The Joint Programming Committee (JPC) gathered together in order to endorse the documents that set the rules and are the basis for the guidance for applicants in the first calls for applications in the new Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2021 – 2027.
The 9th JPC meeting was held on 10 – 11 November 2021 and chaired by Deimante Jankunaite from the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania. Back to back the Monitoring Committee (MC) of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020 met.
Everything ready for the pre-launch of the first calls
The members of the JPC endorsed the Programme Manual which will be soon available for applicants on the Programme portal and serve as the main document setting the rules for the future projects.
The JPC endorsed also further documents that define the framework for four different calls for applications. The pre-launch for the calls for core and small projects as well as for two calls for EUSBSR governance support starts already in November. The official launching of the calls takes place 8 February 2022 after the Programme is submitted to the EU Commission.
The Financing Agreement for setting the rules for involvement of Russian organisations in the projects is still under preparation at the EU Commission. Nevertheless, the Programme encourages partnerships to involve Russian organisations to project preparation from the beginning. Additional guidance is under preparation and will provide clarity on the terms of participation of Russian organisations in the first calls.
All guidance to the applicants will be soon available at the Programme portal via a new gateway for applicants. The access to the Matchmaking platform for partner search can be found there as well. A series of webinars for applicants is starting and MA/JS will offer consultations for applicants from December on.
Projects from the previous period are finalising
The MA/JS updated the Monitoring Committee on the status of project monitoring and closure. An impressive work has been done in monitoring the projects and channeling the final payments to the partners, justifying that the allocation of the current Programme funds is well-performed.
Additional funds for the communication of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region
The MC decided to extend “Let´s communicate” project and so a valuable communication work for the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) is further ensured until a new Strategy Point can be established. On top of this, the EUSBSR stakeholders can look forward to the next Annual Strategy Forum 2022 that will continue mainstream transnational collaboration. The MC decided to allocate remaining Programme funding for the Forum.
Final evaluation of the Programme initiated
As the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014 – 2020 is approaching its end, the MA/JS initiated preparations on the final evaluation of the current Programme. In view of the conclusions of the mid-term evaluation in 2018, the assessment of the Programme proved that the state of institutional capacity in the region improved, the target groups advanced their knowledge and transnational cooperation delivered added value in parallel with other regional and national activities – but more needs to be done!
The final evaluation will add complimentary information to be taken as lessons learnt and what we can improve in the future. MA/JS will prepare the terms of reference for the evaluation. The plan is that the selected experts will start their work in the spring 2022.
Thanks to the collaborative and result-oriented approach, the participants of both meetings clarified many complex issues and made important decisions paying the way for a timely launch of many activities. Next Joint Programming Committee will be held on 3rd February 2022 and chaired by Poland.