Eight projects selected for PSF funding 2021

The 2021 PSF call focused on innovative solutions for strengthening resilience and inclusiveness in the BSR during a period of crisis.

The CBSS was looking for:

  • Innovative projects promoting the development of inclusive programmes designed to support groups particularly vulnerable to the pandemic and its effects, in order to offer them alternatives and strengthen their exit pathways from the crisis. 
  • Innovative projects that assess the impact of the crisis on domestic violence or develop strategies, tools and collaboration to build stronger, more accessible, inclusive and sustainable systems for child protection.
  • Innovative projects build on analysis of crisis impacts on societies and economies, which aim at proposing strengthening of societal resilience in a future, especially taking into account cross-sectoral character of problems and solutions (ex. culture in time of crisis and as a tool to build resilience and help societal and economic recovery, youth as vulnerable group in time of crisis and as a group able to develop innovative recovery strategies and projects).

About the selection

By the deadline 31st of March 2021, the CBSS Secretariat had received 55 submitted PSF applications.

The type of partners in this year’s call have been diverse, varying from NGOs and research centers to public institutions and universities.   

The projects have been selected to reflect the selection criteria in the PSF manual, as well as the wording in the PSF 2021 call. The projects selected:  

  • Present a direct relevance to at least one of the three CBSS long-term priorities, 
  • Align with the selected PSF call 2021 subject, Innovative solutions for strengthening resilience by promoting inclusiveness and protection of most vulnerable societal groups in the BSR during a period of crisis 
  • Provide substantial added value for the Baltic Sea Region cooperation,  
  • Display quality and a sustainable character, 
  • Involve relevant partnership constellations, where partners are well established and includes at least three CBSS Member States. 

The following projects were selected to receive PSF funding:

PSF 2021

Priority: Sustainable & Prosperous Region and Safe & Secure Region

Project leader: Active Youth Association

Participating countries: Lithuania, Sweden, Latvia, Poland

The project "A Safe Place" aims at addressing the widespread phenomenon of domestic violence in the Baltics and, more specifically, to support women who are increasingly victims of violence during the ongoing worldwide pandemic while also educating those who are interested in learning more about the topic and training people working with domestic violence. The project will investigate how women's safety has changed during the pandemic and provide the target groups with the knowledge, strategies, and methodologies needed to tackle this social issue and efficiently support survivors of violence. Furthermore, the project will represent a safe place for women, a chance to feel free to cultivate their interests and share their feelings. These activities will also be of inspiration for those working with domestic violence, as they will be able to replicate them in their professional work. The main target group of "A Safe Place" are women, with priority given to women experiencing or having survived violence, the wider audience will also benefit from the project's teachings, especially during the dissemination stage.
Priority: Safe & Secure Region

Project leader: The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and family Affairs (Bufdir)

Participating countries: Norway, Iceland, Estonia, Lithuania, Germany, Finland

This project is designed to support the implementation of the CAR strategic priority to bolster national child protection systems, and to address concerns regarding the impact of Covid-19 and other forms of crisis on the protection of children at risk. The overall objective of the project is to make a concrete contribution to the CAR priority to build more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient national child protection systems, including during crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic, by identifying, and providing easy access to a registry containing information about key elements and good practice of well-functioning child protection systems in the Baltic Sea Region. The analysis of diverse systems in six expert group member states are expected to generate important learnings that are transferable and applicable to the region as a whole. The findings will be broadly communicated through a report and will be documented in a registry of good practice, which will be set up in the context of the project.
Priority: Regional Identity

Project leader: Danish Cultural Institute

Participating countries: Denmark, Latvia, Russia

RuralCulturalPlanning is born out of the experience and knowledge accumulated in the ongoing Interreg BSR project UrbCulturalPlanning (2019-2021). The method of Cultural Planning involves three parties: municipality, community and creative sector. The Covid-19 crisis has exposed a disconnect between the human civilization and natural environment, which included a gap between rural and urban lifestyles. Smaller towns and rural communities offer many advantages which cities lack, such as easy access to nature, local traditions and skills, place-based food systems, etc. However, to take full advantage of the rebalancing between the urban and the rural, smaller rural communities need to activate or attract resources and ideas. The method of Cultural Planning needs to be adjusted to rural situations, where agents of change are often isolated, disconnected from wider networks, lacking the necessary skill, peer support and mentoring. The project focuses on four tasks: (1) Anchoring the Cultural Planning method as a policy instrument with relevant policy makers dealing with rural development; (2) Transferring the knowledge and methods accumulated and tested in UrbCultural to agents of change in rural areas; (3) Adapting the Cultural Planning method to rural BSR typologies by setting up pilot projects (Community Mapping); (4) Expanding the BSR network of practitioners based on the Hubs of Excellence created as a result of UrbCulturalPlanning.
Priority: Sustainable & Prosperous Region

Project leader: Fundacja Motus

Participating countries: Poland, Estonia, Lithuania

Tourism sector in the BRS to large extend is based on maritime transportation, making it important for mobility and tourism opportunities. Many young people have either travelled across the Baltic or worked in one of the ferries, cruise lines or HoReCa sites, especially during the summer period. Taking this into account, the overall objective of the project is to initiate the methodology and institutional framework for the future development of the resilient and inclusive cross-Baltic sustainable tourism. In the long term, this will lead to employment increase among youth, contributing to wellbeing of societies in BRS countries. Project activities will aim to promote sustainable and digital solutions applicable to the sector. The project objective will be achieved by creation of a multi-stakeholder communication platform and network between industry professionals, research institutions and youth representatives. A series of workshops (real or online) will be organized to get a better overview of the current situation in sectors from relevant stakeholders. Project outcomes will be presented in the form of reports, starting with the representation of the current situation. Next reports will describe suggestions for potential solutions and recommendations applicable to future strategy and policy development of the maritime tourism and hospitability sector. Based on project findings, concepts for future large-scale projects will be designed.
Priority: Regional Identity, Sustainable & Prosperous Region

Project leader: Intercult Productions ek.för.

