55th Executive Board meeting, Międzyzdroje, 30 June - 1 July 2009

Minutes of the 55th UBC Executive Board Meeting

  Międzyzdroje, Poland, 1 July 2009

 

 The 55th meeting of the Executive Board of the Union of the Baltic Cities was held on 1 July 2009 in Międzyzdroje, Poland, upon the invitation of Mr Leszek Tomasz Dorosz , Mayor of Międzyzdroje. The list of participants is attached to the minutes.

 1.          Opening of the meeting and adoption of the agenda.

 The meeting was opened by Mr Per Bødker Andersen, Mayor of Kolding, President of  the Union. Mr Andersen expressed his gratitude to the hosts of the meeting for inviting the UBC Executive Board to hold the meeting in Międzyzdroje. The meeting adopted the agenda (attached to the minutes).

 2.          Welcome by the Mayor of Międzyzdroje, presentation of Międzyzdroje.

Mr Leszek Tomasz Dorosz, Mayor of Międzyzdroje, welcomed all participants and wished them a fruitful meeting.  Mr Michał Sutyła, Chairman of the City Council of Międzyzdroje, presented the city and its main investments.

Międzyzdroje, situated in the northwestern end of the Zachodniopomorskie Province, on the island of Wolin, is one of the most attractive tourist resorts by the Baltic Sea. Wolin National Park takes up the western part of the commune, where there are a few natural reserves, above all the European bison reserve and a sea cliff as high as 116 meters above the sea level. The sea resort's attractiveness is based on the stunning geographical location of Międzyzdroje - between a wide sandy beach with a high cliffy coast and forest areas of Wolin National Park.

The town has 6500 permanent inhabitants and around 80000 tourists in the high season.

More information about the town of Międzyzdroje and its latest investments can be found in the presentation attached to the minutes.

 3.          Election of two persons who, together with the President, will check the minutes.

 Mr Jørgen Kristiansen, Councillor, city of Kristiansand, and Mr Michał Sutyła, Chairman of the City Council, city of Międzyzdroje, were elected to check the minutes together with the President.

 4.         Application for membership from Paide, Estonia, presentation of the city.

 Mrs  Kersti Sarapuu, Mayor of Paide, submitted the application of Paide to join the Union of the Baltic Cities. The application is attached. Ms Sarapuu provided general information about

Paide. Paide was granted the rights of town on 30 September 1291. While at that time only some hundred people lived in Paide, the population nowadays is about 10000. The name of Paide has derived from limestone. As the city is located in the centre part of Estonia, in the Järva County, it is called the heart of Estonia. The town is well known of its historical sites - the octagonal tower, castle ruins, unique church. Most of inhabitants are employed in small  business sector.

 Decision:

The Board decided to accept Paide as a member of the Union of the Baltic Cities and wished Paide a successful cooperation with other UBC member cities.

 The meeting in Międzyzdroje was also attended by representatives of the city of Söderhamn who observed the meeting.

 5.          X General Conference in Kristiansand, 23-26 September 2009.

 5.1       Keynote speakers.

 Mr Jørgen Kristiansen informed the Board members that as far as the presence of the Crown Princess and the representative of Norwegian government are concerned, there was still no confirmation. Mr Kristiansen informed that the Prime Minister as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs would not be able to participate due to the UN Summit in New York. However, the hosts are still working to assure representative of the government.

 Mr Paweł Żaboklicki, UBC Secretary General, informed that all other speakers had already confirmed their participation. Mr Andersen added that the President of Arco Latino, Ms Francina Armengol Socias, was very interested in participation as this organisation has similar problems e.g. concerning the cross-border cooperation constrained by the limit of 150 km.

Mr Mikko Jokinen, co-chairman of the UBC Commission on Environment, Turku, asked who would have the keynote speeches. Mr Żaboklicki responded that the keynote speakers would follow welcome and opening addresses.

The conference speakers at the plenary session:

  • Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit, invited to give welcome address
  • Mayor of Kristiansand, Per Sigurd Sørensen, welcome address
  • President of UBC, Mayor of Kolding, Per Bødker Andersen, opening address
  • Representative of the Government of Norway (tbc)
  • Chairman of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, Vygaudas Ušackas
  • Presidency of the European Council, Maria Åsenius, State Secretary to Minister for EU Affairs, Kingdom of Sweden
  • President of the Committee of the Regions, Luc Van den Brande
  • Dirk Ahner, Director General, DG Regional Policy
  • Local and regional co-operation in the Mediterranean, Francina Armengol Socias, President of Arco Latino
  • Baltic Sea Region challenges in the eyes of youth - Jannike Arnesen Kristiansand and Robert Lang Tallinn
  • Business in the Baltic Sea Region in the new economical situation, Helge Aasen, Senior Vice President, Elkem Solar
  • Mayor George Heartwell of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Chairman of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative

The programme of the X UBC General Conference in Kristiansand is attached to the minutes.

