växjö

During the XIV UBC General Conference, the statutory UBC General Assembly convened and, among other issues, elected UBC officials for the next two-year period.

UBC Executive Board 2017–2019
Næstved, Denmark
Elva, Estonia
Lahti, Finland
Rostock, Germany
Liepāja, Latvia
Tauragė, Lithuania
Kristiansand, Norway
Gdynia, Poland
St. Petersburg, Russia
Växjö, Sweden
Gdańsk, Poland – observer

Digital Cities Challenge

Join the European Commission challenge to transform your city with free policy advice and coaching from high-level European experts, in your local language. Call for applications in now open.

UBC members cities are invited to participate in a digitalisation programme curated by the EU’s COSME programme and executed by a partnership led by Technopolis Group.

Nominate candidates for the Baltic Sea Fund prize 2018

It is time to nominate candidates for the Baltic Sea award 2018.

The prize is awarded annually to a person, institution or organization which have carried out significant and outstanding contribution to the Baltic Sea environment.

Deadline

The nominations shall be submitted before 16 November 2017.
The laureates receive their prizes at a solemn ceremony held in Mariehamn on 18 May 2018. Prize winners are announced one month before the award ceremony.

Register to the Best Practices of Youth Guarantee Study Visit

The Best Practices of Youth Guarantee Study Visit will take place in Turku, Finland on 16-17 November 2017. It is meant for the UBC and Flagship S2W members who are working with the issues of youth guarantee, guidance and integration of the newly arrived refugees/immigrants. Registration is still open!
 
Participants of the study visit will learn the best practices of guidance and supporting young people in different phases of their lives and educational paths.

Prelimnary programme

Celebrating UBC’s 25 years in boosting cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region

The UBC has reached a mile point when turning 25 in 2016. During all these years, the organization has undergone a major shift to hold its strong position as a credible partner in the Baltic Sea Region and in Europe. The jubilee is a great occasion to remind of past achievements, but also to look far ahead. How could we shape the future?

At the Founding Conference in Gdańsk in September 1991 Anders Engström, the first UBC President, focused on the potential of the cities’ cooperation:

Baltic Sea Region cities get boost for their climate reporting with the CDP

Baltic Sea Region cities get boost for their climate reporting with the CDP – UBC doubles its disclosure number!

CDP, the global climate change disclosure non-profit, and the leading city network in the Baltic Sea Region, the Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC), have agreed on a two-year MOU to involve more cities in the development and reporting of target-oriented climate actions.

Beyond 2020: Supporting Europe's Coastal Communities Conference

The Estonian Presidency of the European Union and the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission (DG MARE), are organising a stakeholder conference on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), entitled "Beyond 2020: Supporting Europe's Coastal Communities." This event will take place in Tallinn, Estonia on 12-13 October 2017.

UBC's Executive Board met in Berlin

Executive Board of the UBC met in Berlin on 15 June 2017 in European Commission's representation in Germany, in connection with the EUSBSR Annual Forum that was held on 13–14 June 2017. Matters discussed were, among others, the XIV UBC General Conference, the outcome of this year’s EUSBSR Forum, cooperation with EUSBSR Flagship School to Work, and proposal about a conference on the integration of refugees.

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

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

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

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

"School to Work" Conference in Stockholm - Register by 5 June

The Conference Flagship* “School to Work”: Collaboration for Improvements, that will take place on 19 June 2017 in Stockholm,  will gather public institutions, municipalities, schools, civil society organizations working in the Baltic Sea Region to prevent early school leaving.

The participants will discuss e.g. how to integrate young people, who are neither in education, employment nor training, and also newly arrived refugees into the labour market.

Participation Day at EUSBSR Annual Forum

The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region Horizontal Action Capacity and its coordinators, together with the states of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, invite to a Participation Day on 13 June 2017, back-to-back with the EUSBSR Annual Forum in Berlin.
 
This Participation Day is held for the first time.  It has been inspired by the success of three Danube Participation Days. The Berlin Day will also serve as a pilot project for following editions, in Tallinn 2018 and beyond.

The Participation Day in Berlin will this time concentrate on:

Cooperation with the Flagship project School to Work

UBC Task Force on Youth Employment and Well-Being has started to cooperate with the EUBSR Flagship School to Work (S2W). The Flagship 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, specifically NEET and newly arrived refugees.

