The decision to grant three new initiatives Flagship status in the Policy Area Secure was made during the first National Coordinators’ meeting under the Estonian Chairmanship, on 26 September in Tallinn, Estonia. The decision acknowledges the PA Secure’s significant contribution to the work of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region: during its existence, the EUSBSR has resulted in around 120 Flagship projects – approximately every 10th of which is under the PA Secure.
The latest additions to the PA Secure Flagship family mark a welcomed new direction in the way Flagships are approached. Projects, processes, or networks granted with Flagship status are chosen due to their potential to exert an important positive impact on the whole macro-region and the PA Secure needs the whole spectrum of initiatives to implement its objectives effectively. It is the first time that such a variety (an exercise, a research project and a network) are supported as Flagships:
FIRE-IN – Fire and Rescue Innovation Network. FIRE-IN project is set to improve national and European Fire & Rescue capability development. FIRE-IN has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme and consists of 16 partners from 8 European countries, representing research, practitioners, governmental agencies and business. Within the next 5 years, the project will identify Fire & Rescue practitioners’ requirements and needs to connect them with relevant innovative technologies. The results will be shared with hundreds of experts and professional networks from the whole Europe through an innovative e-FIRE-IN platform. The expectations for the project are high: sound project method and the joint expertise of the partners will help save costs and optimize R&D investments, reduce implementation time of the new fire-fighting technologies, simplify international collaboration between the practitioners, and ultimately make Europe and the Baltic Sea Region a safer place.
ECoHuCy – Enablement besides Constraints: Human Security and a Cyber Multi-Disciplinary Framework in the European High North. ECoHuCy is a research project that seeks to depict both positive (enabling) and negative (threatening) potentials residing in regional digital development. With the focus on finding ways to reinforce the positive potentials – while diluting the negative ones. ECoHuCy focuses on the cross-border area of Finland, Norway and Sweden – called the ‘High North’, and the research will be conducted with the UK as a case of comparison. The research is focusing on the specific conditions in the High North, although the results will be beneficial for the macro-region in general.
BALEX DELTA 2018. The aim of the BALEX DELTA 2018 exercise is to test and improve procedures and methods for combating oil and chemical spills at sea and on the shore, in a multilateral context, using the HELCOM framework and the EU and the host nation’s support guidelines. The dynamic partnership in the exercise – where various levels, sectors, and countries are represented, entails a broad range of experiences. The rationale behind the exercise is that if a severe accident occurs, it is difficult for any country to be able to conduct all the measurements needed single-handed, therefore the development of common procedures and routines – as well as common terminology – is necessary. Multilateral exercises – as BALEX DELTA 2018 – contribute to building coherence in the Baltic Sea Region.