The Needs-based education and studies in societal security (NEEDS) project is addressing the skills gap and mismatch between the societal security education and the knowledge needs in the field.


The “Needs-based education and studies in societal security” (NEEDS) project addresses the skills gap and mismatch between the societal security education and the concrete knowledge needs in the field. It also seeks to promote transnational cooperation and dialogue between higher education institutes, practitioners and experts dealing with societal security.

By bridging the current knowledge gaps from the onset during their studies and education, the next generation of societal security professionals will be ready to work and have the necessary skills for meeting field-specific demands.

Societal security is a key topic at the CBSS, which notably seeks to strengthen Baltic Sea Region-wide cooperation on civil protection, response to crises and, in general, building more resilient societies.  

What NEEDS is aiming at achieving

  • Establish the strategic partnership, network and cooperation structure, and build trust between the sectors and countries through co-production in the project.
  • Develop an innovative pedagogical approach where students, teachers, practitioners, and experts work together in transnational teams.
  • Develop material for societal security education through cross-sectoral and transnational co-creation.
  • Internationalise societal security education in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR), thus making the education more relevant and attractive.

Expected outcomes 

  • The establishment of a network and an interface for co-creation and collaboration, through the cooperation in the strategic partnership between experts, practitioners, policy makers, teachers and students at HEIs who are working with societal security issues.
  • The development of an online module, the respective study material as well as a multi-method pedagogical approach.

Links to CBSS processes

The project contributes the work of the CBSS on cooperation in the field of civil protection in the Baltic Sea Region, and particularly to:

  • Joint Position on Enhancing Cooperation in Civil Protection Area: In addition to generally contributing to the entire joint position, Priority 7 can be particularly highlighted, as it is “supporting mutually beneficial interaction between research and [civil protection] practitioners. The strategic objective is to make sure that research and project results are effectively incorporated into the national systems. All efforts should aim at conveying effectively the findings and results of research projects to practitioners in order to contribute to an improvement of their everyday work.” 
  • Vilnius II Declaration – A Vision for the Baltic Sea Region by 2030: the project will also help to fulfil the vision of the Vilnius II declaration, which envisages a Baltic Sea Region with “a strong and well-functioning multi-level governance structure for political dialogue, practical cooperation, and people-to-people contacts”, “with strengthened resilience across all parts of society”, and “close cooperation in education, science, research and innovation”. 
  • CBSS Action Plan 2021-2025: on societal security and civil protection in particular, the plan, which contains concrete actions for achieving the Vilnius II vision, seeks to promote “cooperation among civil protection stakeholders, including strengthened capacity in regional prevention, preparedness and response against emergencies”. 

Documents and resources


  • Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) – lead partner 
  • Hamburg Fire and Rescue Service (Germany)
  • Laurea University of Applied Sciences (Finland)
  • Main School of Fire Service (Poland)
  • Riga Technical University (Latvia)
  • Swedish Defence University (Sweden)
  • UiT – The Artic University Norway
  • Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC) – Safe Cities Commission (represented by the Liepaja Municipal Police, Latvia).

Additional support

The NEEDS project is supported by the ERASMUS+ Programme of the European Union.


  • Olga Zuin, CBSS Programme Coordinator (on maternity leave)
  • Franziska Seufert, CBSS Project Coordinator, [email protected]