A survey on investment in energy-efficient street lighting

The survey on barriers and opportunities for investment in energy-efficient street lighting is a part of the Dynamic Light project http://www.interreg-central.eu/Content.Node/Dynamic-Light.html , which aims to promote dynamic, intelligent and energy-efficient lighting. The survey response will help better understand, identify and suggest suitable models to finance it.

Invitation to participate and co-create the programme of UBC's General Conference in Växjö

“Leadership for the future – cities as leaders for glocal sustainable development"

UBC's XIV General Conference will be held on 24–27 October 2017 in Växjö, "The Greenest City in Europe". The main theme of the XIV UBC General Conference, which also celebrates UBC's 25th Anniversary, will be “Leadership for the future – cities as leaders for glocal sustainable development”.

Register to the WG on Gender Equality Conference in Gdańsk

“Attractive and Inclusive Cities – Promotion of Equality of Men and Women in Local Life” Conference, organized by the UBC Working Group on Gender Equality and the City of Gdańsk, will take place on Tuesday, the 11th of April 2017 in the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk.  

It’s a chance for all of us – the academics, the local activists, the politicians and others in the field of equal rights as a part of the long term strategy of the city – to discuss how the Charter promotes gender equality in the city - the organizers say.

Animation movies from the UBC Smart Cities Commission

UBC Safe Cities Commission has produced three short animation movies about safety at home. As the Union of the Baltic Cities includes around 100 cities from the Baltic Sea Region, these animation movies were made without an actual word spoken, so that they can be clear for everyone.

The animation movies teach how to ensure your property, so you know who is coming to visit you and that you don’t have to open your door to everyone, and that you don’t need to show off to your friends the valuables you have at your home.

UBC now in Twitter and LinkedIn

In addition to Facebook, UBC is now in social media in both Twitter and LinkedIn.

On Twitter you can find us as @UBC_BSR. UBC hashtags are #UBC_BSR and #UnionoftheBalticCities.

The former LinkedIn pages of UBC Sustainable Cities Commission have been updated into Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC) pages. The new UBC pages will in the future feature updates from all seven UBC commissions, including Sustainable Cities Commission.

UBC’s Executive Board met in Kristiansand

UBC’s Executive Board met 15–17 February in the beautiful city of Kristiansand, Norway. On the agenda was among others UBC’s General Conference in Växjö 24–27 October 2017, UBC Commissions’ action plans for 2017–2018, implementing EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the initiative made by the municipality of Kristiansand on reductions in emissions by making shore power available for cruise ships.

URBACT Good Practice Call open until 31 March 2017

URBACT programme enables cities to work together and develop integrated solutions to common urban challenges by networking, drawing lessons from peer reviews and identifying  good practices to improve urban policies.

This time URBACT is issuing a Good Practice Call. It invites cities to come forward with their good practices in the field of sustainable integrated urban development to:

UBC starts cooperation with world´s leading climate reporting organisation CDP

CDP, the global climate change disclosure non-profit, and the leading city network in the Baltic Sea Region, the Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC), have agreed on a two-year MOU to involve more cities in the development and reporting of target-oriented climate actions.
 
Climate change has led to a situation where cities have to define their roles in the face of a changing environment. Today, many cities in the region have incorporated sustainability goals into their city strategies.

UBC Safe Cities Commission met in Kaunas

Year 2017 for UBC Safe Cities Commission has started with the Commission meeting in Kaunas, Lithuania on January 11–13. Kaunas welcomed participants from Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania with real winter conditions. During three days safety specialists from different fields – municipal police, fire and rescue services, civil protection and other municipal institutions – discussed various issues.

Invitation to the Conference "Resort – cultural and historical landscape and space", 15-17 June 2017, Jūrmala

Invitation to the Conference "Resort – cultural  and historical landscape and space", 15-17 June 2017, Jūrmala

History,  cultural  history,  architecture  and  urban  planning  experts,  as  well  as  tourism and museum professionals are invited to participate in the conference. The main aim of the conference  is  the  exchange  of  experience  between  researchers,  professionals  and institutions  involved  in  the  resort  of  cultural  and  historical  heritage in the use and research.

