17th Executive Board meeting, Bergen, 6-7 June 1997

17th Executive Board meeting, Bergen, 6-7 June 1997

MINUTES FROM THE 17TH MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD

OF THE UNION OF THE BALTIC CITIES

Bergen, Norway, 6-7 June 1997

 

INTRODUCTION

The 17th meeting of the Executive Board of the Union of the Baltic Cities was held on the 6-7th of June 1997 in the City of Bergen, Norway, upon the invitation of Mr Ingmar Ljones, Mayor of the City of Bergen.

The meeting was divided into two days. The first day was attended only by the members of the Executive Board. The second day was attended by the members of the Board, chairmen of the Commissions and invited guests.

FRIDAY, 6 JUNE 1997

Opening of the meeting and adoption of the Agenda.

The 17th meeting of the UBC Executive Board was opened by Mr Anders Engström, the President of the Union. Mr Engström greeted the participants and wished them a successful meeting.

The meeting adopted the Agenda.

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

Olaf P. Christensen and Mr Carl Nielsen from Aarhus were elected to check the minutes.

UBC Executive Board's way of work.

President Engström indicated that last Executive Board meetings were attended by the large number of participants which made it difficult for the Board to perform its functions properly.

On the other hand the President stressed that participation of interested member cities in the Board meetings boosts activity of the cities.

Decision:

After extensive discussion the Board decided as follows:

1. The Board sessions shall be held at the weekends, due to tense weekdays schedule of the Board members and cheaper flying costs.

2. The Executive Board shall meet at the closed sessions on Friday afternoon.

3. The Saturday shall be an open day to which all member cities are allowed to send one representative.

4. The Board meetings shall be held alternately in eastern and western UBC cities.

5. UBC will continue to cover the travel and accommodation costs related to the Board meetings for 1 participant of eastern Board member cities.

IV UBC General Conference, Gdańsk, 12-13 September 1997.

Status of preparations.

Mr Paweł Żaboklicki, the Secretary of the Union, has presented the programme of the IV UBC General Conference "Baltic Sea Cooperation Forum". Mr Żaboklicki emphasized that EU Commissioner for Regional Policies as well as the chairmen of CBSS, Nordic Council, BSSSC, CPMR, BCCA accepted UBC invitation to speak at the conference. The Secretary informed that final invitations shall be soon sent out to all UBC member cities.

The President introduced possible subjects of the workshops to be carried out during the conference. The aim to organise the workshops is to enable a more efficient work at the conference.

Decision:

After broad discussion the Board accepted the workshops subjects and authorized listed below bodies to prepare the sessions i.e. points for discussion, moderator, 2-3 contributors etc.

W.1 Agenda 21 - Local, Regional and Governmental cooperation

Responsible: Commission on Environment

W.2 EU in the BSR today and tomorrow - a challenge for Baltic cities

Responsible: Copenhagen, Szczecin, Project Manager

W.3 Local self-government in the BSR - tendencies and obstacles

Responsible: Bergen, Gdańsk, Lübeck, Stockholm

W.4 Baltic Sea Actors - ways and tools for cooperation and coordination

Responsible: Communication Commission and Task Force

Proposals for changes in UBC Statute.

Mr Anders Engström submitted proposal to make changes in UBC Statute.

The proposal was prepared on the basis of suggestions delivered to the Secretariat in advance by the Board members.

Decision:

After extensive discussions the Board decided to recommend the General Conference to approve mentioned changes in the Statute. Moreover the Board expressed the opinion that after the General Conference the UBC Statute shall be revised more comprehensively.

Recommendations for UBC elections.

Decision:

The Board decided to recommend the General Conference the following candidatures for UBC Presidents:

Mr Anders Engström, Mayor of Kalmar for UBC President,

Mr Michael Bouteiller, Mayor of Lübeck, for UBC Vice-President,

Mr Bartłomiej Sochański, Mayor of Szczecin, for UBC Vice-President.

Remuneration for UBC President.

Following the decision made by the Executive Board at its XVI Meeting in Stockholm, Mr Olaf P. Christensen, Deputy Mayor of Aarhus, put forward a proposal of remuneration for UBC President.

Decision:

The Board decided to assign proposed remuneration to the UBC President.

Proposals from the Commissions.

The Commission on Communication asked the Executive Board for its support to the seminar for city officials and politicians interested in Internet, to be organised by the Commission in October in Kalmar.

Decision:

The Board fully supported an idea to organise a seminar concerning Internet utilization in the city.

Proposals from Member Cities.

The President informed that the following cities submitted their proposals to the Board - Kaunas, Klaipėda, Rostock.

Kaunas proposal was more an opinion concerning the organisation of UBC work and the role of Board member cities in particular.

Klaipeda submitted two proposals:

1. UBC Off-theatre Days in Klaipėda.

Mr Engström informed that this proposal was handed over to the Commission on Culture to include it into Commission's action programme.

2. UBC Environmental Youth Camp.

The President reminded that so far UBC has successfully organised three environmental summer camps for youth in the Baltic states. Mr Engström instructed the Project Manager to search for project funding and go on together with Klaipėda with camp organisation.

Rostock proposals concerned mostly the organisation of UBC work and Union's internal matters. Those issues were treated by the Board under earlier points in the agenda.

Moreover Rostock proposed that Project Manager would develop a database on project proposals, possible funding sources, search for partners etc.

Decision:

The Board found the proposal from Rostock to develop UBC Project Database as very useful and commissioned the Project Manager together with the Communication Commission & TaskForce to initiate the project on Internet.

Questions raised.

No further questions have been raised.