 5.2       Conference workshops.

 The preparatory work on the conference workshops is being carried out according to the schedule. The Commissions responsible for the workshops' organisation sent the preliminary programmes of the workshops which are attached to the minutes.

 W.1  To improve the environmental state of the Baltic Sea Region

Moderator: Commission on Environment (Turku) and Commission on Energy (Oskarshamn)

 W.2  To make the Baltic Sea Region a more prosperous place by supporting balanced economic development

Moderator: Commission on Information Society (Tampere/ St.Petersburg) in cooperation with Commission on Business Cooperation (Kaunas, Kiel, Kolding)

 W.3  To make the Baltic Sea Region a more accessible and attractive

Moderator: Commission on Tourism (Koszalin/Szczecin). Support: Commission on Transport (Gdynia), Commission on Urban Planning (Helsinki), Commission on Youth Issues (Kalmar), Commission on Culture (Vaasa), Commission on Sport (Gdynia)

 W.4  To make the Baltic Sea Region a safer and more secure place

Moderator - Commission on Health and Social Affairs (Kristiansand). Support: Commission on Gender Equality (Umeå), Commission on Education (Kärdla/Norrtälje).

 5.3       Auditor's Report

 Mr Żaboklicki informed that the audit for 2007 and 2008 was performed by the chartered auditor Jadwiga Zemlo, no. 4615 of the register kept by National Board of Chartered Auditors in Warsaw, on the strength of contract concluded between auditing company Bilans and the Union of the Baltic Cities. The UBC financial statement includes: balance sheets on the assets and liabilities, profit and loss account for the respective period, additional information.

 The report states that accounting of the Union of the Baltic Cities is kept in accordance with provisions of the Minister of Finance for the rules of accountancy for the non-profit organisations. Incomes and costs are correct, the principle of continuity is maintained and the financial result for 2008 and 2009 is reflected truly and fairly.

 The auditor's report containing the balance sheet and the profit/loss account for 2007 and 2008 was sent out to the UBC member cities. The auditor's report is attached to the minutes.

 5.4       Board of Audit Report

 Ms Marta Chełkowska, member of the UBC Board of Audit, presented the draft report prepared for the X UBC General Conference in Kristiansand. The Board of Audit have found that the intentions of the Strategy as well as the two Action Plans have been activated or fulfilled within the examined period 2007-2008.

 The assessment of the books was commissioned to the licensed company Bilans according to the decision of the General Conference in Pärnu . Bilans have checked the correctness of the books and their contents and have found everything in order.

 Ms Chełkowska stressed that the recommendations from the Board of Audit to the General Conference in Pärnu had been generally followed up.

 Ms Chełkowska remineded that in Pärnu the Board of Audit recommended the Executive Board to discuss the reports from the UBC Commissions more frequently e.g. 2-3 Commissions could report at each Board meeting. The Board in Międzyzdroje concluded that model of inviting commissions to the Board meetings would be determined after adopting the new UBC Strategy.

 Finally, on the basis of the completed examination the Board of Audit proposes the General Conference in Kristiansand 2009 to absolve the Executive Board and the Secretary General for the years 2007 and 2008. Recommendations to the General Conference in Kristiansand are included in the Board of Audit report attached to the minutes.

 5.5       Absolving the Presidium, Board, Secretary (change in the Statute)

 A change in the Statute recommended by the Board of Audit will be presented to the General Conference in Kristiansand 2009, so that the absolution is not only for the Presidium and the Secretary General, but also for the whole Executive Board. The proposal is attached to the minutes.

 5.6       Membership Fees 2010-2011

 President Andersen informed the Board members that due to the economic crisis and difficult financial situation of the cities, the 10 % discount for cities from Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden was suggested. 40% discount is proposed for the cities from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia which means that the fees for those cities will remain at the level from 2009.

 Decision:

The Board decided to recommend the General Conference to adopt the proposal of membership fees for 2010-2011. The proposal is attached to the minutes.

 5.7       Executive Board in the next period

 UBC Secretary General informed that most countries had not decided yet who would be their candidates to the UBC Executive Board in the next period. He reminded that the cities should decide on the candidates by the General Conference.