Tauragė – new member of the UBC

The UBC warmly welcomes a new member city, Tauragė!

With 42 000 residents, Tauragė is located in in the Southwest of Lithuania, in Tauragė County.

Tauragė region is justly proud of its green and ecological environment. For example, the region produces more power from ecological sources than it consumes.

Tauragė develops complex measures of transport, energy, waste management and water treatment that will be implemented in the upcoming years.

Tauragė is looking for especially sustainably oriented contacts and partnerships.

SI seed money call for applications is open

The 2016/2017 call for applications is now open and will be closed on 1 February 2017

Projects must create conditions for lasting relations between organisations. Applicants can apply for up to SEK 500,000 in funding. Please note that the main applicant must be a Swedish organisation.

The project activities must be aimed at developing conditions for long-lasting sustainable relations between organisations in the Baltic Sea region.

UBC seminars in the EUSBSR Strategy Forum raised important issues on youth and cities’ roles in the BSR

The 7th Strategy Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region was held in Stockholm on 8–9 November 2016. In the Forum, UBC co-organised two seminars: “Nothing about us without us – youth's contribution to the Baltic Sea Region Vision 2030” and “Cities and Regions: Drivers or Bystanders in the Baltic Sea cooperation”.

Both seminars attracted a large audience and diverse discussions. In addition, UBC representatives took part as speakers and panelists in several other seminars in the EUSBSR Strategy Forum.

Baltic Sea Area - frontrunner in digitalization

Baltic Sea Area - frontrunner in digitalization
Fresh thinking from regions on the way to a digital single market
 
on Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 15h00-18h15 followed by a Baltic Reception
at the Arts 56, Avenue des Arts, 1000 Brussels
 
On 16th November 2016 the informal Baltic Sea Group (iBSG) will host a seminar on the Baltic Sea Area and its role as a frontrunner in digitalization.
 

UBC Task Force’s report on Strategy implementation has come out

The key goal of the Kristiansand UBC Strategy for years 2009–2015 and its implementation was to ensure that UBC, as the leading city network in the Baltic Sea Region, meets the new requirements in the emerging cooperative structure of the Baltic Sea Region, with the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) emerging as the key framework for cooperation.

UBC wanted to ensure its relevance and operative capacity and continue to create added value for its member Cities.

ERASMUS+ Call for proposals open until 29 November 2016

Erasmus+ programme, Civil Society Cooperation in the field of Youth

 

The call for proposals Erasmus+ Programme, Civil Society Cooperation in the field of Youth is open until 29 November 2016.

The  objective  of  the  present  Call  is  to  provide  structural  support,  referred  to  as  operating  grant,  to  European non-governmental organisations (ENGOs) and EU-wide networks active in the field of youth and pursuing the following general aims:

The new UBC Bulletin has been published

The autumn edtition of the Baltic Cities Bulletin is entitled “Inclusive and healthy cities”.

The stories prove clearly the urbanization creates opportunities, but at the same time inequalities and exclusion remain a challenge.
How can we prevent them? How can we ensure social, spatial and economic inclusion? Our cities share their experiences in the Bulletin’s pages.

UBC Strategy Coordinator Mikko Lohikoski retires from the City of Turku’s service

After fifteen years in the City of Turku’s service, UBC Strategy Coordinator Mikko Lohikoski resigns at the end of September from his post as a Director and Senior adviser to the Mayor of Turku, after having reached the uppermost age limit of a civil servant.

Mikko Lohikoski will most likely continue to work for Turku and the Baltic Sea region in a new role to be specified.

Baltic Executive Programme 2016

The Swedish Institute announced Baltic Executive Programme 2016.
BEP is a new leadership programme designed to tackle the question of how to unleash the full potential of transnational cooperation.
The programme targets local and regional authorities with genuine interest in Baltic Sea Region cooperation.

All interested in participating in this program should  contact as soon as possible Mr Mikael Olsson at the Swedish Institute.

A call for stories to the Bulletin 2/2016 launched

A CALL FOR STORIES:

Inclusive and healthy cities

Cities are the centres of growth. The urbanization creates opportunities, moves the economy forward. But at the same time inequalities and exclusion are still a challenge. How can we prevent them and how can we ensure social, spatial and economic inclusion?

