6th Executive Board meeting, Kaliningrad, 6-7 June 1993

6th Executive Board meeting, Kaliningrad, 6-7 June 1993

MINUTES FROM THE 6th MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD 

OF THE UNION OF THE BALTIC CITIES

Kaliningrad, 6-7 June 1993

 

INTRODUCTION

The sixth meeting of the Executive Board of the Union of the Baltic Cities was held on 6-7 June, 1993 in Kaliningrad, Russia.

The Meeting was attended by representatives of the Baltic Cities as well as invited persons.

The meeting was opened by Mr Anders Engström, the President of the Union; the welcome address was given by Mr Vitaliy Shipov, the Mayor of the City of Kaliningrad.

Opening of the meeting and adoption of the agenda.

The Meeting adopted the agenda attached as Annex 1 to this Report.

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

Mrs Nadezhda Lazareva from Kaliningrad and Mr Franciszek Jamroż from Gdańsk were elected to check the minutes.

Mr President's remarks and commentaries concerning current Union's activities.

Mr President expressed his opinion about current Union's work. He described the work of Union's Executive Board as efficient and satisfying. Mr Engström was not satisfied with the efficiency of contacts among other Member Cities due to problems with phone and fax connections between some countries. The other thing that interrupts Union's work is lack of responsible contact persons in some of the cities.

Decision:

The Board decided to urge some Member Cities to appoint reliable contact persons.

Information about ongoing International Art Festival in Kaliningrad.

Ms Tamara Shkourenko, the General Director of the Festival informed the meeting participants about the programme and technical aspects of the ongoing event as well as about future plans related to the idea of the art festival. On behalf of the city of Kaliningrad Ms Shkourenko proposed the Executive Board Members to consider the possibility of holding a permanent Union's International Art Festival in Kaliningrad.

Decision:

Executive Board after a long discussion decided to hold next year Festival also in Kaliningrad. Since 1995 the International Art Festival of the Union is to be held each year in different Member City, every city may apply for the festival organization in the following year.

Work of the Commissions.

Mr President underlined that more effective work is expected from the Commissions. Some of the Commissions e.g. Commission on Environment are very active, especially lead cities Aarhus and Turku that meet often to discuss current and planned projects. Mr President indicated that Union has frequent contacts with other international organizations, but the number of contacts among Member Cities is not satisfying yet.

Decision:

The Board decided that lead cities should, each time, invite representatives of other cities to the meetings of working commissions.

Report from the Commissions, projects related to the work of the Commissions:

"Fax and Memosystem" Project.

Considering existing situation concerning "Fax and Memosystem" Project it has been stressed that positive reaction from the western countries governments on request regarding financing of the Union's projects may create the possibility to finance above mentioned project.

"Baltic Sustainable Cities Programme".

Mr Jokinen on behalf of the Commission on Environment Protection informed that 5 cities from the South-East part of the Baltic region have already joined the Baltic Sustainable Cities Programme. It is Tallinn, Riga, Klaipėda, Kaliningrad and Elbląg - representatives of 5 countries. The mayors and city councils thereby express their commitment to the priority of environmental investments within the context of sustainable development. They should now be linked to the western cities related to the UBC Commission of Environment, ready to share the experiences and expertise as a part of their commitment to the cooperation within the UBC.

"Steps and Aims" Project.

Due to the lack of the representatives from leading city Lübeck this project was not considered.

Concrete proposals from the Commissions.

Meeting postponed consideration of this item of the agenda until the next Executive Board Meeting.

Information by the Secretary.

Booklet, Newsletter 4.

Secretary of the Union Mr Piotr Krzyżanowski informed the meeting participants about preparation of the Union's booklet which should be printed before the 7th Executive Board Meeting in Turku, 4th of September 1993.

Furthermore Mr Krzyżanowski presented the Special Issue of the Union's Newsletter No. 4, published on the occasion of the High Level Conference on Resource Mobilization, held in Gdańsk, 24-25 May 1993. The Newsletter includes several articles presenting an input to the Joint Comprehensive Baltic Environmental Action Programme of the Union and other organizations and institutions such as: Helcom, PITF, World Bank, EBRD, NEFCO, NIB, EIB, CCB, WWF.

