Project concept notes selected for further development
The Committee selected 81 out of 282 concept notes submitted in the first call to be developed into complete project proposals. In priority 1 “capacity for innovation” 27 projects will compete for funding, in priority 2 “efficient management of natural resources” 33 projects, and 21 projects in priority 3 “sustainable transport”, click here for more figures. 33 of the selected project concepts are flagships of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. Partners in the projects are spread fairly even through the region. Lead applicants of the selected projects will meet at the project development workshops in Berlin on 19-20 May and 28-29 May to discuss with MA/JS staff how to develop a good quality application. The projects will work on their applications and send it to MA/JS by 14 July. The final approval of project applications is planned for the next meeting of the Monitoring Committee meeting on 18-19 November 2015.
Reaching towards target groups: the communication strategy
In addition, the Monitoring Committee discussed and decided on several other issues important for the implementation of the Programme. The Programme’s communication strategy for 2015-2023 was approved. The strategy outlines the main communication aims, target groups, activities and responsibilities for the coming years.
The state aid rules
As project partners are to receive ERDF funds, the MC had to look into the state aid issues. The EU rules aim at fair competition on the market; partners are not allowed to get competitive advantage by receiving EU funds or other benefits (e.g. trainings). The set of rules and procedures related to state aid was approved by the MC. These rules will allow granting EU funds to project partners in compliance with EU regulations.
Updated Programme Manual
The Programme Manual for priorities 1-3 was updated and approved by the MC, to reflect on changes related to state aid, service-providing partners, complaint procedure, eligibility of service providing partners and legal status categories, and more. The Programme Manual explains the rules of the Programme and gives guidance on all phases of the project life cycle: it is the key document for projects.
Support to the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region
The Committee also approved applications of Priority Area Coordinators and Horizontal Action Leaders of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region to support tasks related to their role as a coordinator/leader of a thematic area set in the Action Plan of the Strategy, e.g. their cooperation with the member states, flagship leaders, as well as defining and implementing priority area/horizontal area targets and indicators. 18 Priority Areas and Horizontal Actions (PA/HA) will receive in total 1.66 million EUR.