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Annual Stakeholder Forum of the Euroregion Baltic and Sztum Circular Economy - joint action, 8-9.12.2022, Olsztyn

On 8 December 2022, the Annual Stakeholder Forum of the Euroregion Baltic was held in Olsztyn, organised in cooperation with the partners of the Municipality of Sztum in cooperation with our Association, Gdansk University of Technology and partners from International Development Norway. The main topic of the Forum was counteracting climate change based on the experiences of Polish and foreign partners of the Euroregion.

The event was opened by the Marshal of the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship, Mr Gustaw Marek Brzezin, and the Mayor of the City and Municipality of Sztum, Mr Leszek Tabor. Mr Marszałek holds the position of President in the Euroregion and the Annual Stakeholder Forum was also the culmination of his one-year presidency, which will continue until the end of 2022.

The meeting was attended by representatives from almost all of the Euroregion's member regions, including: from Denmark Bornholm, from Sweden the regions of Blekinge, Kronoberg, Kalmar, and from Poland the regions of Pomerania and Warmia and Mazury.

The annual Forum is a meeting which this year had a different setting than before. This is because it was supported by the thematic scope of the Sztum Circular Economy project. We wanted to involve many of our Euroregional climate change experts and project partners in the discussion. The keynote speech was given by Professor Krzysztof Czerwionka from the Gdansk University of Technology. He spoke about the essence of a closed-loop economy - the impact on the environment, why we should pay attention to our small choices in everyday life to prevent drastic climate change, what we are threatened by and how to avoid negative environmental effects.

There were also thematic sessions - Closed-loop economy in practice The road to a closed-loop economy (the sphere of production and planning, water resource management, recycling and waste as pillars of new project initiatives, including two panel discussions, the first with the participation of, among others, experts from the Waste Management Facility from Denmark, International Development Norway, the City and Municipality of Sztum, the Water Key Group from Sweden and a representative from the Department of Environmental Protection of the Marshal's Office of the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship.

The second panel discussion concerned the topic of Energy and the Closed-cycle Economy Renewable energy sources as a catalyst for the introduction of a circular economy model. Participants in this part included representatives of, among others, the Regional Municipality of Bornholm, the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, a representative of the South Baltic Programme project office, the Department of Environmental Protection of the Marshal's Office. In addition, participants were able to learn more about the Interreg South Baltic program and the Danish BOFA organisation.

The fruit of both discussions was the willingness of all those gathered to participate and act in the Task Force on Combating Climate Change. The forum is also a meeting of the newly formed Task Force - Circular Economy Task Force, which will bring together thematic experts in the field of combating climate change.

During the second day of the conference, a joint meeting of the partnership team of the Sztum Circular Economy project was held. The meeting summarised the activities to date and the indicators achieved. Further activities were planned for 2023 in order to be consistent and most effectively implemented.

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