22nd Executive Board meeting, Szczecin, 16-17 October 1998

22nd Executive Board meeting, Szczecin, 16-17 October 1998

MINUTES FROM THE 22ND MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF

THE UNION OF THE BALTIC CITIES

Szczecin, Poland, 16-17 October 1998

  

INTRODUCTION

The 22nd meeting of the Executive Board of the Union of the Baltic Cities was held on the 16-17 October 1998 in the City of Szczecin, Poland, upon the invitation of Mr Bartłomiej Sochański, Mayor of Szczecin and Vice-President of the Union of the Baltic Cities.

The first day of the meeting was attended only by the members of the Executive Board. The second day was open for the representatives from all member cities.

FRIDAY, 16 October 1998

Opening of the meeting and adoption of the Agenda.

The 22nd meeting of the UBC Executive Board was opened by Mr Anders Engström, the President of the Union. Mr Engström greeted all participants and wished them a successful meeting.

The welcome words were given by Mr Bartłomiej Sochański, Mayor of Szczecin, who wished all delegates the fruitful discussions and a pleasant stay in Szczecin.
The meeting adopted the Agenda.

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

Mrs Kari Maisol Knudsen, Bergen, and Mrs Lillian Westerberg, Stockholm, were elected to check the minutes.

V UBC General Conference.

Proposal of the conference date.

Mrs Lillian Westerberg, on behalf of the Mayor of the City of Stockholm, proposed the 24-25 September 1999 for the conference date.

Decision:

The Board decided to hold the V General Conference in Stockholm on the 24-25 September 1998.

Discussion on the conference programme.

President Anders Engström reminded that the first day of the UBC General Conferences was so far devoted to specific theme while the second day was devoted to internal UBC matters.

Decision:

1) The Board decided that the main theme of the V General Conference will be devoted to the "EU enlargement process in the Baltic Sea Region".

2) The Board encouraged all member cities to provide the Secretariat with proposals of questions, related to above topic, to be handled at the conference.

3) The Board authorised the Presidium to meet in November/December in Stockholm to discuss the particular subjects to be handled at the conference.

General Conference in 2001.

The President informed about applications from two member cities namely Aalborg and Turku to host the UBC General Conference in 2001.

Decision:

The Board decided the Secretariat shall inform the member cities that applications to host the General Conference in 2001 shall be submitted before the next Executive Board meeting.

Cooperation between major Baltic organisations.

The President reminded that following the UBC initiative, the major Baltic organisations (UBC, BSSSC, CPMR BSC, BCCA and Baltic Parliamentary Conference) decided last year in Gdańsk to meet regularly to discuss Baltic strategic issues, particularly "common voice" towards the European Commission. So far in 1998 three meetings were held in connection with the international conferences. Mr Engström informed that the next meeting is scheduled to be held next week in Roskilde, and he is going to raise the following questions: the Baltic Sea Alliance; preparation of regions and cities from applicant countries for the entry to the EU; implementation of Agenda 21 for the BSR.

Decision:

The Board supported the idea of annual meetings of major Baltic organisations to be held in association with the Council of Baltic Sea States meetings.

UBC Strategy.

Mr Bartłomiej Sochański, UBC Vice-President, responsible for drafting the UBC Strategy, reminded that the Strategy has been extensively discussed during last three Executive Board meetings. Mr Sochański informed that the latest draft, revised after the last Executive Board meeting in Klaipėda, was sent out to Board members and only minor comments have been made.

Decision:

After making a few changes in the document, the Board decided to send out the Strategy to all member cities. The cities shall make their comments and remarks by the 31 January 1999. The Strategy Working Group will compile the cities remarks and present them to the Board at next meeting in March 1999.

UBC Internal Regulations.

Mr Paweł Żaboklicki, UBC Secretary General, responsible for drafting the UBC Internal Regulations, informed that the latest draft was sent to the Board members after the last Executive Board meeting in Klaipėda. The Secretariat received only few comments to the latest draft of the Regulations.

Decision:

The Board decided the document shall be sent out for comments to all member cities. The Board stressed that subsequently UBC Statute must be also revised so it will correspond with the Regulations.

Questions raised.