Electronic Mail.

The Manchester Host - information by the CLES European Research Network.

Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) recommended to the UBC project called the Manchester Host allowing an access to a wide variety of worldwide databases on a vast range of topics that may be useful for UBC. The Host is a computer located in Manchester, but connected to the global GeoNet System. User being on line have full to: electronic mail, fax transmission, telex services, information services (15 languages).

The Nord Net - proposition of ICLEI (the International Environmental Agency for Local Governments).

Similar proposition for UBC came from International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) in Freiburg to join the Nord Net System with the headquarter in Stockholm. The system possesses similar possibilities to mentioned above project and also provides the possibility of conducting electronic conferences. The Union was given an opportunity to enter the system at any time, as the organizers have already supplied Secretariat with the password and account number.

Decision:

Meeting found the proposals as very valuable and requested leading Board Members in the Commission on Environmental Protection Aarhus and Turku to prepare official answer to the above mentioned organizations.

Financial report.

Secretary of the Union informed the meeting participants about present financial status of the Union. Due to the fact that expenditures are following budgetary plans and the Cities are paying their fees systematically, therefore financial situation of the Union is satisfactory. It has been underlined that major Union's expenditure in the current year will be connected with the organization of the II General Conference of the Union on 24-25 of September.

Other information

The Baltic Gateways Seminar, Rostock, 1-2 April 1993.

On 1-2 August 1993 the Union representative Mr Marek Maciejowski attended the Seminar of Baltic Gateways in Rostock. The Baltic Gateways Project is coordinated by Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), financed within the frames of "Overture Programme" by EEC and concerns the following cities: Gdynia, North Tyneside, Ejsberg, Hamburg and Rostock. The Project aims are as follows:

- development of business and trade cooperation

- improvement of communication systems

- development of ports and sea transport links

Mr Maciejowski introduced the Seminar participants to the Union's programme and activities. The Seminar resulted with resolution that CLES will apply to the EEC for extra funds to include the cities from Baltic Republics into the project in cooperation with UBC. Participants also extended the project framework on social and environment protection issues.

Baltic Eco-Cities Programme - project proposed by ICLEI.

Mr Mikko Jokinen representative of the Commission of Environment informed the Board Members about Baltic Eco-Cities Programme proposed by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives and underlined the need of establishing forms of cooperation between both organizations.

Decision:

The Board decided that Environmental Commission representatives from Aarhus and Turku together with the Secretary of the Union should meet ICLEI President in order to agree a practical forms of cooperation.

Next Meeting of the Executive Board.

Decision:

According to the invitation of Mr Mikko Jokinen acting on behalf of Mr Juhani Leppä, Mayor of the City of Turku, the next Meeting of the Executive Board was scheduled on 4th of September 1993 and will be held in Turku in association with the Baltic Sea Conference, Helsinki, 1-3 September 1993.

Preparations for Second General Conference, Kaliningrad 24-25 September 1993.

Participation in the Conference.

After the discussion, meeting decided to authorize the Secretary to propose the President of the Union concrete proposals concerning participation in the conference.

Conference issues.

As above.

Organizational matters.

Ms Nadezhda Lazareva, chairman of Kaliningrad City Council, informed the Executive Board that II General Conference of the Union will be held in the town of Svetlogorsk, located at the sea-coast 50 km north of Kaliningrad, on 24-25 September 1993.

Other matters.

Report on Women's Conference.

Ms Nadezhda Lazareva, Chairman of Kaliningrad City Council informed the participants that City of Kaliningrad initiated the idea of organizing with assistance of the Union, a number of conferences sharing a common name, "Women of the Baltic Sea Region". Together with the City of Sundsvall, Kaliningrad invited all women from Member Cities of the Union to the first Conference entitled "The Women and the Labour Market". The Conference was held in Kaliningrad on 13-15 May 1993 and attended by the participants from Baltic Cities as well as from the city of Newcastle, England. Participants exchanged opinions and experiences on the most urgent problems existing in all UBC countries i.e. situation on the labour market, growing unemployment, wage discrimination etc. The necessity of holding regular women conferences has been underlined. Next conference has been scheduled on year 1994.

