Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Managing Authority/Joint Secretariat (MA/JS) of Interreg Baltic Sea Region (BSR) had provided the option to apply for a project prolongation (without additional funding). The project partners have discussed this in several online meetings and decided to apply for it.
On 17th July the MA/JS of Interreg BSR has approved the prolongation. Act Now! has voted at the last ‘Steering Committee and Partner Meeting’ not to exhaust the 6-months-option, but finalise the project within 3 additional months.
The last ‘Steering Committee and Partner Meeting’ in June 2020 was conducted online (instead of meeting in Ylivieska, Finland).
As we have reported in our Act Now! Newsletter #5 many other meetings, workshops and further planned activities had to be adapted to a new global situation of a pandemic. Besides travel restrictions, distance- and hygiene concepts Corona threw new/other tasks on our desks: many people suddenly worked from their home-offices, facing various challenges in this work environment. Project time planning, budgets, work plans etc. had to be changed and need regular reviews, particularly as the future requirements in the COVID-19 pandemic are not clearly foreseeable.
Force majeure has become a ‘stable insecurity’ and an impact might differ hugely in regions or in the 9 countries of the Act Now! project area.
Therefore, we have recently decided not to conduct our final conference as a face-to-face-event.
This transnational conference had been prepared as a ‘real-live-conference’ in September in Bremerhaven, Germany, but was postponed due to COVID-19. The project partners have been looking forward to meet each other in November, taking care of precautions, but still gathering together. Latest developments in the Corona pandemic though have led to the conclusion that it is better not to travel and not to meet in Bremerhaven. We decided this with a sad heart, but we all want to support everybody to stay healthy and safe. Subsequently we will conduct the Act Now! final conference online on 19th & 20th November 2020 in cooperation with our conference partner BIS.
Though interpersonal relationships suffer in these times and our online activities are not equally bonding us together, we were happy to experience some steep learning curves together. And we have built up a solidary, caring project community, which reliably stands together in difficult moments – and that is a good feeling as a result of recent months, too.