Mr Engström informed about the proposal of Mrs Maria Hutten-Czapska who would like to offer her recently regained property in Poland to establish a centre for youth from the Baltic Sea countries. The Board stressed that the Union, due to lack of resources, is not able to take over the property, however the UBC supports the idea of establishing the centre and will present the concept to the institutions which might be capable to realise the project.

Mr Michael Bouteiller, UBC Vice-President, raised a question how to take care of new UBC member cities. The Board agreed that the relevant Executive Board member city should take care of new member city from its country.

SATURDAY, 17 October 1998

Report from the Board meeting of October 16.

President Anders Engström summarised the main issues discussed by the Board on the previous day.

New Member Cities.

Secretary General Paweł Żaboklicki informed the Executive Board about new applications for Union membership submitted by: Bützow (Germany), Jēkabpils (Latvia), Sillamäe (Estonia), Vordingborg (Denmark).

The following delegates made presentations introducing their cities and requested the Board to accept them as UBC members:

Mrs Gabriele Behning, Deputy Mayor of Bützow

Mr Leonids Salcevics, Mayor of Jēkabpils

Mr Imre Brokko, City Secretary, Sillamäe

Mr Klaus Roos, Technical Director, Vordingborg

Decision:

The Board decided to accept the cities of Bützow, Jēkabpils, Sillamäe and Vordingborg as Members of the Union of the Baltic Cities and wished them a successful cooperation with other UBC members. The number of Union member cities reached the figure 84.

Introduction of IBSC - possible areas for cooperation.

Mr Radoul Kovatchev, Managing Director, made presentation on the aims and structure of the International Black Sea Club (IBSC) which is an organisation similar to the Union of the Baltic Cities operating in the Black Sea region.

Mr Kovatchev pointed out the following possible areas for cooperation with UBC:

- strengthening of twinning relations between Baltic and Black Sea cities

- joint applications to EU programmes

- exchange of information in different fields

- joint cultural events and tourism development

The Board thanked Mr Kovatchev for his presentation and expressed wish to establish the links of cooperation between both organisations.

Introduction of CPMR BSC - possible areas for cooperation.

Mr Tommy Karlsson, Executive Secretary, introduced the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe (CPMR) and its Baltic Sea Commission, which associates regions from Baltic countries.

Mr Karlsson declared CPMR readiness to cooperate with UBC in the project preparing cities and regions from applicant countries for the enlargement of the European Union. It was also agreed that CPMR BSC and UBC should cooperate in the implementation phase of Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region. The UBC Commissions were encouraged to establish working relations with the corresponding CPMR BSC working groups.

The Board thanked Mr Karlsson for his presentation and expressed hope for further good cooperation with the CPMR BSC.

* Point 5 of the Agenda (Reports from the Commissions) was moved to the end of the session

Proposal to create the Commission on Urban Planning.

Mr Jussi Kautto, Development Chief, Helsinki, reminded that the question of UBC involvement in the field of urban planning has been raised at the 16th UBC Executive Board meeting held in Stockholm in January 1997. The Board appointed a working group led by Helsinki to prepare the basis for the creation of the new UBC commission dealing with urban planning.

Mr Kautto, on behalf of the cities of Helsinki, Malmö and Umeå, put forward a proposal to establish the UBC Commission on Urban Planning.

The overall aims of the new Commission would be:

· promoting direct contacts and cooperation between Baltic cities in the field of urban planning and construction;

· increasing the knowledge on urban physical planning, construction and architecture in UBC member cities;

· creating the network between the town and regional planners, architects, civil engineers and other UBC professionals in the field of urban planning.

Decision:

The Board decided to create the UBC Commission on Urban Planning with the cities of Helsinki, Malmö and Umeå as leading cities. The Board encouraged all member cities to take active part in the Commission's work.

UBC role in the implementation of Baltic 21.

Mr Mikko Jokinen, chairman of UBC Commission on Environment, reminded that the Baltic 21 (Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region) final document was officially adopted by the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) during the last meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs held in Nyborg on 22 June 1998. Mr Jokinen stressed that UBC should play a major role in the implementation of the Baltic 21 programme at the local level.

Decision:

1) The Board appointed Mr Mikko Jokinen the represent UBC in the Senior Officials Group (SOG) responsible for the implementation of the Baltic 21.