Decision:

Meeting took note of the information and decided to come later to the follow up of the Conference during the next Board Meeting.

The city of Kaliningrad also informed about planned International Film Festival, that is to be held in Kaliningrad in September 1993

Decision:

The Executive Board decided to urge the Member Cities to participate in the festival.

Proposals from the Member Cities sent to the Secretariat.

Project from Kalmar concerning transfer of knowledge of Swedish social insurance system.

The Board decided to consider above mentioned project during the next Meeting of Executive Board in Turku.

Proposal from St. Petersburg to discuss problems resulting from russian military presence in new Baltic states.

Due to the fact that there was no participants from the city of St. Petersburg this item of the agenda was not discussed.

Proposals from Riga.

Mr Arnolds Ubelis informed the Meeting participants about several initiatives which have been prepared by the City of Riga. More detailed information about mentioned activities will be submitted by Mr Ubelis during the next Executive Board Meeting.

Environmental Youth Camp in Riga.

Meeting took note about information concerning organization of Environmental Youth Camp 1993 in Riga and having in mind last year successful results of the project encouraged Member Cities to take part in it also this year.

Conference on Trans European Motorway, Gdańsk, 8 June 1993.

Mr Dariusz Knowski from Gdańsk City Council informed that Conference will take place in Gdańsk on 8th of June 1993 and will be organized by the Union in cooperation with City Councils of Gdańsk, Gdynia and Karlskrona, Baltic Institute, Maritime Institute and Association of Coastal Towns and Rural Districts in Poland. The main goal of the Conference is to speed up the process of TEM and other projects implementation through e.g. establishing an international consortium gathering institutions and enterprises interested in active participation in these projects.

Mr Aleksander Zubariev from Kaliningrad City Council, on behalf of the Commission of Transportation presented a draft of Executive Board Resolution to be submitted at the Conference, regarding TEM and Via Baltica Projects. The statement underlines that some vital transport junctions on the south-eastern Baltic coast - such as Klaipėda, Kaliningrad, Gdańsk, Gdynia, Szczecin - are left out of consideration in the frames of Via Baltica Project. The resolution finds it appropriate that regional administrations should consider coordination of their activities aimed at including above mentioned Baltic ports into TEM and Via-Baltica Projects as it will contribute to the development of the whole region.

Decision:

Executive Board approved the Resolution, decided to present it during the TEM Conference and convey to the TEM and Via-Baltica Projects coordinators, Council of the Baltic Sea States, regional and state authorities.

Report on the Third Parliamentary Conference of Baltic and Nordic Countries, Warsaw, 3-5 June 1993.

The Conference has been postponed until autumn 1993.

Participation in HELCOM.

Report on High Level Conference on Resource Mobilization, Gdańsk 24-25 March 1993.

Mr Krzyżanowski reminded that in year of 1992, in Helsinki, Ministers of Environmental Protection from Baltic States adopted The Baltic Sea Joint Comprehensive Environmental Action Programme. Programme was also adopted by countries lying within Baltic Sea catchment area: Belarus, Ukraine, Czech and Slovak Republics and financial institutions: World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Nordic Investment Bank, Nordic Environment Finance Corporation. On 24-25 March 1993 Ministers of Environmental Protection as well as bank representatives attended High Level Conference on Resource Mobilization in Gdańsk. Mr President in his speech during the Conference offered a proposal of Union's cooperation with Helcom Programme Implementation Task Force (PITF). Mr Engström declared Union readiness to take a responsibility for programme of expertise transfer through twin-city arrangements - a part of the Institutional Strengthening and Human Resources Development, component of the Action Programme. Helcom PITF accepted an offer of cooperation put forward by the Union.

Report on 2nd Meeting of PITF, Hamburg, 25-27 May 1993.

