Vilnius, Lithuania

Lithuanian Presidency 2020-2021

Regional Identity


Fenja Neumann won the project idea competition with her sustainable consumption concept.


Baltic Sea Youth Dialogue took on a different form: that of a competition on the topic of Baltic Sea Youth Dialogue 2020 – let’s create a sustainable future together! Young people, aged between 18 and 30, from the region competed in three categories: Creative writing, Graphic Design and Project Idea to vision a sustainable future for the Baltic Sea Region.

In total, 51 submissions were received and three winners in each category, selected by knowledgeable juries in the field of arts, literature and science, were announced and celebrated at a virtual award ceremony. 10 best entries in each category were also included in the Let’s Create a Sustainable Future Together! publication. 

“This is a story about and for the sea – a big friend for people like me, who breathe salty air from the very beginning.”

Alise Ilena – winner of the essay competition
1st place in the poster competition: Guste Mergiunaite
2nd place in the poster competition: Greta Radzeviciute
3rd place in the poster competition: Ania Wojcik


Just like last year, the Baltic Sea Youth Camp had to take place virtually. But nothing stopped young people getting together to contribute meaningfully to the future of the Baltic Sea Region.

Participants discussed the current issues and future ones
concerning the Baltic Sea Region and invited decisionmakers and experts to get an in-depth knowledge about the region. Discsussions led to formulation of priorities within the policymaking of the Baltic Sea Region. Put together by the young participants at the camp, their demands were set out in the Baltic Sea Youth Declaration. The Declaration was presented to the Baltic Sea Region policy and decision-makers at the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) Annual Forum.

During the Annual Forum, Aline Mayr from the CBSS represented the BSYP and the voice of youth during the panel discussion “Working together, merging knowledge and skills! Emerging areas of joint, multidisciplinary actions”.

A Year in Youth Collaboration



Arts and culture have the power to not only help us understand, but also to make the connections beyond borders and national or political limits. In 2021, the CBSS joined the seed-money project Culture4Climate (C4C) which aims to encourage environmental action among cultural and education institutions in the Region by offering a certification of progress towards climate action among participating organisations. 


Another seed-money project of which the CBSS is a lead partner, Baltic Sea Cultural Cities, has prevailed and flourished despite the pandemic, with more partners joining the consortium. The project focuses on the co-creation of cultural activities by citizens themselves, involving especially young people and those from often overlooked parts of society.

Throughout the year, the focus was on funding options to take the project from seed-money phase to a full-fledged project programme. To that end, several fruitful meetings with project partners were held, including participating in the 13th PA Culture Project Development Workshop “Perspectives on Funding for Culture in the BSR” and conducting our own digital workshop with an external consultancy to map out appropriate funding options within the region. 

Higher Education


CBSS accepted five summer university programme applications from Saint Petersburg State University of Economics (UNECON), Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, University of Tartu (two programmes) and Vytautas Magnus University. Because of ongoing Covid-19 restrictions and uncertainty, some applicants decided to cancel their summer university programmes. 

However, the Saint Petersburg State University of Economics (UNECON) summer university programme, supported by DAAD, was held on 16–30 August, with speakers from the CBSS (Senior Adviser for Sustainable & Prosperous Region Daria Akhutina, Chairperson of the CBSS Committee of Senior Officials Olav Berstad, Chairperson of the CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Maritime Economy (EGSME) Marit Blegeberg Østmo, and Senior Advisor for Regional Identity Thorvaldur Kristjansson). 

The Johan Skytte Institute of the University of Tartu will also hold a special autumn school in Narva, Estonia, 1–6 November 2021, entitled “Governance, Leadership, Resilience: German and Estonian Experiences in the European Context”. The school is supported by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Estonia. 

New Senior Adviser for Regional Identity

In February, Mr. Thorvaldur Kristjansson, an Icelandic national, took over the role as Senior Adviser for the Regional Identity priority area from Ms. Kaarina Williams from Germany and Finland. Watch the video to hear more about Mr. Kristjansson and his ideas for Regional Identity.