2) The Board instructed the UBC Commissions on Business Cooperation, Environment, Tourism and Transportation to appoint experts who would contribute to the implementation of Baltic 21 in mentioned sectors.

Report from the Project Manager.

Mr Juhan Janusson, UBC Project Manager, reported on the results of his work since the 20th UBC Executive Board held in Kalmar in March 1998.

UBC latest publications.

Secretary General Paweł Żaboklicki presented three latest UBC publications namely:

· Baltic Cities Bulletin 2/98 devoted to education in Baltic cities

· new colour brochure introducing the Union of the Baltic Cities

· small UBC leaflet

Mr Żaboklicki expressed thanks to those cities which sent stories to the Baltic Cities Bulletin and the photographs to the UBC colour brochure. The Secretary informed that mentioned publications will be soon sent out to all member cities and may be used for general UBC information and public relations purposes.

Reports from the conferences attended by Union's representatives.

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

· ACOPS / CEMR Conference, Lisbon, 28 June - 1 July 1998 - reported by Mr Anders Engström on behalf of Mr Juhan Janusson.

· 7th Parliamentary Conference on Cooperation in the BSR, Lübeck, 7-8 September 1998 -reported by Mr Michael Bouteiller.

· Transfrontier Cooperation around the Baltic Sea, Klaipėda, 1-2 October 1998 - reported by Mr Eugenijus Gentvilas.

· ACOPS / CEMR Conference, Brest, 15-17 October 1998 - reported by Mr Anders Engström.

The Board took note of the reports.

Reports from the Commissions.

The following persons submitted reports on Commissions' activities since the 20th UBC Executive Board meeting held in Kalmar on 27-28 March 1998.

· Commission on Business Cooperation: Lillian Westerberg, Stockholm

· Commission on Culture: Mr Sławomir Szafrański, Szczecin

· Commission on Environment: Mr Mikko Jokinen, Turku

· Commission on Health & Social Affairs: Mrs Karin Wohlgemuth, Rostock

· Commission on Sport: Mr Zdzisław Urla, Gdynia

· Commission on Transportation: Mr Maciej Krzyżanowski, Gdańsk

The Commissions on Communication, Education and Tourism were not represented but provided the written reports.

Decision:

The Board took note of submitted reports.

Additionally Ms Ewa Depka, Gdynia, reported on the UBC Task Force for PR project named "Children of the Baltic Sea". The project is an art competition for children from UBC member cities. Ms Depka informed that the contest announcements along with the small UBC leaflets will be soon sent out to all member cities.

Ms Depka also proposed other projects which might be carried out by the Task Force, for example UBC video or UBC statistical guidebook.

Decision:

The Board decided that all Task Force initiatives must be approved by the Commission on Communication.

Matters raised at the meeting.

Mr Finn Risom, Aalborg, recalled a letter sent out by the Secretariat on September 21, passing a call from Kaliningrad and Baltijsk for humanitarian help, in connection with the severe crisis in Russia, which dramatically affected the living conditions in these cities. Such institutions as orphan houses, houses for the aged, hospitals etc. desperately need food, medicines, medical equipment, hygienic articles, clothes etc. Several representatives of the cities present at the meeting informed about the aid for Kaliningrad and Baltijsk, already sent or being presently organised.

Decision:

The Board urged the member cities to organise aid for Kaliningrad and Baltijsk if possible. The Board instructed the cities to report to the Commission on Health & Social Affairs in Rostock about organised help.

Next Meeting of the Executive Board.

Mr Anders Engström informed about the proposal of Mr Martti Sinisalmi, Mayor of Pori, to hold the next (23rd) meeting of the UBC Executive Board in Pori on 6-7 March 1999.

Decision:

The Board accepted the proposal.

Closing of the Meeting.

Mr Anders Engström expressed his thanks to all participants for the fruitful meeting and closed the XXII Meeting of the Executive Board of the Union of the Baltic Cities.

Mr Anders Engström                                Mr Paweł Żaboklicki

Chairman                                                 Secretary

Mrs Kari Maisol Knudsen                         Mrs Lillian Westerberg

Adjuster                                                 Adjuster