Mr Mikko Jokinen representative of Union's Commission on Environmental Protection presented a report from PITF Meeting in Hamburg. The Meeting was attended by the Secretary Mr Piotr Krzyżanowski and Mr Jorgen Ringgaard, Commission on Environmental Protection from Aarhus. The main purpose of UBC presence at the PITF Meeting was to present and obtain approval of Union proposal of cooperation presented by Mr Anders Engström on Resource Mobilization Conference in Gdańsk. Presentation concerning above was made by Mr Jorgen Ringgaard, coordinator of Baltic Sustainable Cities Programme (BSCP). Mr Ringaard introduced Meeting participants to BSCP started by the Union as a need of creation a framework of twin-city cooperation regarding transfer of expertise and experiences from western cities to the cities from countries under transition. PITF decided to accept an offer of cooperation from the UBC, but before more specific (financial) decisions could be made, they require more detailed working plan that is to be elaborated by the Union. Mr Ringgaard stressed the need of coordination of these kind of initiatives between various organizations. In this case the Union should coordinate its activities with International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and its "Baltic Eco-Cities" project. Similar statement was declared by ICLEI representatives.

Mr Jokinen on behalf of Union's Commission of Environment proposed creating of a small Task Force within the UBC that:

- will be responsible for organizing and running this project

- will elaborate a detailed proposal of cooperation to be presented to PITF

- will take contacts with ICLEI and other organizations to obtain the needed coordination of activities

- will be responsible for taking actions to ensure financing of UBC activities related to PITF.

Decision:

Executive Board accepted Mr Jokinen and Mr Ringgaard proposals and decided to elect Mr Piotr Krzyżanowski, Mr Mikko Jokinen, Mr Carl Nielsen and Mr Jorgen Ringgaard as a members of mentioned Task Force.

The Baltic Sea Conference, Helsinki, 1-3 September 1993.

The Baltic Sea Conference is to be held in Helsinki on 1-3 September 1993. The Conference will be organized by the Finnish Association of Communities. Problems of Baltic Sea Environment Protection will be the main issue of the Conference.

Resolution:

The Board decided that the Union should be represented at above Conference. It has been also decided that 7th Executive Board Meeting will follow the Helsinki Conference and will be held in the city of Turku on 4th of September 1993. Matters related to the forthcoming II General Conference of the Union will dominate the Board Meeting.

Training for the leaders of study circles - cooperation with CCB.

Mr Anders Engström informed the participants about preparatory work concerning the training for the leaders of study circles that will be organized in the city of Kalmar. Meeting took note about this information and decided to come back later to this issue.

Application for administration money contribution for UBC.

Mr Anders Engström informed the Meeting about the present situation regarding administration money contribution to strengthen Union's activities and promised, within a few weeks, to provide Executive Board Members with the information about the new contact person dealing with this matter in the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Union's activities during the summer period.

Secretary, Mr Piotr Krzyżanowski informed the Meeting about planned Union activities during the summer 1993 i.e. meetings of the working commissions, summer camps, yacht cruises etc. as well as about Members personal plans concerning scheduled visits and holidays.

Union's cooperation with other international organizations.

Secretary informed the Meeting about planned visit of the representative of the Council of Europe, Mr Ferdinando Albanese, Director of Environmental and Local Authorities, in the premises of the Secretariat, on the occasion of the CE 3rd Colloquy on Environmental Law: East and West, Gdańsk 24-26 June 1993.

New UBC Member Cities.

Secretary informed the Executive Board about new applications for Union Membership as follows:

- Västervik, Sweden

- Palanga, Lithuania

- Kuressare, Estonia

Decision:

The Board decided to accept mentioned above cities as a Members of the Union of the Baltic Cities.

Information on the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

The Meeting was attended by Ms Eve Kuusmann, an expert from Coordination Centre of the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS) in Estonian Foreign Ministry. Ms Kuusmann informed the Meeting participants about structure, programme and activities of the CBSS. On behalf of Mr Alar Olljum, chairman of the Committee of Senior Officials of the CBSS, Ms Kuusmann expressed the willingness of establishing closer contacts and cooperation between the Council and the Union.

Decision:

Executive Board welcomed the Council proposition of cooperation and decided to coordinate with CBSS its initiatives regarding the following issues:

- cross-border formalities

- state financial contribution for strengthening Union activities

- project for the leaders of study circles in environmental matters.

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

Mr Anders Engström                       Ms Nadezhda Lazareva

Chairman                                        Adjuster

 

Mr Piotr Krzyżanowski                     Mr Franciszek Jamroż

Secretary                                       Adjuster