The NGO Programme for the Baltic Sea region has existed since 2006, and each year NGOs are invited to apply for funding for international co-operation projects. Focus areas of the programme include social services and healthcare, children and young people, education, culture, gender equality, the environment, civil society, democracy, and human rights. The overall objective of the programme is to promote cooperation between Nordic, Baltic, Polish, Belarusian and Russian NGOs to underline the key role that NGOs play in building networks and cross-border co-operation in the Baltic Sea Region.
Secretary-General of the Nordic Council of Ministers Paula Lehtomäki says: “The Nordic Council of Ministers’ support for NGO co-operation throughout the Baltic Sea region helps to mutually increase awareness of ongoing public debates and common challenges in our countries and provides inspiration for continued development in the region.”
In 2020 the Nordic Council of Ministers are supporting a total of 22 co-operation projects in the Baltic Sea region and northwest Russia with total funding of 1,3 million EUR (10 million DKK).
From Latvia four (4) NGOs received funding to implement submitted projects. In one (1) of the projects, the Latvian NGO will be a cooperation partner.
The project “Empowering youth and teacher networks of the Eco-Schools programme for a sustainable Baltic Sea region” submitted by the Foundation for Environmental Education Latvia, will promote the exchange of experiences and co-operation among NGOs in the Baltic Sea region that work with education in relation to sustainable development by exploring environmental topics and developing methods for empowering young people. In this project, they will have cooperation partners from Finland, Russia and Estonia.
The project “Strengthening the NGO network - a tool for social security” submitted by EAPN-LV (The Latvian Anti-Poverty Network), aims to deepen the understanding of the role of civil society and strengthen the NGO network of the Baltic Sea region. This will contribute to the social and health sector`s promotion of social security in general by applying the basic principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights and other social rights instruments with partners in Denmark, Belarus and Estonia.
Foundation for Public Participation (ManaBalss.lv) will realize the project “Open data for civic participation (ODCP)”, to ensure the exchange of experiences and best practices between NGOs in Sweden, Latvia, and Belarus in the availability and use of open data for civic participation and to make civic activism more informed and effective.
Baltic Centre for Media Excellence with the project “A Media Literacy Campaign in the Baltics and Belarus” will centre around the translation and adaptation of Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian, and Belarussian versions of the Swedish exhibition “The Travelling Democracy Lab / Facts vs. Fakes”, which will travel to schools and educational institutions, libraries, and other public venues in the four countries. In this project cooperation partners will be Nordisk Journalistcenter in Denmark, Menneskerettighetsakademiet in Norway, Press Club Belarus and Danish Cultural Institute in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.