 5.8       President and Vice-Presidents in the next period

 Here are the following candidates to the Presidium for the next period:

 Mr Per Bødker Andersen, Mayor of Kolding - candidate for President

Ms Marie-Louise Rönnmark, Mayor of Umeå - candidate for 1st Vice-President

Ms Urve Tiidus, Mayor of Kuressaare - candidate for Vice-President

Mr Jarkko Virtanen, Deputy Mayor of Turku -  candidate for Vice-President

 5.9       Board of Audit in the next period

 Ms Marta Chełkowska, city of Gdańsk and Ms Ewa Back, city of Sundsvall, have already confirmed their readiness to continue the work for the UBC Board of Audit. Ms Silvia Löbner, city of Wismar, is not being able to candidate.  The UBC President asked the Board members to propose the new candidate.

 5.10     Auditor in the next period

 The Board recommended the General Conference to appoint the auditing company Bilans for the UBC auditor in the next period.

 5.11     Conference resolution

 The draft of conference resolution will be prepared by the task force responsible for the preparation of the General Conference.

 5.12     Updated Strategy

 Mr Jarkko Virtanen, Deputy Mayor of Turku, emphasized that the coming General Conference could be a turning point in the history of UBC. He was of the opinion that although the EU Strategy for Baltic Sea Region seemed to be disappointing in a way, it might be also a challenge for the Union. The organisation needs to define its role in the process of the EU Strategy implementation. He informed the Board members that the draft of the updated UBC Strategy was prepared by Mikko Lohikoski, Turku.  Mr Virtanen suggested having the following schedule: firstly, the decision on the EU Strategy flagships should be made - which projects could be joined/led by the UBC commissions. Secondly, the UBC action plan would be prepared. Finally, eventual changes in the UBC structure could be made. Mr Virtanen emphasized the fact that the UBC had to be attractive also for the big cities in the region. There is a risk some of them might resign if UBC was not attractive for them.

 Mr Mikko Jokinen presented the main assumptions of the draft of renewed UBC Strategy. The draft assumes that the Baltic Sea Region will be dynamic, prosperous, democratic and stable in a successful and sustainable economic, political, social, environmental and cultural development process, moving towards closer cooperation and integration. It refers to the EU Strategy for BSR and its Action Plan as natural part of the regions development. Its implementation is an evolving process in which cities and other regional stakeholders are central and recognised partners. The UBC should still work, through active networking, on the basis of the principle of sustainable urban development.

 As key tasks for UBC development 2010-2015 the updated UBC Strategy regards e.g. promoting the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. In particular the reform of the budgetary framework of the EU for period beginning in 2014 should become the main target of activities. The UBC could be an effective platform for implementation of the Strategy. Another aim is to strengthen member cities' participation in UBC activities. The content and working methods of the statutory organs of UBC must be developed to promote member city participation.

 Special attention shall be paid to involve more political decision makers of cities in UBC activities. It is stressed that as the UBC member cities differ in size, resources and orientation, it is important to know better their needs and priorities in order to serve effectively all of them.  It is especially important to ensure, that also bigger BSR cities are convinced that UBC membership brings added value for them and that they continue as members.

 According to the Strategy, UBC shall conduct, in 2010 and in 2014, surveys of member city views and their proposals on how to develop the organisation and its activities.

 The UBC should enhance its lobbying capacity. Also, the UBC presence and effectiveness in Brussels  must be re-evaluated. 

 The UBC Strategy suggests identifying key partner organisations and networks with which we should work out and sign protocols of co-operation.  This would ensure a more systematic, goal-oriented and long-term cooperation. 

 The document gives also several suggestions concerning the UBC structure in order to make it more effective.

 Mr Jokkinen added that the tighter cooperation with Belarusian and Ukrainian cities as full members should be taken into consideration.

 President Andersen reminded that there were two cities: Grodno and Slonim from Belarus with the observer status. He quoted the Article 3 of the UBC Statute saying that  "any coastal city of the Baltic Sea and its gulfs as well as any other city interested in the development of the Baltic Sea region may become a member city of the Union". He concluded that it was the Executive Board responsibility to accept the members from Belarus and Ukraine.

The draft Strategy paper is attached to the minutes.

 Decision:

The Board decided to send out the draft Strategy for comments and to urge the cities to respond by 1 September 2009.

 5.13     Updated Social Charter

 Mr Andersen informed the participants that Ms Jan Björinge, Umeå, was working on the up-dated UBC Social Charter.

 5.14     Sustainable Development Action Plan

 Mr Björn Grönholm, Head of the Secretariat, Commission on Environment, presented the draft of Sustainability Action Program 2010-2015. The current UBC Agenda 21 Action Program 2004-2009 is running out this year. The Action Program was adjusted to the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and to the current situation in the countries and cities. It is formulated to focus on the opportunities and assumes new ways of action and new types of cooperation.

 Challenges and possible focus areas for new Action Program 2010-2015 are: geographic and economic concentration; aging population and migration; energy availability and consumption; traffic, transport and accessibility problems; climate change; state of the Baltic Sea. The upcoming Action Program focuses on four sustainability processes through which challenges and problems will be addressed and solved -  awareness and commitment,  management and leadership, management of resources; quality of life.

 The implementation will start following the decision of the X UBC General Conference, the first programme assessment will be carried out in 2012 and progress will be reported to the XIII General Conference in 2015.

 The draft of UBC Sustainability Action Program 2010-2015 is attached to the minutes.

 Decision:

The Board decided to send out the draft Sustainability AP 2010-2015 for comments and urge the cities to respond by 1 September 2009.

5.15     Venue of the XI UBC General Conference in autumn 2011

 President Andersen informed that UBC received the proposal from the city of Mariehamn, Finland, to organise the next XI General Conference of UBC in Mariehamn.

 Mr Vilnis Vitkovskis, Head of the Development Department of the city of Liepāja, expressed the city's will to host the next General Conference in 2011.

 The President reminded that UBC General Conferences have been held so far in each Baltic Sea country except Latvia.

 Decision:

The Board decided to recommend the General Conference to hold the XI GC in 2011 in Liepāja, Latvia and the XII GC in 2013 in Mariehamn.

 5.16     Best Environmental Practice in Baltic Cities Award 2009

 The information on the best environmental practice in Baltic cities award 2009 was sent out to all UBC member cities. The award will be granted during the GC in Kristiansand.

 5.17     UBC Cultural Prize 2009

 The information on UBC cultural prize 2009 was sent out to all UBC member cities. The prize will be granted during the GC in Kristiansand.

 5.18     Alteration of point 4.7 of the internal regulations.

 President Andersen reminded that the point 4.7 of the UBC internal regulations was discussed at the last UBC Executive Board meeting in Jyväskylä in March 2009. The Board in Jyväskylä suggested the following alteration to the General Conference: "Resources should be used to secure a broad representation of municipalities in the work of the commissions".  The proposal is attached to the minutes.

 Mr Andersen expressed an opinion that all Board members should be able to ask UBC to refund the costs of travel and accommodation during the Board meetings, not only members from the east. The Board accepted the proposal.

 5.19     Technical information from the organisers.

 Technical information on the conference is available at www.ubc-kristiansand.com

 6.         EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, latest developments.

 On 10 June the Communication of the European Commission concerning the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region was launched. The day after the conference "Baltic Sea Strategy: Regions and Cohesion Policy in Action" organised by DG Regio and the Swedish and Lithuanian managing authorities was held in Visby, on 11-12 June 2009. Prof. Esko Antola Director of Centrum Balticum, who attended this conference, made a summary on the EU Strategy for the BSR.

 Prof. Antola emphasized that the EU Strategy was not what the UBC expected. It is a list of mainly old ideas, not the list of attractive projects to be financed by EC.  Professor named the weakest points of the EU Strategy, like governance and accountability.

 The Communication sets up a three level system of governance reflecting the traditional way of governance in the Community structures: policy development by the Member States; the Commission will be responsible for co-ordination, monitoring, reporting, facilitation of the implementation and follow-up; implementation on the ground with partners already active.

 Prof. Antola stated that the governance described in the Communication as  "governance by doing" generated some fundamental questions: how the accountability is going to be organised, how responsibilities are going to be defined, how the commitment of various actors is going to be ensured and strengthened?

 On the other hand, according to prof. Antola, governance by doing leaves doors open for active actors in the region. The Communication used the wording "the responsibility of the partners already active in the region". For UBC the openness of the structure of implementation and governance may be a positive element, provided the UBC is willing and able to take the responsibility.

 Another problem analyzed by prof. Antola was financing. The Strategy is a framework for working together, based on openness and wider partnerships without new budget provisions. As a result, the progress depends on resources and political commitment that the stakeholders are going to invest in the strategy. This  might be rather difficult in the time of economic crisis. On the other hand, if the idea is, as it seems to be, to use already existing resources devoted to the region ("Fifty Billion Doctrine") the timing is not ideal. A  great part of resources, roughly half, for the current budget framework has already been assigned. No money-doctrine may prove to be a real challenge in this respect.  This means that stakeholders, such as the UBC, should have their focus to the next framework, already under preparation.

 Prof. Antola, moreover, focused on the political commitment which was perceived as a precondition of the success of the strategy. He mentioned that the Action Plan recognised almost exclusively states as partners. In 15 priority areas only two are designated to other actors than Member States. Out of the 78 platforms the states have the lion share as well. Only two are slotted to civil society and nine to intergovernmental institutions. He noticed that the cities had no platform in their command, although they showed strong interest in the stakeholders' consultation phase. Analyzing the political power in the European Parliament, he emphasized that the success of the Strategy was dependent on the Polish and German involvement, as the Strategy could not be a Nordic project. Mr Antola paid also attention to the external dimension of the Strategy which might be an example of mega-regionalisation.

 Prof. Antola, concluded with remark, that being disappointing, the Strategy was a playfield open for active and well-prepared actors, though. There is no doubt that the cities and regions can play a key role in the implementation. Apart from the UBC, also Baltmet and Baltic Eurocities represent the cities' interests. Prof. Antola focused also on the unexploited twin city network of the UBC (altogether 526 pairs) which could be helpful for instance in enhancing cooperation across borders which is one of the aims of the DG Regio. It would also help coordination of different projects. Finally, prof. Antola presented the list of flagships emphasizing the fact that some of them were waiting for someone to take a lead.

 In reference to prof. Antola's summary, Mr Andersen said that we had high expectations towards the Strategy and it was not possible to fulfil all of them. Instead of seeing the EU document as a piece of paper, the UBC President suggested making it valuable. He added that there was no more time for diplomacy. Now it is time to act. He informed the Board members that the UBC had just received the proposal from the Polish Ministry of Economy to participate in one of the flagship projects "Remove remaining single marker barriers" within the EU Strategy for BSR. The Ministry was of the opinion that the goals could not be achieved without cooperation with important organisations dealing with the Baltic Sea Region on a daily basis like UBC. As for the flagships, Mr Andersen proposed to make a list of interests for the UBC commissions and then ask the commissions to judge if they have the power to work on those pjects.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Mr Antola confirmed that he made the list of all flagships mentioned in the Action Plan with intention to suggest the UBC Commissions looking through and thinking if they are ready to take the responsibility. Another issue raised by prof. Antola was the actual status quo in the European Union. There is no effective Commission in EU right now and there will not be by the beginning of next year. The Lisbon Treaty is still an open question.

 Mr Mikko Jokkinen, expressing general disappointment on the Strategy, asked if it was completed or it would be up-dated or reviewed. Mr Antola informed that it should be reviewed during the Polish presidency in the EU.  However, at the moment, there is no political power in the EU. The European Commission will have its agenda in spring next year. Then the European Parliament will have to define its role and competences under the Lisbon Treaty. Therefore, in Mr Antola's opinion, the initiative is in the region itself. That means that the political commitment is essential.

 UBC President agreed that due to the challenges of the EU institutions as well as problems with the Lisbon Treaty, the Strategy seemed to be a huge chance for the region provided that it was ready to take the initiative.

 Prof. Antola added that in 5 years the cities would be richer and would have even more significant influence. The UBC should focus on and find new ways of cooperation between cities to make it more effective so that they could speak with one voice.

 Mr Björn Grönholm referred to the flagships and informed that he saw the role of the Commission on Environment in the projects concerning the cooperation with Russian cities.

 Mr Anders Franzén, city of Växjö, focused on the national governments' perspective. He noticed that the EU Strategy was not a document directly addressed to the cities but to the national agencies and national governments. Maybe that was the reason for disappointment.  He continued that the cities had to rely on the national governments' decisions and documents before implementation of the ideas. However, in his opinion, the cities are the basis of work in the Baltic Sea Region.

 Mr Andersen summed up the discussion saying that the UBC must be active to make the EU Strategy valuable. The Commissions should look through the list of flagships still open and think on which they would be able to work.

 The report of Prof. Esko Antola and the list of flagship projects are attached to the minutes.

