The 28th meeting of the Executive Board of the Union of the Baltic Cities was held on the 16 June 2000 in the City of St.Petersburg, Russia, upon the invitation of Mr Vladimir Yakovlev, Governor of St.Petersburg.
The first part of the meeting (closed session) was attended by the Members of the Executive Board. The second part of the meeting (open session) was open to all Member Cities.
1. Opening of the meeting and adoption of the agenda.
The 28th 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.
Mr Gennadij Tkachev, Vice-Governor of St.Petersburg, welcomed all delegates and wished them the fruitful discussions and a pleasant stay in St.Petersburg.
2. Election of two persons who, together with the President, will check the minutes.
Ms Elena Ivanova, Expert in External Affairs Committee, St.Petersburg and Ms Cay Sevon, Director of Communication Department, Turku, were elected to check the minutes.
3. UBC Action Plan.
President Anders Engström reminded that at the last Executive Board meeting in Kemi the Board discussed the draft of the UBC Action Plan 2000-2001 consisting of two parts; first part concerning the Executive Board, the Presidium and the Secretariat and second part concerning UBC Commissions and Networks. Subsequently the draft of the Action Plan was sent out for comments to the chairpersons of the UBC Commissions and Networks. Mr Engström said that UBC Action Plan should serve not only as internal but also as external document.
Mr Audun Øiestad, Bergen, also expressed an opinion that the Action Plan should be widely used externally, for example when applying for external project funding.
Mr Engström raised the question whether the Networks chairpersons shall be appointed by the Networks or by the Board. After discussion the Board decided that the Networks chairpersons shall be appointed by the Executive Board.
President Engström said that the members of the Presidium should be responsible for the following strategic questions in the Action Plan:
- The enlargement of the European Union in the Baltic Sea Region – Vice-President Gentvilas
- implementation of Agenda 21 locally – Vice-President Lahoniitty
- deepening cooperation with the BSR organisations and networks – President Engström
- promotion the Local Authority Level with regards to the Northern Dimension of the EU – Vice-President Lahoniitty
- possible new members from Belarus and other regions outside the vicinity of the Baltic Sea Region –
- possible new members from Belarus and other regions outside the vicinity of the Baltic Sea Region –
- further strengthening of UBC organisation – President Engström
Mr Gentvilas to prepare for the next Board meeting a background paper on cooperation between cities and universities.
4. UBC Internal Regulations.
President Engström reminded that the last Executive Board meeting held on 1 April 2000 in Kemi adopted the UBC Internal Regulations. At the meeting in Kemi the city of Rostock submitted a number of amendments to the Regulations. The Board in Kemi asked the Secretariat and the Presidium to analyse Rostock proposals and prepare a written proposal
to the next Board meeting. Mr Engström presented the proposal which included most of amendments proposed by Rostock. Ms Petra Hamann informed that Rostock supports President’s amendments.
The Board adopted the amendments submitted by the President.
5. Application from Rostock re. the General Conference.
Ms Petra Hamann presented the preliminary calculation of the costs of the next UBC General Conference to be held in Rostock on 12-13 October 2001. On behalf of the Mayor of Rostock Mr Arno Pöker, Ms Hamann applied for 12.000 EURO contribution from UBC for the conference organisation.
The Board decided that the decision on the amount of UBC contribution to the organisation of the General Conference in Rostock will be taken in the beginning of 2001, when the UBC financial result for 2000 is known. The Board decided that this year UBC will cover the costs of printing of the conference invitations. The Board encouraged Rostock to make all efforts to find sponsors for the General Conference.
During the open session of the Executive Board meeting Mr Vladimir Yakovlev, Governor of St.Petersburg, addressed the participants of the meeting. Mr Yakovlev shortly introduced the city and presented the major challenges and problems facing St.Petersburg. The Governor wished all participants a fruitful debates and a pleasant stay in
6. Introduction of EUROCITIES network.
Mr Claus Schulze, East-West Coordinator of EUROCITIES, introduced the Executive Board with the structure, aims and activities of his organisation. Mr Schulze stressed the importance of cooperation between our organisations, especially as regards joint lobbying in Brussels, which should result in achieving common goals in shorter time.
The Board warmly thanked Mr Schulze for his presentation and expressed hope for further close and mutually beneficial cooperation between the UBC and EUROCITIES.
7. Reports from the Commissions.
The following persons submitted reports on Commissions activities since the V General Conference held in Stockholm on 24-25 September 1999.
Commission on Business Cooperation – Mr Erling Winther, Kolding
Commission on Culture – Mr Sławomir Szafrański, Szczecin
Commission on Environment – Mrs Cay Sevon, Turku
Commission on Health & Social Affairs – Mrs Petra Hamann, Rostock
Commission on Tourism – Mr Kyrre Dahl, Kalmar
Commissions on Education, Sport and Urban Planning were not represented but provided the written reports.
President Anders Engström informed that regrettably the Commission on Transportation has not provided any report. Mr Engström said, that to his knowledge, the Commission had no activities at all, since the General Conference in Stockholm.
The Board took note of submitted reports. The Board expressed its satisfaction on the activities carried out by the Commissions and encouraged all Commissions to continue their important work.
The Board authorised Mr Maciej Lisicki, Gdańsk, to contact the chairman of the Commission on Transportation and discuss to move the leadership of the Commission to another UBC member city.
