April was the month with many activities. One of them was the meeting of the Nordic Baltic Rural Network on the island of Orust. The themes were Social inclusion and integration and also the Maritime and Fisheries Programme. Read more about that meeting below and there is also a link to a video.
From this on we will publish this review at a quarterly basis coordinating it with other reports we are making each quarter and maybe also avoiding sending too many reviews to you, our subscribers.
A conference with the theme ”The men and food” has been organised. A group of young men from a folk high school together with a group of older retired men participated in this age integrated conference. A core question was what reasons were needed to make them change into a more healthy and sustainable lifestyle regarding food and physical training. How can these messages be brought to other young and old men, was another question discussed.
A video conference with about 25 participants about export of food was arranged during this month. The results can be found on our web page (in Swedish though)
There are new podcasts with interviews with young farmers and rural entrepreneurs published at our web page.
The Leader groups in Sweden have organised themselves in six regions for regional meetings and to be able to elect regional representation in working groups etc. Two of the regions (west and south east) held their regional leader meetings during April with support from the NSU. The most important in these meetings are often the general discussions about where in the process the different LAGs are and what are their main concerns in daily work, even more so now when all are in the process of starting the new programme period. The meetings are organised by the regional Leader representative together with the NSU and the costs for venue and food is funded by the NRN-budget. Representatives from the MA are often participating physically or on line.
A special conference about the role of Leader in integration was arranged this month. Some 60 participants from all of Sweden gathered to ask questions and discuss with authorities and also to listen to good integration examples. It was both the food cooperative in Orust (read more under Transnational cooperation below) and also a method for finding housing used in the rural municipality of Västervik.
A report has been produced presenting god methods to identify housing for asylum seekers in rural areas. It was presented and handed over to municipalities and county administrations at a conference in the end of the month. The final report will be published in May together with some videos showing the examples.
A survey through a questionnaire was carried out asking questions about the need in rural areas for new solutions for commercial services. It was sent to all the Swedish Leader areas. 84 percent of the respondents claim they have large or very large needs of new service solutions in their LAG areas.
Twice a year the Network Support Units and representatives from Managing Authorities from the countries in the Baltic Sea Region meet. The themes are of course a round table report about the process of the RDP and EMFF in each country and the priorities of the networks. More and more it has also been about how to promote and develop closer transnational cooperation both between the NRNs and the MA:s as well as between LAGs, FLAGs and other actors.
The 27:th – 28:th of April we met at the island of Orust outside the Swedish west coast. A group of 20 representatives from both the NSUs, many MAs and also from FARNET met to update each other about the programme start in the different countries and also to experience some practical examples in Sweden. The first afternoon we had a boat trip to the Scanfjord Mussel Farm and then to their process industry for the mussels. Later on we visited the Tavlebord Bee Farm and Honey Café. The evening ended with a multicultural dinner prepared by a group of women from the asylum center nearby. We had food from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Eritrea together with music entertainment of a truly mixed and multicultural choir. There were also some video presentations with other integration examples such as job matching and internship.
The second day we discussed social inclusion and integration in rural areas and after that the focus was on the EMFF and how to promote transnational cooperation between our countries. We all agreed that the platform our macro regional network offers can be one tool to contribute to better cooperation fully in line with the aims of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.
A conversation filmed at the Nordic-Baltic Network's Meeting on the Swedish island of Orust, 28th of April 2016: