The CBSS, along with Centrum Balticum Foundation, Leontief Centre and the Swedish Institute organized a back-to-back event in conjunction with the XVIII Annual Strategic Planning Leaders Forum of The Regions and Cities Of Russia on October 30th 2019.
The aim of this event was to facilitate exchange of information and contacts between Russian and European actors to promote cooperation possibilities. The event was opened by the Baltic Sea Ambassador of Finland Helena Tuuri and Alexey Ivanov, Head of Division for Regional Cooperation in Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The participants included roughly 50/50 of both Russian and EU stakeholders who were first presented with information and statistics about the current state of affairs as food for thought for the main part of the event. Match-making.
The event was preceded by a questionnaire to stakeholders in North-Western Russia where they were asked to prioritize the areas of cooperation and the discussion was organized accordingly. The analyses of Survey is ongoing and will be finalized by the end of the year. During the match-making the participants were distributed according to their organizations expertize to discuss and develop cooperation possibilities either in existing cooperation platforms or build completely new ones. These discussions were steered by a set of questions to be addressed, for example who to involve in these cooperations and how to fund them to make them most efficient.
A number of suggestions were made and the participants were encouraged to stay in direct contact with each other for further cooperation for example in the coming Interreg BSR Seed Money call. The immediate feedback from the participants was positive. The organizers were encouraged to develop the format further and set up further match-making events with more time for discussion.