The Editorial Board would like to invite the cities to share their experiences on how they approach the vision of inclusive and healthy city.

Services for young and older people

The UBC Inclusive and Healthy Cities Commission meeting will be held in Espoo, Finland on 26-28 October 2016.
At the meeting there will be such topics discussed, among others: the homelessness, the 68+ Sport Pass, Get me! operating model, One-Stop-Guidance-Center service model for young people, Espoo Youth Services.
Espoo heartily welcomes!
 

More information

Nina Grönmark
Espoon liikunta- ja nuorisopalvelut
PL 34, 02070 ESPOON KAUPUNKI
Tel. +358 500 445500
Nina.Gronmark@espoo.fi
 

Guidebook for smart and sustainable event management

Which elements make events safe and sustainable? Are all key players aware of sustainable principles and will they implement them? These and other questions were explored during the Union of Baltic Cities Sustainable, Safe and Cultural Cities Commissions´ joint meeting Cultures of Sustainability in Baltic Cities that took place in Słupsk and Ustka, Poland on 15th – 17th June 2016. The aim of the meeting was to discuss and find key principles on how to produce sustainable events from small-scale local events to big international events in the Baltic Sea Region cities.

Connecting Europeans

Jukka Vilen, the City Director from the City of Kemi encouraged the UBC member cities to join the campaign launched by the City of Joensuu (Finland), presenting the unity of Europeans.

The campaign is targeted at European cities, towns and municipalities. As the City of Joensuu claims:  “We are Europe – in our work, in our joy and in our sorrows. We create Europe through our shared lives; together we must make it yet better.”

UBC’s Executive Board met in Kaunas

Next UBC Executive Board Meeting will be held in Stockholm on 10 November 2016, in connection with the 7th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the BSR, Stockholm, 8–9 November 2016.

Executive Board of the UBC met on 6–8 June in the summery city of Kaunas. Among the issues discussed are UBC’s Work Plan to Support Youth Employment and Well-Being, UBC work on refugee issues, and UBC’s involvement in implementing the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

Open meeting of the UBC Working Group on Gender Equality

The UBC Working Group on Gender Equality meeting will be held in Gdańsk (Poland) on 22 June 2016.

The main topic of the meeting is building strategies for mainstreaming gender into the work of the UBC member cities. Despite many positive changes in mainstreaming gender in Europe, the issue of gender equality still requires special attention, as women remain a vulnerable group, and special measures need to be introduced to ensure their bigger participation in decision making and secure their stronger position at the labour market.

The Baltic Sea cities find refugees as a chance for future

“Feel free to steal good ideas”, said Jørgen Kristiansen, Deputy Mayor of Kristiansand (Norway) welcoming the participants of the Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC) conference on the refugee situation in the Baltic Sea cities held in Rostock on 15-16 March. The conference gathered together around 70 civil servants from the region.

The conference, organized by the City of Rostock and the UBC, aimed at sharing ideas and practical solutions on how to integrate the newcomers.

UBC Task Force on Youth Employment and Well-Being report available!


Investing in youth is investing in our common future and well-being. The saying: the youth are our future is more than just a slogan.
 
The youth employment is a priority for the European Union, Member States and also for the regions and cities, which are in the forefront of confronting this acute societal problem - Per Bødker Andersen, President of UBC, says.
 

Time to nominate candidates for the Baltic Sea Fund prize 2016

Now it is time to nominate candidate for the Baltic Sea award 2016. The organisers ask for help to find the person who or organisation which have done meaningful and outstanding achievements for the Baltic Sea environment. More information about the nomination can be found on our web page.

The nominations shall be submitted by November 20th 2014. The laureates receive their prizes at a solemn ceremony held in Mariehamn on 13th of May 2015. Prize winners are announced one month before the award ceremony.

Innovative Europe Conference in Gdańsk - a debate on the future of innovation

On  October 27th - 28th, 2015, the Innovative Europe Conference, organised by the founders of the Coalition for Polish Innovation (Koalicja na rzecz Polskich Innowacji - KPI) will take place. The conference will feature a debate on the future of innovation as well as sum up the coalition’s results these past six months. Participants of the conference will present their current views, propositions for change and the perspectives for development of the innovation sector in Poland and Europe.