Final calls for more cooperation around the Baltic Sea
01 Oct 2019

The Interreg Baltic Sea Region Monitoring Committee met in Potsdam on 25 September 2019 to exchange on the status of the Programme implementation, and to decide upon the allocation of the last tranche of funds available in this programming period.

©IB.SH/Anna Galyga

Money for a good cause

Interreg Baltic Sea Region already allocated all funds available at the Programme start for the projects in the fields of capacity for innovation, management of natural resources and sustainable transport. However, the leftover funds from the previous programming period as well as returning funds will allow for co-financing additional activities. Certain funds were also originally reserved for financing seed money projects.

Additional activities include an extension stage for projects of the second call. The Monitoring Committee approved the call that opens on 1 October 2019.  If all regular activities are successfully finalised, projects of the second call can apply for an extension of 9 months. Additional time will be granted in order to, e.g. apply earlier developed guidelines, and test or disseminate project outputs. The total budget for each extension stage project will be a maximum of EUR 1 million out of currently available EUR 7 million of the European Regional Development Fund. The currently available Norwegian co-financing amounts to EUR 0.2 million, and the ENI/Russian co-financing to EUR 0.7 million. Due to an expected high competition, convincing concepts for extension stage are needed. The Joint Secretariat will advise and guide applicants when developing their applications.

Seed money for helping EUSBSR ideas grow

In order to support the development of project ideas of strategic importance to the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR), the Monitoring Committee has also decided to launch the second call for seed money projects on 5 November 2019. With an individual budget of EUR 50,000, the seed money projects shall prepare fully-fledged projects in line with any policy area or horizontal action in the updated EUSBSR Action Plan. These projects can be later financed by any funding source.

The Programme has dedicated EUR 1 million from the European Regional Development Fund to this call. Norwegian national funding to the Programme is available for Norwegian project partners as well as European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI)/Russian national funding – for Russian project partners.

Cooperation at all levels

The Monitoring Committee represents the Member States around the Baltic Sea involved in the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme. Cyclical meetings enable to shape the Programme, review its implementation to make sure the funds are used correctly, and to decide on the projects to be financed. Traditionally, the European Commission holds an observer’s status. The latest meeting took place in Potsdam, on 25 September 2019, chaired by Germany. This time, Helena Tuuri, Chair of National Coordinators Group of the EUSBSR participated as a special guest. In 2020, the Monitoring Committee will intensify contacts to the National Coordinators of the EUSBSR. A joint meeting is planned for February next year. In 2020, the Monitoring Committee will be chaired by Latvia.