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Finalised projects: 90
EUR committed: 215.0 mln
Main project outputs > 280
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Innovation, transport, environment - Objectives for the future Baltic Sea Region programme outlined

"We took a big step forward in defining the goals for the next seven years of funding for transnational cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region", concluded Kadri Jushkin from the Estonian Ministry of the Interior, and in 2013, chair of the Joint Programming Committee (JPC) for the EU Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020. The JPC task force met on 5-6 March 2013 in Berlin in order to discuss the general framework of the future programme.

The programming task force for the EU Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020 (photo: Maack).

Clear focus to maximise effectiveness

The programming task force confirmed the three thematic objectives agreed upon in autumn 2012 – innovation, transport and environment. Strong focusing was agreed upon as a major principle in the programming process. During the meeting, the representatives reached several specific agreements on the next level of detail, the so-called investment priorities. Within innovation, the task force proposes to set a priority on enhancement of research and innovation infrastructure and capacities as well as on support to businesses. In transport, the programme shall promote environmentally friendly and low-carbon transport systems, enhance regional mobility and increase maritime safety. With respect to environment, funding shall be steered towards water-related activities.

Self-Innovation to tackle challenges

The delegations welcomed a proposal to involve private companies as partners in projects. This could address particularly small and medium enterprises that were excluded from receiving funding in the present programme. Furthermore, the majority of representatives expressed a a positive attitude towards including two new funding schemes into the programme, which have been tested already during the current programme period: Seed Money projects and Capitalisation projects. The main purpose of these schemes would be to support the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

Raising questions to find agreements

The task force identified a number of open questions to be discussed in future meetings. For example: How to contribute more directly to the goals of Europe 2020? How to focus business support for innovation? Which water related potentials should be addressed? How to address natural and cultural heritage in the future programme? Which energy-related goals should be included and how? How to enable cross-sectoral approaches within projects? Is there any added value in transnational approaches regarding urban mobility? Can different project generation procedures improve project quality and make application procedures faster? These questions will be raised again during the next programming task force meeting to be held in May 2013 in Berlin and the Joint Programming Committee meeting to be held in June 2013 in Estonia.

Qualified input to meet the demands

Thematic workshops with experts and stakeholders will be held in April in order to collect ideas and opinions on how to specify and improve the outlined priorities. The goals for the workshops will be to identify existing gaps and realistic goals to be achieved by the future programme during the period of 2014 to 2020.

The Joint Programming Committee is the decision making body for the Operational Programme for the Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020. It includes representatives from the EU Member States bordering the Baltic Sea, from the European Commission and from neighbouring countries. The programming task force is a sub-group of the Joint Programming Committee which shall support the programming process by preparing decision making.

 

JPC chair Kadri Jushkin (center) with Eeva Rantama (left) and Ronald Lieske (right) from the Joint Technical Secretariat (photo: Maack).

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During the meeting of the programming task force for the EU Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020, the Joint Technical Secretariat presented analyses and draft thematic objectives and received in depth feedback from the task force members (photos: Maack).


published 19.03.2013