 7.         Latest meetings and conferences of UBC commissions.

 Meeting of the UBC Commission on Environment, 17-18 March, St. Petersburg

  • Meeting of the UBC Commission on Education, 3 April, Tallinn
  • Meeting of the UBC Commission on Urban Planning, 2-4 April, Gdańsk
  • Meeting of the UBC Commission on Youth Issues, 13-15 April, Riga
  • Meeting of the UBC Commission on Tourism, 16-18 April, Liepaja
  • Conference "Always Active" of the UBC Commission on Sport, 4-5 June, Gdynia
  • Meeting of the UBC Commission on Business Cooperation, 4-5 June, Kiel

 The Board took note of the information. The information is attached to the minutes.

 8.         Latest conferences attended by UBC representatives.

 President Andersen informed that below UBC representatives represented UBC at the following conferences: 

  • 79th Plenary Session of the Committee of the Regions, 21-22 April 2009, Brussels (Per Bødker Andersen, President)
  • Batlic Sea cooperation conference, 7 May 2009, Gävle (Anders Franzen, Växjö)
  • "The Borders, passenger traffic and integration in the Baltic Europe" , II Forum Europa Nostra, 29-31 May 2009, Stegna (Paweł Żaboklicki, Secretary General)
  • Local Government Climate Change Leadership Summit, 2-4 June 2009, Copenhagen (Per Bødker Andersen, President)
  • 15th CBSS Ministerial Session, 3-4 June 2009, Helsingor (Marie-Louise Rönnmark, 1st Vice-President, Mayor of Umeå)
  • "The Baltic Sea Strategy - Regions and Cohesion Policy in action" conference, 11-12 June 2009, Visby (Esko Antola, Turku)
  • 80th Plenary Session of the Committee of the Regions, 17-18 June 2009, Brussels (Per Bødker Andersen, President)
  • Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative - Annual Meeting, 17-19 June 2009, Trois Rivieres, Quebec (Urve Tiidus, Vice-President, Mayor of Kuressaare)
  • International Mayors' Forum ‘Culture as driving force in city develpment', 18-20 June 2009, Vilnius ( Paweł Żaboklicki, Secretary General)

 The Board took note of the information. Report from the conferences is attached to the minutes.

 9.         Baltic Cities Bulletin on EU strategy for the BSR.

 Mr Paweł Żaboklicki informed about the latest issue of the Baltic Cities Bulletin devoted to the EU Strategy for the BSR.  It  contained a variety of perspectives and points of view regarding the EU Strategy. The cities shared with their expectations, ongoing strategic projects and investments, described visions for development based on the rule of sustainability. The bulletin also includes information about latest UBC activities, meetings and events as well as the news from member cities. The bulletin was published in 6300 copies. Its cost was about 2700 eur. The bulletin was sent out to 270 Baltic cities and to ca. 900 Baltic and European institutions.

 10.       Any other business.

 Mr Grönholm  informed that the Commission on Environment was invited by the Swedish Minister for the Environment to the high-level conference European Cities and the Global Climate Challenge. The conference will be held in Stockholm on 14 and 15 September.

 Mr Żaboklicki informed about the letter from the Commission on Energy which is a coordinator of the Joint Energy and Climate Platform of BSR organisations. These organisations have started cooperation in the subject energy and climate to stand strong at the COP 15 in December in Copenhagen. The letter is attached to the minutes.

 Mr Żaboklicki also informed about application from prof. Gustav Kristensen who was writing a book devoted to CBSS and EuroFaculty. The book describes the Baltic transitions 1990-2005, the politicians, the diplomats, the rectors, the professors as well as the whole process of developing the Baltic university system under highly unstable political and economic conditions. The purpose of the book is to open the minds for today's problems in the Baltic Sea states, using the CBSS EuroFaculty as the main "actor". UBC will be also mentioned in the book. Prof. Kristensen asked UBC if it could help to find a team of sponsors among its member cities who could contribute with 2000 eur to the book printing. President Andersen emphasized that it was not a commercial project. The application of prof. Kristensen and the content of the book are attached to the minutes.

 Decision:

The Board positively evaluated the idea of the book and agreed to send out the request of prof. Kristensen to the member cities.

 11.       Next meeting of the Executive Board, Kristiansand, Norway, 23 September 2009.

 The next UBC Executive Board meeting will be held in Kristiansand, Norway, on 23 September 2009, on the eve of X General Conference.

Mr Per Bødker Andersen                                                     Mr Paweł Żaboklicki

Chairman                                                                           Secretary

 

Mr Jørgen Kristiansen                                                          Mr Michał Sutyła

Adjuster                                                                             Adjuster

55th Executive Board meeting, Międzyzdroje, 30 June - 1 July 2009