23rd Executive Board meeting, Pori, 6 March 1999

23rd Executive Board meeting, Pori, 6 March 1999

MINUTES FROM THE 23RD MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD

OF THE UNION OF THE BALTIC CITIES

Pori, Finland, 6 March 1999

 

INTRODUCTION

The 23rd meeting of the Executive Board of the Union of the Baltic Cities was held on the 6 March 1999 in the City of Pori, Finland, upon the invitation of Mr Martti Sinisalmi, Mayor of Pori.

The first part of the meeting (closed session) was attended only by the members of the Executive Board. The second part (open session) was open for the representatives from all member cities.

CLOSED SESSION

Opening of the meeting and adoption of the Agenda.

The 23rd 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.

With a great sorrow, Mr Engström informed the Board that Mr Jaak Tamm, the former UBC Vice-President, passed away on the 4th of January 1999. Mr Jaak Tamm was deeply involved first in creation and later in the development of the UBC. As Mayor of Tallinn he was at the same time the Member of UBC Executive Board. In the years 1995-1997 he served as the Vice-President of the Union. Both as the Board Member and the Vice-President Mr Jaak Tamm contributed substantially to the UBC work. With the minute of silence, the Board paid a tribute to the memory of Mr Tamm, whose unexpected death was a great loss to the Union of the Baltic Cities.

The meeting adopted the Agenda.

The President introduced Mr Maciej Lisicki, Deputy Chairman of Gdańsk City Council, who will represent the Mayor of Gdańsk in the UBC Executive Board.

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

Mr Ingmar Ljones, Mayor of Bergen and Mr Timo Kvist, Deputy Mayor of Turku, were elected to check the minutes.

V UBC General Conference - programme and budget.

Mr Torbjorn Bengtsson from Stockholm introduced the preliminary programme of the V General Conference, 24-25 September 1999. The first day of the conference will consist of the keynote speeches (e.g. Goran Persson, Hans van den Broek, Algirdas Saugardas, Joschka Fischer), meetings of the UBC Commissions, 1-2 workshops, a visit to international travel fair. The second day will be devoted to internal UBC matters such as elections, reports, strategy etc. Mr Bengtsson informed that the invitations to the Conference will be soon sent out to all member cities.

Subsequently Mr Bengtsson presented a budget of the conference. According to proposed budget the conference costs are to be covered from the following sources: contribution from the city of Stockholm, the conference fees, contribution from the UBC, sponsors. Mr Bengtsson applied for 17.000$ to be allocated from the UBC budget to the conference organisation.

Decision:

The Board authorised the President to discuss with Stockholm the amount of UBC contribution to the conference organisation.

General Conference in 2001.

Mr Paweł Żaboklicki, Secretary General, informed the Board, that the Secretariat has received applications to host the General Conference in 2001 from the following cities: Aalborg (Denmark), Gdynia (Poland), Klaipėda (Lithuania), Kolding (Denmark), Rostock (Germany), Turku (Finland), Visby (Sweden).

President Engström reminded that so far the General Conference was held alternately in "eastern" and "western" cities i.e. Gdańsk (Poland), Kalmar (Sweden), Kaliningrad (Russia), Aarhus (Denmark), Gdańsk (Poland), Stockholm (Sweden).

Decision:

The Board decided that the VI UBC General Conference in 2001 shall be held either in Klaipėda or in Rostock. Both Lithuania and Germany have not yet hosted the General Conference. The final decision will be held at the next Executive Board meeting.

UBC Strategy.

Mr Bartłomiej Sochański, UBC Vice-President, reminded that after the last Executive Board meeting in Szczecin, the latest draft of the Strategy was sent out for comments to all member cities.

Mr Sochański informed that he received comments from the national meeting of Polish member cities and from the cities of Siauliai and Ystad. The Vice-President added that the comments from the meeting of Swedish member cities were delivered to him at the meeting in Pori.

Decision:

The Board authorised the Strategy Working Group to discuss submitted comments and include the appropriate ones into the Strategy document.

UBC Internal Regulations.

Mr Paweł Żaboklicki, Secretary General, reminded the Board that the latest version of the Internal Regulations was sent out for comments to all member cities after the last Board meeting in Szczecin. Mr Żaboklicki informed that the Secretariat has received comments from the meeting of Polish member cities and from the city of Klaipėda. Subsequently the comments have been discussed by the Board.

Decision:

The Board authorised the Secretary General to include agreed changes and amendments. The Board decided the Regulations shall be also sent for comments to the Chairmen of the Commissions.

Mr Finn Risom, Aalborg, reminded that there is a need to revise the UBC Statute so it will correspond with the new Strategy and Regulations.

Decision:

The Board decided that the Board members shall provide the Secretariat with their proposals of changes in the UBC Statute, in one month time that is 6 April 1999.

Financial Report for 1998.

