In 2011 the Baltic Sea Network was established in order to develop a common understating of the role of the European Social Fund (ESF) in relation to the European Union Strategy of the Baltic Sea (EUSBSR).
The network consists of the of the Managing Authorities and Intermediate Bodies for the ESF around the Baltic Sea: Sweden, Åland lslands, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Land of Hamburg. The network has been consolidated and a number of joint activities have been carried out such as conferences, partner search forums and learning seminars.
Se more information about the organizations here.
The networks objectives are:
- to develop a common understanding of the role of ESF in relation to the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR).
- to develop and consolidate the network between the Managing Authorities in order to further increase cooperation, promote joint projects, identify policy gaps as well as exchanging good practices.
- to facilitate and strengthen the transnational cooperation between project promoters / projects in the ESF in the Baltic Sea Region.
- to help implementing the social dimension in the EUSBSR in relevant priority areas and to identify relevant priorities for the future. to integrate the network into the Common Framework and by doing so have a platform for common calls on specific themes.
Activities, past and present
- A survey of projects and Operational programmes in the ESF has been carried out in order to identify where links to the EUSBSR can be found and when appropriate references to the EUSBSR were included in the regional or national Operational Programmes for the ESF-programming period 2014-2020.
- Formal contact points have been established within the network for safeguarding the information and communication flows and a common communication platform is under development.
- Establishing a partnership with EUSBSR-Policy Area coordinators and BSN-ESF as well as with the EC.
- Member States participating in the network has organized meetings focusing on the links between ESF and the EUSBSR. A number of project visits and participation in events in different Member States in the region has been carried out.
- Active participation in the Common Framework. Common positions, statements or recommendations could be formulated.
- Establishment of a solid network between the Managing authorities and intermediate bodies around the Baltic. Up to three meetings have been held within the network each year since 2011.
- Coordination of themes/priorities for calls for proposals in the ESF in the Member States focusing the social dimension in the EUSBSR.
- Partner search forums for project promoters in the ESF have been arranged.
- A Flagship project School 2 Work has been created in the policy area Education in EUSBSR. It is managed by the Swedish Association for Local and Regional Authorities, focusing early school leaving and so called NEETs (young people not being in employment, education or training).
- Agreement on themes for cooperation in the Common Framework (Youth employment and Inclusion).