Participating countries: Sweden, Poland, Estonia

Intercult Productions - Project leader, together with Euroregion Baltic, Baltic Sea Cultural Centre in Gdansk, Estonian Women’s Studies and Resource Centre (ENUT) and activists from Kaliningrad Oblast undertake a BSR communities’ resilience project “Creative Waves: Baltic Sisterhood for Change”. The project objective is to empower representatives of vulnerable groups: women, youth and immigrants, with a sense of identity, continuity and belonging and provide them with skills relevant for employability. This will be achieved by bringing together traditional social relations and cultural activities with contemporary demands via innovative digital and cultural tools. This, in turn, will support societal recovery within the BSR and at the same time revive Baltic intangible cultural heritage. Project is to promote women leaders in resilience building process: both on project partner level (coordination, team) and on creative level (artists, experts) main roles are given to women as change makers. During the project participants will use circular approach and learn about traditional and more innovative ways of living healthy, sustainable life, they will be thus better prepared to further adapt and share green/digital tools. Participants will get information on EUSBSR, Green Deal, SDGs. All in all, the project will develop a solid basis to build a more complex, inclusive programme in the BSR dedicated to vulnerable groups, providing them with pathways out of the post-pandemic crises, and other difficult situations.
Priority: Safe & Secure Region

Project leader: Sejny Municipality

Participating countries: Poland, Lithuania, Germany

Social unrest caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, combined with the economic crisis, including the interruption of supply chains and the health service crisis, requires the development of appropriate solutions and preventive actions. Any interruptions in electricity supply in wider areas of the country create tensions in the basic areas of the functioning of society and state institutions. Growing disinformation in the mass media, undermining trust in state institutions and challenges to public order mean that the solutions used so far are no longer effective. Attacks on information systems of public health institutions, especially during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, may lead to the collapse of the functioning of these institutions, preventing the provision of basic medical services for the population. The aim is to adopt a holistic concept of civic resilience. The concept, first, sees resilience as an intertwining of social, political, economic, environmental and military factors, not just as the ability to defend itself against conventional external aggression. Civil protection, by providing local resilience, would fill the gaps in the service units.
Priority: Safe & Secure Region

Project leader: Stellit (Regional Public Organization of Social Projects in the Sphere of Population's Well-Being "Stellit”)

Participating countries: Russia, Estonia, Germany

This project has four key objectives: To investigate CSA-related media coverage and establish the harmful narratives, myths and stereotypes; To develop practical recommendations for journalists and other relevant stakeholders; To train key stakeholders, disseminate study results, and raise public awareness; To establish an international network of scientists, child protection stakeholders and media professionals for future collaboration, information and practice sharing. On the research stage of the project partners will conduct a study of child sexual abuse myths presented in online public media using media contents analysis and interviews with stakeholders in all three countries. The study results will be used as a basis for development а tool (practical guideline) for covering CSA cases in the media. On the practical stage of the project partners will conduct online workshops for journalists and journalism students and stakeholders in each participating country plus one international workshop for BSR and neighbouring countries. These workshops will help to deliver information about the project and its results and ethical and terminological recommendations for journalists/students and stakeholders. Online publication and dissemination of ethical and terminological recommendations focusing on CSA (а tool for covering CSA cases in the media) and making a series of publications in public media and social networks will complete the project.
Priority: Sustainable & Prosperous Region, Safe & Secure Region

Project leader: Tallinn University

Participating countries: Estonia, Finland, Latvia

Migrants are one of the vulnerable groups most negatively affected by the COVID-19 crisis at various levels (unemployment, economic instability, etc.). Those who do not speak the language of the host country face bigger challenges and higher risks in the face of emergency situations, such as the current pandemic, for linguistic diversity has not been systematically integrated into crisis planning. This project aims at developing an appropriate communication plan, based on effective translation practices and policies, which can provide a quick response to the current crisis and future emergency situations in disseminating relevant information among migrant communities. It also seeks to strengthen cooperation between the states of the Sea Baltic Region to deal with cross-border emergencies and use the knowledge generated by this cooperation to tackle problems at the local/state level. For that purpose, we will first analyse the information provided during the COVID-19 crisis by stakeholders from different sectors (governmental institutions, companies, universities, NGOs and media) in Estonia, Finland and Latvia ─ states with different translation policies and linguistic compositions─, with the focus on the methods, quality, timeliness, accessibility and languages information provided to those with poor skills in the titular languages. The resulting guidelines for communicating essential multilingual information to migrants will not only contribute to a faster recovery from the current crisis, but could also be adapted and scaled to address future emergency situations in the Baltic Sea Region.