Youth meets civil protection at the Baltic Sea Youth Dialogue 2022

Youth studying or working in civil protection will meet in Hamburg to learn more about international cooperation and policy making in their field. They will also develop recommendations on youth engagement.

Young practitioners and students in civil protection from across the Baltic Sea Region will learn more about international cooperation and policymaking in their field during the Baltic Sea Youth Dialogue 2022, or BSYD 2022, that will be held in Hamburg, Germany from 21 to 25 November 2022.

This year, the BSYD 2022, which will be the 9th edition of a long-running series that started in 2014, will specifically focus on societal security topics and international and transboundary cooperation on civil protection.

“With this event, we’re not only connecting young and future civil protection practitioners with their peers from other Baltic Sea countries but also with the wider decision-making,” said Franziska Seufert from the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), the co-organiser of the event. 

“Some of the participants will be the decision makers of tomorrow,” said Jürgen Krempin, the Head of International Cooperation at the Hamburg Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS), the other co-organiser of the BSYD 2022. “For successful international cooperation, people need to know each other, know who they can trust and rely on,” he said.

Besides youth involvement in civil protection, the BSYD will also focus on dumped munitions, remnants of the Second World War and which are increasingly posing a threat to civil safety and the environment. Around 40,000 tonnes of chemical munitions were dumped in the Baltic Sea after the war, and an unknown but large amount of conventional ammunition, bombs and mines also lies on the Baltic’s seabed.

Youth and dumped munitions are two of the main priorities of the current German Presidency of the CBSSCivil security is also one of priority areas of the CBSS.

In Hamburg, the young participants will notably produce a set of recommendations on the role and engagement of youth in civil protection. The youth suggestions will then be shared further within the CBSS and among its stakeholders in the Baltic Sea Region. They will also be considered at upcoming youth events such as the CBSS Youth Ministerial to be held in 2023.

Twenty young people between 18 and 28 years from the Baltic Sea Region will attend the BSYD 2022, which is jointly organised by the CBSS and the Hamburg Fire and Rescue Service, with financial support from the German Embassy in Stockholm and the German Federal Foreign Office.

The Hamburg Fire and Rescue Service is currently chairing the CBSS Civil Protection Network and the EUSBSR’s Policy Area Secure.

“For a safe and secure everyday life, we need an ongoing exchange on civil security, including with youth,” said Seufert. “This will help to establish a common societal security culture in the Baltic Sea Region.”