CBSS in EUSBSR Annual Forum 2021

With the EUSBSR Annual Forum over, here’s a recap of what we got up to this year. The Forum focused on green recovery and invited the participants to REVITALISE the Strategy, to RECOVER after COVID-19 together and to RECHARGE for greener and more resilient Baltic Sea Region. This year the CBSS covered a wide range of topics from culture to sustainable development and civil security.

CULTURE4CLIMATE: How can the cultural sector help tackle Climate Crisis?

Senior Adviser Thorvaldur Kristjansson and Programme Coordinator for Baltic 2030 Olga Zuin participated in a creative panel discussion revolving around cultural sector and climate change, organized by PA Culture in cooperation with ARS BALTICA, Growing Pathways, UBC Cultural Cities Commission, Kaunas Artists’ House and Ecologic Institute. During the session, the panelists outlined some of the goals and outcomes of the seed-money phase of the project and discussed how climate change can be tackled through the means of culture.

Children and youth as contributors to resilient Baltic Sea Region

Policy Area Secure (PA Secure), co-coordinated by the CBSS Secretariat together with the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) organised an online seminar dedicated to strengthening children and youth’s resilience in disasters. Building resilience in children and youth and their communities through reducing their vulnerability to disasters is important for every country in the Baltic Sea Region. Vineta Polatside, Senior Adviser for Safe & Secure Region, opened the seminar together with Julia Fredriksson, Adviser on EU and International Issues from MSB. In her speech, Ms Polatside quoted the Vilnius II declaration in which the CBSS Foreign Ministers expressed the need for young people to be represented in a meaningful way in institutions and decision-making processes to create a more resilient and safe region.

Moderator of the meeting, Andriy Martynenko, Adviser for Safe and Secure Region,  introduced an interactive session, where the audience’s knowledge about children/youth and resilience was tested, after which Olivia Lind Haldorsson, Senior Adviser & Head of Children at Risk Unit gave a brief overview on the rights of children and youth in the context of resilience. Ms Lind Haldorsson analysed resilience building activities using the concept of space, voice, audience and influence: four crucial elements for children and youth in becoming active agents in the process.

Green transition in maritime industries

Panel discussion organized by the CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Maritime Economy in cooperation with EUSBSR Policy Area Ship and DG Mare addressed the question, crucial for the Baltic Sea Region, of clean shipping, with the involvement of maritime businesses, and stressed the connection of the Baltic and Arctic perspectives through the engagement of representatives of the neighbouring countries Norway, Iceland, and Russia. The panel was moderated by Senior Adviser for Sustainable & Prosperous Region, Daria Akhutina. She stated that cross-regional but also cross-sectoral approach to cooperation is needed for the future of green transitions.

In the panel discussion, experiences and best practices between stakeholders were shared and new ways to promote green maritime economy and sustainable ways of shipping were discussed, both in the Baltic Sea Region and Arctic context. Important remarks were made on the role of the international community as well as national governments to take on the momentum and start moving faster towards sustainable shipping options. The conclusion was that strong financial support mechanisms for green transition in maritime economy are needed to reach a broad scope of actors in the Baltic Sea Region.

Empowering Youth for Green Entrepreneurship

The panel discussion, organized by the CBSS in cooperation with Nordregio, gave a platform to young entrepreneurs from across the BSR to share their insights into how to start a green business and provide their experience on existing obstacles and barriers for receiving funding and building a business model. Potential actions on how to improve the status quo regarding financial mechanisms and how to create a more supportive environment for young people to start their business in the BSR were discussed.

Welcoming words were given by Senior Adviser for Sustainable & Prosperous Region, Daria Akhutina. She stated that engaging young people is at the core of CBSS activities, and wished that the exchanges made between young entrepreneurs and other stakeholders in the seminar will provide an opportunity to discuss the way forward. The event co-moderator, Programme Coordinator Olga Zuin affirmed that the ongoing green transition is one of the key areas where young people can make a change with their ideas and innovations. Overall, the session highlighted different perspectives on entrepreneurship and encouraged that concrete measures need to be taken soon to secure the progress in green transition among the next generation of entrepreneurs. Linda Strandenhed from Ung företagsamhet in Norbotten, Sweden, concluded that young people can really do a lot, but they often dont know it themselves. It is our task to help young people to get engaged.