On 10 and 11th June 2016 over 150 representatives from the Baltic Sea NGO’s gathered in Gdansk, in the premises of the European Solidarity Centre, for the 14th Baltic Sea NGO Forum.
The meeting gathered representatives of the 3rd sector, Baltic Sea regional Organization and regional authorities from 11 Baltic Sea countries and beyond. 14th BS NGO Forum honored guests were: Director General of the Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat – Mr Jan Lundin, President for the CBSS Icelandic Presidency and Secretary General of the Union of the Baltic Cities Mr Paweł Żaboklicki. Regional authorities were represented by Mr Mieczysław Struk, Marshall of the Pomorskie Voivodship and Mr Piotr Kowalczuk, the vice-President of Gdansk. The guests and our host – Director of the ECS Mr Basil Kerski all delivered the welcome speeches. All the guests were also welcomed by the Forum organizers – Magda Leszczyna-Rzucidło from BISER and Marek Olechnowicz representing Pomeranian NGOs, who presented the idea behind the Forum and the main topics.
This year’s Forum main topics were:
- Culture and social innovation
- Civic sector and social problems
- Migration processes in Europe
During the Forum the participants discussed the recent developments in the Baltic Sea regional cooperation, shared their experiences, success stories and exchanged information. As the representatives of the NGO’s, they prepared important recommendations for our sectoral and cross-sectoral cooperation to strengthen the civil society cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region. The NGOs representatives also become acquainted with Interreg, the South Baltic Programme in particular.
This year the meeting was held in the European Solidarity Centre, the state-of-the-art cultural institution that honors our greatest civic success—the victorious Solidarity movement. It is a museum that commemorates the revolution of Solidarity and the fall of communism in Europe, but it is also an educational, research and academic centre. Last but not least, it is a public meeting space for citizens who feel responsible for the development of democracy: a place where solidarity and citizenship are put into practice. It also inspired us with the main theme of this year’s Forum – “Solidarity as a new dimension in Baltic Sea regional cooperation”, since we all agree we need solidarity on every level of our regional cooperation, especially in the times of transformation.
The Forum Organizers would like to thank all the Guests for attending our Forum and bringing your expertise to our gathering. We hope you enjoyed your stay in Gdansk and had an inspiring conference.
Please see below the 14th BS Ngo Forum agenda, the participants materials with the speakers list and some pictures from the event.