UBC strengthens its role in HA Capacity

The UBC Executive Board meeting in Malmö on 18 October discussed, inter alia, the development of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) and especially UBC`s role as a coordinator of the Horizontal Action Capacity. UBC shares this important role together with the Baltic Sea NGO Network and the Swedish Institute.

The Board noted, that the importance of HA Capacity within the whole EUSBSR has been enhanced. It now functions as a central capacity builder and “networking house” within the Strategy, providing services to various policy areas and their coordinators.

Furthermore, HA Capacity is in constant dialogue with the other macro-regional strategies, covering the Danube, Ionian-Adrian and Alps regions. While the Baltic Sea Region and the EUSBSR were the first to start with their macro-regional strategy in 2009, the other regions are also developing well. Each of them can learn something useful from the others.

The UBC Board decided to enhance its input to the work of HA Capacity and encouraged its member cities to actively participate in various processes. It is important, that the voice and views of the local and regional authorities are listened to when the European Union and the Member States start to revise the EUSBSR Action Plan later this autumn. After all, much, if not most, of the cooperation takes place on the local level.

It was also decided, that the UBC Secretariat will from now on be in direct charge of the technical administration of HA Capacity, a task which earlier had been assigned to an outside organization.

The UBC Board decided, that a progress report on EUSBSR and the HA Capacity shall be presented to each of its meetings, which takes place about three times a year. Furthermore, it has been proposed that the 10th anniversary of EUSBSR would feature prominently on the agenda of the next UBC General Assembly which will take place in Kaunas on 15–18 October 2019.

Mikko Lohikoski
UBC Strategy coordinator
Coordinator (UBC) of HA Capacity