Two new European projects will improve transnational coordination in Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in the North and Baltic Sea. Because human activities and their impacts do not stop at national sea borders, there is a need for coordination among national Maritime Spatial Plans and planning processes. With this in mind relevant MSP authorities will cooperate over the coming three years within the two sister projects "NorthSEE" and "Baltic LINes", funded through Interreg. Both projects are led by the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency. The meeting in Copenhagen launched the first ever joint implementation of two MSP projects in the North and Baltic Sea, increasing synergy even across two sea-basins. Together with expert institutions as well as sector stakeholders, they will work on developing coherent transnational planning solutions on a large spatial scale.
Where the number of population in the Baltic Sea Region is growing or shrinking
Following an analysis on population development of European municipalities (LAU 2), a similar investigation was carried out for the Baltic Sea Region with support from the VASAB network. That analysis comprised all EU countries in the Baltic Sea Region (in Germany - the northeastern part) as well as Norway, Belarus and Northwest Russia. The analysis reveals large disparities of population development.
The South and West is growing – the North and East shrinking
Declining population figures can especially be observed in the northeastern part of Baltic Sea Region (parts of Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus and Russia as well as northern areas of Norway, Sweden and Finland) and in East Germany. Contrary to that, highest increases are visible for large parts of Poland as well as southern areas of the Nordic countries. The positive population development in large areas of southwestern Baltic Sea Region is mainly caused by in-migration from the northeastern countries and by regional migration, in Poland also by positive natural population change.
The Swedish Institute for the Baltic Sea Region Seed Funding has launched the call for applications. Applicants can apply for funding up to 500,000 SEK to develop project partnerships in the Baltic Sea Region which contribute to the aims in Baltic Sea Region policy documents, e.g. the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. The call closes 14 April 2016. Please note that only partners from Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, and in some cases in Moldova and Georgia can be funded. Partners from Denmark, Germany, Finland, Norway and Iceland are welcome to participate in the projects without funding.
For more information please look HERE
On 29 September 2015 VASAB hosted the Baltic SCOPE project kick-off event in Riga, Latvia. More than 80 experts, practitioners and scientists representing a wide range of organizations around the Baltic Sea and beyond shared their experience, knowledge and brought inspiration for further transboundary cooperation on Maritime Spatial Planning.
Planners from the Adriatic Sea, the North Sea and the Black Sea as well as BONUS Baltspace project presented regional MSP challenges and solutions. Both Baltic SCOPE project's case study areas - Southwest Baltic and Central Baltic presented the progress made since the launch of the project. The priority sectors – energy, transport and shipping, environment and fishery in greater detail were discussed in smaller groups.
The Baltic SCOPE kick-off event was a part of a number of MSP-related meetings hosted by VASAB: Baltic SCOPE partners' meeting and Steering Group meeting, the 11th joint HELCOM-VASAB MSP Working Group meeting as well as the 1st Baltic Sea Region Data Expert Sub-Group meeting along with VASAB Open Troika meeting which took place in the same week.
The Baltic SCOPE project unites MSP authorities and pan-Baltic organizations to find planning solutions to transboundary issues and improve MSP processes. The two-year project is co-funded by EC DG MARE. More information about the project and kick-off event can be found: http://www.balticscope.eu/news/thank-you-for-being-part-of-the-baltic-scope-kick-off/
The Interreg Central Baltic Programme has opened 2nd call for project applications until 23 October, 2015. All applications must be submitted electronically by 15:00 (Finnish time, CET +1) on the closing date of the call.
The call is open for applications in all four priorities and all specific objectives. According to the outcome of the first call of applications, however, the applicants are encouraged to develop projects especially under:
• Archipelago and Islands Sub-programme
• Priority 3 "Well-connected region"
• Specific Objective 1.3 "More exports by the Central Baltic companies to new markets"
• Specific Objective 2.2 "Sustainably planned and managed marine and coastal areas"
More information: http://newsite.centralbaltic.eu/
As part of the activities comprised in the VI Annual Forum of the EUSBSR, the Networking Village includes 25 organisations which showcase their work within the EUSBSR. One of them is also VASAB (Vision and Strategies Around the Baltic Sea) which is co-leading the Horizontal Action 'Spatial Planning' and coorganising the VI Annual Forum of the EUSBSR.
The Head of VASAB Secretariat and EUSBSR Horizontal Action Leader on 'Spatial Planning', Tālis Linkaits recognizes that the Forum is like a benchmarking tool, where it is possible to show what organisations have done since the previous Forum and compare with what other stakeholders have achieved.
Photos of the first day of Networking Village are available HERE