In recent years, the Baltic Sea Region, Europe and the world have been strongly influenced by unexpected, fast developing crises – such as financial, socio-political, and now pandemic. Societal resilience in our region and around the globe was tested.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has proven an extraordinary challenge for the Baltic Sea Region, as well as for the rest of Europe and the whole world, resulting in unprecedented changes in many aspects of life, including public health, crisis management, sustainable socio-economic development, culture, and social or economic cohesion of our communities. Further concrete measures need to be taken to alleviate the negative effects of crises and minimize the long-term impacts.
It is in moments of crisis that inequalities are more visible than ever – the most vulnerable in our societies are disproportionally affected and consequences for them are especially devastating. The close-down of entire societies has already had a visible negative influence on many issues, e.g. increased gender-based or domestic violence, violence against children, worsening of mental health, and high unemployment. It also takes its toll on social safety programmes and protection systems, including child protection systems, leaving many vulnerable people unprotected and hampering opportunities to report, to access services and justice. Many vulnerable groups, such as e.g. young citizens, migrants, live precariously and are overly represented in the industries that are being hit directly and hardest by COVID-19, i.e. the hotel, restaurant and service industries.
Apart from these challenges the Covid-19 crisis had also several positive side-effects, as there is the decrease (even if only temporarily) in pollution and consumption. New forms and areas of entrepreneurship like in the digital field, cross service cooperation like between restaurants and transport.
Crisis is a time to forge new ways of economic development – more sustainable, resilient to crises. It is always a time, when new, innovative solutions aimed at not only solving immediate crisis and its consequences, but also to use this time as opportunity to change positively our lives, economies, societies in a long-term perspective.
Considering the above, the 2021 PSF call is dedicated to Innovative solutions for strengthening resilience by promoting inclusiveness and protection of most vulnerable societal groups in the BSR during a period of crisis.
Resilience in this context means the ability of individuals, families and communities to quickly recover from the effects of an emergency or crisis-situation and return to a new or strengthened state of normalcy. Resilience therefore also means the ability to quickly learn and draw conclusions from crises and rebuild lives and societies even better and stronger than before. With the guidance given by the three CBSS Long Term Priorities below projects should focus on:
- 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).
We are looking for project proposals that present innovative and inclusive ideas on preventing and combatting todays’ challenges on a local level with a regional impact. We welcome projects strengthening societal resilience through cultural and creative impulses, youth involvement and educational offers. Furthermore, the development of digital skills of youth, cultural and educational service providers in the region and enhancement of digital services in these fields will be supported, to enhance resilience and crisis preparedness. Project activities highlighting the importance of cultural and educational contexts in the regional and local implementation of the SDGs and the crucial role played by local actors, authorities, institutions and organisations will be appreciated.
Sustainable & Prosperous Region
We welcome projects addressing the three pillars of sustainability – social, economic and environmental, engaging local communities of BSR in the implementation of SDGs, especially those, defined as most relevant for the regional development and contributing to the speedy recovery during and after the pandemic.
Since the labour market and employment has been negatively affected as most of all, a special value goes to the projects combating the unemployment, at the first hand it applies to youth and women as most vulnerable groups in this context. Innovative solutions for efficient educational systems that can provide in short time the labour forces, corresponding to the new demands of labour market are crucial.
Safe & Secure Region
Projects shall encourage civil society, as well as NGOs and voluntary organisations to actively work to increase capacity in the field of civil protection and emergency management. We will give particular preference to projects seeking to integrate specific groups, traditionally considered more vulnerable (e.g. children, youth, disabled persons, the elderly, migrants, victims of exploitation) into activities that increase the resilience of communities to major threats, either natural or man-made disasters.
Furthermore, projects tackling innovative and inclusive projects that develop strategies, tools and collaboration that build back stronger, more accessible, inclusive and sustainable child protection systems would be welcome. We are interested in projects that assess the impact of crisis on child protection systems and develop models that equip child protection systems to cope and recover from crisis, including prevention, building resilience, early interventions, crisis management and access to services for all children.
We also welcome projects supporting the development and maintenance of inclusive programmes designed to support various groups of society, including vulnerable groups, in order to empower them, give alternatives and strengthen exit pathways from crisis. Many vulnerable groups, such as e.g. migrants, live precariously and are also overly represented in the industries that are being hit directly and hardest by the COVID-19, i.e. the hotel, restaurant and service industries.
Call for applications
The PSF application form will be available here from 15 February to 31 March 2021.
For enquires please contact Ms. Jekaterina Popova ([email protected]).
For more information please read the CBSS PSF Manual which is available for download.
PSF in Brief:
- Projects must involve partners from at least three CBSS Member States including a lead partner.
- The maximum amount of co-financing granted is 65 000 euros.
- The project proposals may be initiated by individuals, groups, organizations, institutions, associations and companies in the CBSS Member states, as well as members of CBSS Expert Groups and CBSS Networks.
- The granted projects should have the potential to become a basis for a network, partnership or cooperation model that would become viable beyond the duration of the project life itself.