Executive Board Meeting of the Euroregion Baltic - 26-27.09.2023

Members of Euroregion Baltic met at the ERB Executive Board meeting, which took place in Brussels on September 26 and 27, 2023.

Representatives of Euroregion Baltic, who took part in the meeting, among others:

On the first day, a meeting was held on the European Union's cohesion policy, structural funds and their statutes.

During the meeting, participants were able to learn about the regional offices and how they work for the regions

The ERB Board was opened by the current ERB President, Mikael Benzon, who welcomed all guests and presented the plan for the meeting. A representative of the Marshal's Office of Warmia and Mazury, Mr. Lukasz Bielewski, informed the participants about the current statute of work on the convention and the outline of the Statute. The next item was a presentation of the financial situation of the organization, which was presented by Mr. Marcin Żuchowski. Mr. Bielewski, as a representative of Euroregion Baltic in the Monitoring Commission of the Interreg South Baltic program, informed about the current situation of the program.

In addition to members of the technical secretariats and politicians, the meeting was attended by young people from the Euroregion Baltic Youth Council, for whom this was the first meeting in physical form in a long time. The voice of the youth was not to be missed, as they presented the activities of the ERB Youth Council and new members of the group were introduced.

The scheduled meeting of the technical secretariats of the ERB was held to discuss the future of the Euroregion, which is to be transformed into an EGTC organization in the future. In addition, the topic of the task forces that operate within the ERB (Water Group, Transport Group, or Task Force - Climate Change and Green Transition) was discussed.

As part of the promotion of the WaterMan project, the participants were presented with the activities carried out so far and the goals and objectives to be realized. Mr. Tobias Facchini, as Leader of the Water Group, via remote connection, presented the current situation and work on the main activities.
Among other things, the activity related to the pilot in Braniewo was mentioned, where, with the cooperation of scientists from the Gdansk University of Technology, work will be carried out on the Municipal Swimming Pool to reduce the use of drinking water and close the circulation of water already used. The main goal of the project is to promote the reuse of water and its sustainable use.

Mr. Robert Hedman, as the main person in charge of the Task Force group, presented the group's activities to date and opportunities for development. All members of the Euroregion were invited to the next meeting of the Group scheduled for 23.11.23.

Mr. Slawomir Demkowicz-Dobrzanski presented the plan for the next Board meetings for 2024. Decisions were made on specific dates that suited all participants.

The meeting of the Board of the Euroregion Baltic was attended by two representatives of the Association in the form of the Chairman Mr. Witold Wróblewski, the PResident of the City of Elblag and the Director of the Secretariat Mr. Marcin Żuchowski.

A day with climate in Sztum - September 9, 2023

On Saturday, September 9, 2023, the second round of Climate Day was organized as part of the Sztum Circular Economy project. The event was included in the celebration of the Sztum Land Days, thanks to which the project leader could reach a larger audience with the activity.

During the event, there was a presentation on waste management and the impact of human activities on the environment. A competition in the form of a knowledge quiz for residents was conducted by the Gdańsk University of Technology.

Just like last year, a stand was organized where ladies from the housewives' club showed how to cook using whole products.

A game was also organized in which residents had to sort waste correctly. The positive news is that most people can sort waste well.

Let us remind about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which assume changing the world while respecting the environment, thinking about future generations and taking into account the least privileged social groups. The project's assumptions and its activities fit perfectly into several sustainable development goals, including:

BaltiCE - online meeting

Today, 21.07.2023, was the last regular online meeting of the BaltiCE seed project - "Baltic Circular Economy Lab - as a tool for resource conservation and climate change mitigation." During this meeting, the event's participants discussed, among other things, the needs of municipalities in the field of waste management, discussed issues related to pilots, and worked on the project's concept paper, main directions and general outline.

The project aims to reduce the cost of municipal services and reuse raw materials in a closed-loop economy. The Polish partners would like to focus on the reuse of sand and salt spread in winter and the management and cost reduction of green waste.

The Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic is participating in the BaltiCE events as a potential partner in a regular project under the Interreg South Baltic Program.

Fifth workshop of the Think Global, Act Local project - Romania

The event in Slanic Moldova and surrounding towns took place from 3-6 July 2023, this time organised by the project leader The National Association of Balneoclimateric Resorts in Romania.