Mr Paweł Żaboklicki, Secretary General, submitted UBC financial report for 1998. Mr Żaboklicki underlined that all member cities (except one) paid membership fees and the financial position of the Union is stable. The report displays UBC incomes, expenditure, table with membership fees, expenditure of the Commissions, costs of the secretariats and UBC projects with external funding. The Secretary informed that, as usual, the auditors report will be presented at the General Conference.

Decision:

The Board adopted the report.

Mr Finn Risom, Aalborg, expressed an opinion that the Board should appoint a revisory commission which task would be to check whether the expenditure is carried out in accordance with the UBC statute and strategy. The Board decided to treat this issue at the next meeting.

Proposals from the Commissions.

The Secretary General informed about the following applications for funding submitted by the Commissions:

The Commission on Environment and the Commission on Health & Social Affairs submitted joint application for 5.000$ for the preparations of the UBC Local Agenda 21 Programme.

Decision:

The application was approved. The Board stressed the importance of the development of UBC LA21 Programme.

The Commission on Culture applied for 24.500$ for the Commission working session in Kalmar and the Baltic Contemporary Art Biennial to be held in Szczecin, Visby and Riga.

Decision:

The Board decided to grant the Commission on Culture with 5.000$ for its activities (in addition to 5.000$ already scheduled in UBC budget for 1999).

The Secretary reminded that the Commissions on Education and Urban Planning are not included in the UBC budget 1998-1999. When the budget was approved (in 1997) mentioned Commissions did not yet exist. Other Commissions may use 5.000$ for activities in 1999.

Decision:

The Board decided to grant the Commission on Education and the Commission on Urban Planning with 5.000$ each, for activities in 1999, if requested.

The Task Force for Communication and PR applied for funding for two projects:

1. UBC Virtual Gallery - an Internet homepage containing pictures from the "Children Drawing Competition".. The Gallery would serve as promotional tool within and outside the Union. Budget of the project: 8.000$.

Decision:

The Board instructed the Task Force to check, together with the Commission on Communication, whether it is possible to create such homepage in less costly way e.g. by using cities equipment.

2. UBC Maps - member cities and important institutions plotted on the map of the Baltic Sea region. On the reverse side - text and photos on UBC. The maps would serve as promotional tool within and outside the Union. Each member city would receive 100 maps. Budget: 7.000$.

Decision:

The Board decided to grant the Task Force with 7.000$ for the ‘UBC Maps' project.

The UBC Women's Network applied for 6.000$ for network representatives to participate in women's conferences and seminars in 1999.

Decision:

The Board expressed an opinion that in general mentioned above costs should be covered by the member city which is sending a representative to the particular conference. The Board authorised the President to discuss this issue with the Leader of Women's Network. The question will be treated at the next Board meeting.

Meeting of major Baltic organisations at CBSS.

President Engström reported from the meeting of major Baltic organisations held on 27 January, at the invitation of the Council of the Baltic Sea States in the newly established CBSS Secretariat in Stockholm. The following organisations took part in the meeting: Council of the Baltic Sea States, Union of the Baltic Cities, Baltic Sea States Subregional Cooperation, Nordic Council, Nordic Council of Ministers, Baltic Assembly, Barents/EuroArctic Council, Helsinki Commission, VASAB 2010, Baltic 21. The aim of the meeting was to exchange information on activities carried out by mentioned organisations, in order to facilitate cooperation and avoid duplication of work. All present organisations shared an opinion that such working meetings are necessary and should be held regularly.

Questions raised.

No further questions have been raised.

OPEN SESSION

Report from the closed session.

President Anders Engström summarised the main issues discussed by the Board during the closed session.

New Member Cities.

Secretary General Paweł Żaboklicki informed the Executive Board about new applications for Union membership submitted by the cities of: Jõhvi (Estonia) and Pruszcz Gdański (Poland).

Mr Aavo Kerme, Mayor of Jõhvi, made a presentation introducing his city. The city of Pruszcz Gdański was not represented at the meeting.

Decision:

The Board decided to accept the cities of Jõhvi and Pruszcz Gdański 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 86.

Information on CBSS - possible areas for cooperation.

Mr Serguei Sokolov, Senior Adviser in Secretariat of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, introduced the Board with the structure, aims and activities of the CBSS. Mr Sokolov stressed the importance of cooperation between UBC and CBSS as regards the representation of the interests of the Baltic Sea Region. As an example Mr Sokolov pointed the document on improving compatibility between Phare, Tacis and Interreg IIC, to be delivered by CBSS to the European Commission. UBC took active part on the preparation of the document. Mr Sokolov also encouraged the UBC Commissions to establish working contacts with the corresponding working groups of CBSS.

The Board thanked Mr Sokolov for his presentation and expressed hope for further close and mutually beneficial cooperation between the UBC and CBSS.

Information on HELCOM - possible areas for cooperation.