8. Cooperation with LVRLAC.
President Engström informed that in April, the Secretary General and UBC-EU Coordinator were sent by SIDA to Uganda to work out the document pointing out the areas of future cooperation between UBC and Lake Victoria Region Local Authorities Cooperation (LVRLAC). The document named as ‘cooperation agreement’ has been produced. The cooperation will include such issues as environmental management, urban planning, budget preparation, personnel management, gender equality, twinning arrangements etc. Also study tours in Baltic cities for officials and politicians from LVRLAC member cities will be carried out. In the end of April President Engström, together with Vice-President Gentvilas, paid a visit to Uganda to sign the cooperation agreement between UBC and LVRLAC. Mr Engström reminded that all project costs are covered by SIDA and remuneration for the UBC-EU Coordinator’s work within the project will be transferred to the UBC budget.
9. Report from the UBC EU-Coordinator.
9.1 Latest information on UBC Interreg III initiative.
Mr Juhan Janusson, UBC EU Coordinator, stressed that currently the main problem for cooperation on local level between east and west in the Baltic Sea Region is the lack of funding opportunities for multinational projects. The European Commission has terminated programmes funding such projects ie. BSPF programme. UBC launched an
initiative to create a programme for cooperation between local and regional authorities in the Baltic Sea Region. The programme should be financed by Interreg III strand B. UBC EU Coordinator sent out a questionnaire to all member cities asking cities to list the potential projects that could be funded within the programme. President
Engström asked all Board members to send a letter to the Ministries responsible for Interreg III or Phare CBC in each country informing about UBC initiative and asking to secure finances (from Interreg III B / Phare CBC budgets) for projects to be carried out within UBC initiative. The draft of the letter has been sent out to all members of the Board.
The Board decided that all members of the Board should send mentioned above letter to respective Ministries. The Board encouraged all member cities to respond to the questionnaire sent out by the UBC EU Coordinator.
9.2 UBC EU-Coordinators Network 2nd Seminar, Vilnius, 19-20 May.
Mr Juhan Janusson, on behalf of Ms Karin Wessman, leader of UBC EU-Coordinators Network, reported from the 2nd network’s seminar held in Vilnius on 19-20 May 2000. The seminar was devoted to the integration process to the European Union, with emphasis on the local authority level. The seminar dealt with such issues as how to
influence the European Union, how to find the relevant information on the accession process etc. The next seminar will be arranged on 29-30 September 2000 and shall deal with concrete project planning and the application process to the EU.
10. Baltic Cities Bulletin 2/2000
Secretary General Paweł Żaboklicki introduced the latest issue of the UBC Baltic Cities Bulletin BCB 2/2000 devoted to Urban Planning in Baltic Cities. Apart from the articles presenting urban planning strategies and examples in UBC member cities, the bulletin provides information on latest Union’s meetings, activities and events
as well as news from the member cities. The bulletin is printed in 5000 copies and has been sent out to all member cities as well as to numerous Baltic and European institutions and organisations including the EU.
The Board urged the contact persons in all member cities to distribute the bulletin among departments in each City Hall and send it to various city institutions such as universities, libraries, ports, chambers of commerce etc.
11. Reports from other conferences attended by Union’s representatives.
The following delegates submitted reports from the conferences where they represented the Union of the Baltic Cities:
- Urban Systems & Networking, Vilnius, 3-4 April 2000 – reported by Anders Engström on behalf of Lars Malmborg
- CBSS Consultation on Northern Dimension, Oslo, 3 May 2000 – reported by Cay Sevon
- CBSS Working Group on Economic Cooperation, Oslo, 3-4 May 2000 – reported by Erling Winther
- The Nordic EU Convention, Malmö, 9-10 May 2000 – reported by Juhan Janusson
- EIBTM Tourist Fair, Geneva, 23-25 May 2000 – reported by Juhan Janusson
- CBSS meeting on Cross-Border Cooperation, Stockholm, 31 May 2000 – reported by Anders Engström
- Eurocities Working Group Meeting, Brussels, 7 June 2000 – reported by Juhan Janusson
- Baltic Youth Conference, Lübeck, 15-16 June 2000 – reported by Anders Engstrom on behalf of Charlotte Petersson
The Board took note of the reports.
12. Questions raised at the meeting.
Mr Engström informed that VASAB invited 33 UBC representatives to its conference to be held in Meklemburg-Vorpommern on 20 November 2000.
The President asked the Board members to appoint three representatives from each country. Mr Engström will provide the Board members with the written information about the conference. Furthermore the President proposed to create a working group consisting of the chairmen of the Commissions on urban planning, transportation, environment, culture, business and social affairs, chaired by Mr Lars Malmborg; the aim of the group would be to contribute to the new VASAB 2010+ action plan.
The Board decided to create a working group on VASAB 2010+.
Mr Anatoly Jashkov, Head of the Territorial Board in Peterhof, made a presentation introducing his town and warmly invited the participants of the Board meeting to visit Peterhof.
13. Next Meeting of the Executive Board.
Mr Erling Winther, on behalf of Mr Per Bødker Andersen, Mayor of Kolding, warmly invited the Board Members to the next meeting of the Executive Board to be held in Kolding, on 4 November 2000.
14. Closing of the Meeting.
Mr Anders Engström expressed his thanks to all participants for the fruitful meeting and to the City of St.Petersburg for its warm hospitality and closed the 28th Meeting of the Executive Board of the Union of the Baltic Cities.
Mr Anders Engström – Chairman
Mr Paweł Żaboklicki – Secretary
Ms Elena Ivanova – Adjuster
Ms Cay Sevon – Adjuster