The event was dedicated to working on the analysis of the conclusions of the collected surveys. These will contribute to the preparation of the Long-term Strategy for Civic Engagement and Participatory Democracy, which will be prepared at the next meeting.

The event was attended by representatives of the Association's member cities and municipalities and they were:

Chairman of the City Council of Gdynia,
Mayor of the City and Municipality of Tolkmicko,
Mayor of Górowo Iławeckie,
Mayor of the City and Commune of Sztum,
Mayor of Puck,
Mayor of Olsztynek,
Mayor of Stawiguda.

On the first day of the event, participants had the opportunity to attend a welcome session, during which each of the project partners presented their organisation but also the participants in the event from their respective country. Among others, there were mayors, representatives of local authorities and officials from Poland, Greece, Italy, Spain and Romania. There was also a meeting with mayors representing ANSBBR member municipalities and the local community. Participants worked in groups to develop a preliminary 'Long-term Strategy for Civic Engagement and Democracy'.

In addition to the workshop work, there was a study visit to the healing water springs, which are a very important source in terms of tourism and profits for the surrounding towns.

On the second day, a meeting was held with the mayors of the local municipalities of Targu-Ocna and Zemes - Moinesti, who talked about their experiences of cooperation in the European Union, the essence of the EU itself, which in many ways brings together different nationalities and allows cities and municipalities to develop. In addition, the participants learnt about local traditions, where one of them is performances using old bearskins, which are passed from town to town or between individual artistic groups.

WaterMan - online meeting

On July 19, another online meeting was held with the participation of Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic. This time around, the work concerned project activities in the WaterMan project. The project partners connected on the online platform to discuss the progress of the project activities and the status of preparations for the physical meeting of the partners in Kalundborg.

As a reminder, the ongoing WaterMan project promotes water reuse in the Baltic Sea region. In doing so, it adds a new element to water management that can make water supplies more climate-resilient. The key actors in water reuse are local authorities and water utilities for whom WaterMan is a provider of knowledge and tools to develop strategic approaches and implement concrete measures that will put water reuse into practice.

Funding program for project activities: Interreg Baltic Sea Region.

Online meeting - Nursecoast II project

The Nursecoast II project partners met today, July 18. The project consortium, in an online format, connects every two weeks. The regularity of the meetings is aimed at presenting current issues that the partners are currently working on.

The topic of discussion today was the presentation of information on the timing of the next project tasks, potential pilot sites and future evaluation results regarding the selection of the appropriate technology used to build the wastewater treatment plant. 

The partners discussed a report on case study sites in Finland. The report is intended to help work on future technology solutions and internal reporting work. You can find expert opinions and feedback on the project's pilot investments in choosing the most effective and optimal technological solution to serve the local community. The above document also includes a chapter on the review of the peer review co-creation process, during which specific aspects of the pilot investment were evaluated, and a chapter on the evaluation of each pilot investment and the results of the peer review discussions.

The report is also intended to serve as a book of good practices showing various aspects of choosing the optimal solution based on known and proven technologies, considered the best in the market. The document goes beyond the borders of the country, containing the opinions of experts from each partner country on selected pilot projects, you will find there elements that, if certain conditions are met, can also be applied elsewhere. The final result will be 5 more such reports, for a total of 6 partner countries.

In summary, as presented by the project partners, the document discussed above has a threefold purpose: first, it is intended to serve as a feedback mechanism to help improve the project's pilot work, particularly the development of the pilots, and ultimately the use of the project results by local authorities. Second, it is a coherent collection of expert opinions on each pilot project to be taken into account when partners discuss options for improving wastewater treatment with local authorities in rural tourist destinations. It is a valuable tool for partners to open dialogue with representatives of municipalities and wastewater treatment authorities, specialists and experts. Thirdly, it serves as an aid in bridging the gap in local authorities' knowledge of some of the obstacles and challenges associated with each investment, and making sure that lessons can be learned and implemented by subsequent municipalities.

Evaluating the choice of methods and technologies to solve local wastewater problems at each pilot site will allow mutual exchange of methods used in other pilot projects that could be adapted, or used elsewhere.