 

SATURDAY, 7 JUNE 1997

Mr Ingmar Ljones, Mayor of the City of Bergen welcomed all delegates and wished them a pleasant stay and fruitful meeting in Bergen. Mr Ljones introduced the participants with basic information concerning the city of Bergen.

Report from the Board meeting on June 6.

President Anders Engström reported from described above meeting of UBC Executive Board held on June 12.

New Member Cities, self-introduction.

Secretary Paweł Żaboklicki informed the Executive Board about new application for Union Membership submitted by the city of Lahti, Finland.

Mr Kari Salmi, Mayor of Lahti, made a presentation about his city and asked the Board to accept Lahti as UBC member.

Decision:

The Board decided to accept the City of Lahti as a Member of the Union of the Baltic Cities and wished Lahti successful cooperation with other UBC members. The number of Union member cities reached the figure of 70.

Reports from the Working Commissions.

The following persons submitted reports and answered questions on Commissions' activities since last Executive Board Meeting in Stockholm, 25 January 1997:

  • Commission on Communication Ms Sonja Hilavuo, Tampere
  • Commission on Culture Mr Sławomir Szafrański, Szczecin
  • Commission on Environment Mr Mikko Jokinen, Turku
  • Commission on Social Affairs Mr Ulrich Bauermeister, Rostock
  • Commission on Sport Mr Zdzisław Urla, Gdynia
  • Commission on Tourism Mr Anders Engström, Kalmar
  • Commission on Transportation Mr Andrzej Jankowski, Gdańsk

Decision:

The Board took note of submitted reports.

UBC way of work in spatial/urban planning.

Mr Jussi Kautto, Head of Planning Office in Helsinki, reminded that at its last meeting in Stockholm, the Board decided UBC should become active in the field of urban and spatial planning and appointed a working group led by Helsinki to work out the best model for UBC involvement in this field. Mr Kautto presented an action plan proposing to start the work as a project with the future prospect to transfer the project into the commission.

Decision:

The Board accepted the proposal and authorized Helsinki together with Elbląg, Malmö, St.Petersburg and Umeå to carry on with proposal realisation.

Report from the Project Manager.

Mr Juhan Janusson, UBC Project Manager, reported on the present status of ongoing UBC projects. Mr Janusson informed also about the rules and deadlines of present EU programmes related to the BSR such as Ecos-Ouverture, Micro-projects, CREDO. Project Manager mentioned that Union of the Baltic Cities submitted a letter to the European Commission pointing out, from the user perspective, the advantages and disadvantages of existing EU programmes directed to BSR.

Decision:

The Board took note of the report.

Baltic Cities Bulletin.

Secretary Paweł Żaboklicki reminded that last issue of Baltic Cities Bulletin was devoted to Information Technology and Communication. Besides the general articles introducing the subject, the member cities had an opportunity to present their projects and achievements in this field.

Mr Żaboklicki informed that the next issue will be devoted to the Cooperation with European Union. The bulletin will present the most interesting EU programmes from city point of view. All member cities are welcome to submit articles introducing successful projects developed within the frames of EU programmes.

Decision:

The Board expressed its satisfaction to the Editorial Board for the professional level of the bulletin and strongly encouraged all member cities to actively contribute to the next issue.

Other matters.

Report on Baltic Agenda 21 process.

Mr Mikko Jokinen, co-Chairman of the UBC Commission on Environment, reported on UBC involvement in the Baltic Agenda 21 process.

Decision:

The Board took note of the report and stressed the important role of local authorities in the Baltic Agenda 21 process.

Report from the 4th UBC Women's Conference in Kalmar.

Mrs Hjördis Höglund, Leader of UBC Women's Network, reported from the seminar organised by the Network in Kalmar on 24 May 1997, in association with the Nordic Women Week.

Reports from conferences attended by Union's representatives.

The following delegates submitted reports from the conferences where they represented the Union of the Baltic Cities.

  • Baltic Sea Women's Conference, Lübeck, 6-8 March 1997 -reported by Mrs Hjördis Höglund.
  • "The Americas and Baltic Rim Region", Miami, 1-3 April 1997 - reported by Mr Anders Engström.
  • 8th Hansa Business Days, Kalmar, 22-23 April 1997
    - reported by Mr Anders Engström.
  • Pro Baltica Forum "Baltic Sea Region and the European Union", 22-23 May 1997- reported by Mr Juhan Janusson.
  • "Baltic Cities-Global Aspects on Urban Settlements in the BSR", Stockholm, 28-30 May 1997 - reported by Mr Juhan Janusson.
  • IV Plenary Session of CLRAE, Strasbourg, 3-5 June 1997
    - reported by Mr Bartłomiej Sochański.

Baltic Maritime Initiative.

Mr Matti Kohva, head of Helsinki EU office, introduced the project named Baltic Maritime Initiative (BMI) which aim is to coordinate existing maritime activities in the BSR and establish Baltic Maritime DataBase.

Decision:

The Board gave UBC support to the project and encouraged the Communication Commission and Task Force to coordinate its Internet-related actions with the BMI.

Matters raised at the meeting.

No further questions have been taken up.

Next Meeting of the Executive Board.

Decision:

The Board decided to hold its next meeting in the eve of the General Conference in Gdańsk i.e. on 11 September 1997.

Closing of the Meeting.

The Chairman of the Meeting, Mr Anders Engström expressed his thanks to the City of Bergen for hosting the delegation and closed the XVII Meeting of the Executive Board of the Union of the Baltic Cities.

Mr Anders Engström                                Mr Paweł Żaboklicki

Chairman                                                 Secretary

Mr Olaf P. Christensen                            Mr Carl Nielsen

Adjuster                                                  Adjuster