Mr Kjell Grip, Environment Secretary in Helsinki Commission, made a presentation on the goals, activities and structure of HELCOM. Mr Grip pointed out existing and potential areas of cooperation between the Helsinki Commission and the UBC Commission on Environment such as: municipal environmental auditing, local agenda 21, coastal zone management, environmental awareness and education, institutional strengthening, human resources development etc.

The Board thanked Mr Grip for his presentation and expressed wish for further efficient cooperation between the UBC and HELCOM.

Reports from the Commissions.

The following persons submitted reports on Commissions' activities since the 22nd UBC Executive Board meeting held in Szczecin on 16-17 October 1998.

- Commission on Business Cooperation: Mr Maciej Brzeski, Gdynia

- 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 Władysław Kozakiewicz, 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. The Board warmly welcomed the new chairman of the Commission on Sport, Mr Wladysław Kozakiewicz, pole-vault gold medallist at the Olympic Games in 1980.

Ms Ewa Depka, Gdynia, reported on the results of the art competition "The Children of the Baltic", carried out by the Task Force for Communication and PR. Ms Depka, Project Coordinator, emphasised that the project was very popular among the member cities - 236 works from 25 cities were sent to the competition. The final of the competition took place in Gdańsk on 28 January 1999. The jury including the representatives of diplomatic corps awarded 10 prizes. The report from the competition is attached along with the report from the Commission on Communication.

Decision:

The Board expressed its satisfaction to the Task Force for the successful implementation of the project.

Mr Risto Veivo, Turku, reported on the work of Project Policy Working Group, appointed last year by the President with aim to discuss the ways of improvement of Union's project policy and organisation. The group held its second meeting in connection with the Board meeting in Pori. The group is expected to produce recommendations for the President before the next Executive Board meeting.

Report from the EU-Coordinators project.

Report from the Project Manager.

Mr Juhan Janusson, UBC Project Manager, reported on the EU-Coordinators project on behalf of the project coordinator Ms Karin Wessman. Subsequently Mr Janusson submitted report on Project Manager's activities since the last UBC Executive Board meting held in Szczecin.

Baltic Cities Bulletin.

Secretary General Paweł Żaboklicki introduced the latest issue of the UBC Baltic Cities Bulletin 1/99 devoted to Local Agenda 21. The bulletin provides information on: LA 21 work carried out by UBC and its member cities; latest Union's meetings, activities and events; news from the member cities etc. Mr Żaboklicki emphasised that the Local Agenda theme was very popular among the member cities and over 30 cities provided stories describing their activities in this field. The Secretary underlined the role of the Commission on Environment which significantly contributed to this issue of the bulletin.

Decision:

The Board expressed its satisfaction to the BCB Editorial Board for the quality and contents of the UBC bulletin.

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:

  •  BSSSC Conference, Roskilde, 22-23 October 1998 - reported by Mr Anders Engström,
  • "Estonia on its way to changing Europe", Tallinn, 4-6 November 1998 - reported by Mr Juhan Janusson,
  • General Assembly of CPMR BSC, Oulu, 19-20 November 1998 - reported by Mr Paweł Żaboklicki,
  • Urban Forum, Vienna, 26 November 1998 - reported by Mr Bartłomiej Sochański,
  • Baltic Youth Conference, Stockholm, 8 December 1998 - reported by Mr Anders Engström on behalf of Ms Lena Hallengren,
  • CBSS CSO Meeting in Kaliningrad, 17-18 February 1999 - reported by Mr Anders Engström.

The Board took note of the reports.

2nd Exhibition of Inventions in Gdynia.

Mr Maciej Brzeski, Deputy Mayor of Gdynia, informed the Board that the 2nd Exhibition of Inventions will be held at WTC Gdynia Expo on 6-8 October 1999. Two contests are to be organised during the event. The first contest is directed to individual inventors and specialised innovative centres. The second contest is related to industrial design. All member cities are warmly welcome to take part in the exhibition.

Decision:

The Board considered the exhibition as very interesting and decided to endorse the event.

Matters raised at the meeting.

Ms Inger Harlevi, Visby, informed about the Seminar on Trade and Marketing via Internet to be held in Tallinn, on 30 March 1999.

Mr Tõnu Karu, Tallinn, informed about the Seminar on Rehabilitation Technology and Accessibility, to be held in Tallinn, on 24-28 April 1999.

Next Meeting of the Executive Board.

Mr Anders Engström informed about the proposal of Mr Andrus Ansip, Mayor of Tartu, to hold the next (24th) meeting of the UBC Executive Board in Tartu, Estonia, in June 1999. The Board decided that this time only closed session will be held. The preliminary date is 28 June 1999 (to be confirmed).

Closing of the Meeting.

Mr Anders Engström expressed his thanks to all participants for the fruitful meeting and to the City of Pori for warm hospitality and closed the XXIII Meeting of the Executive Board of the Union of the Baltic Cities.

Mr Anders Engström                                      Mr Paweł Żaboklicki

Chairman                                                       Secretary

 

Mr Ingmar Ljones                                          Mr Timo Kvist

Adjuster                                                       Adjuster