VI General Conference, Rostock, 12–13 October 2001
1.1 The VI General Conference of the Union of the Baltic Cities was held on 12-13 October 2001 in Rostock, Germany, at the invitation of the Mayor of Rostock. The theme of the first day of the Conference was “Social Justice in the Baltic Sea Region in the New Millennium”. The second day was devoted to internal UBC matters such as reports, elections, finances etc.
1.2 The Conference was attended by 218 participants, including representatives of 74 Member Cities, as well as invited guests from governments and international organisations.
FRIDAY, 12 OCTOBER 2001
2. WELCOME AND OPENING ADDRESSES
2.1 Mr Arno Pöker, Mayor of the Hanseatic City of Rostock, warmly welcomed all participants at the VI UBC General Conference in Rostock.
2.2 Mr Anders Engström, President of the Union of the Baltic Cities, opened the VI UBC General Conference.
2.3 Mr Helmut Holter, Minister on Labour and Construction, Deputy Prime Minister of Meklenburg-Vorpommern, welcomed the participants to Meklenburg-Vorpommern region.
2.4 Mr Alexey A. Obukhov, Chairman of the Committee of Senior Officials, Council of the Baltic Sea States, submitted address on behalf of the CBSS.
The first day of the conference was moderated by Dr Ulrich Bauermeister, Managing Director of the Port of Rostock. The welcome and opening addresses are enclosed in the report.
3. KEYNOTE SPEECHES
The following keynote speakers submitted presentations related to the Conference main theme “Social Justice in the Baltic Sea Region in the New Millenium”:
3.1 Mr Karl-Johan Lonnroth, Deputy Director General, DG Employment and Social Affairs, European Commission, introduced the Outline of the EU Enlargement Social Policy.
3.2 Dr Georg Cremer, Secretary General of Caritas Germany, presented the Non-Governmental Perspective of the EU Accession.
3.3 Mrs Giedre Purvaneckiene, Member of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania, made a presentation on Gender Equality and the EU Enlargement.
The presentations were followed by the panel discussion between the speakers.
4. CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS
The following workshops were held concurrently during the first day of the conference:
I. Social Policy from the Enlargement Perspective
II. Labour Market policy from the Enlargement Perspective
III. Gender Equality
IV. Participation of Children and Youth
V. Health and Social Equality for Everybody
SATURDAY, 13 OCTOBER 2001
5. COMMISSION MEETINGS
The UBC Commissions and Networks held working meetings in order to discuss reports from the last period and action plans for the next two-year period.
6. OPENING OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The General Assembly was opened by Mr Anders Engström, President of the Union.
7. APPROVAL OF THE REPORT ON UBC ACTIVITIES
Mr Anders Engström, President of the Union, submitted the Report on UBC Activities during the period September 1999 – October 2001. The General Conference approved the Report on UBC Activities September 1999 – October 2001.
8. TAKING NOTE OF AUDITOR’S REPORT FOR 1999-2000
Mr Paweł Żaboklicki, UBC Secretary General, presented the auditor’s report on UBC accounts for 1999-2000, prepared by the licensed auditing company BILANS from Gdańsk, stating that the Union financial transactions and records within the mentioned period have been handled properly. The Conference took note of the report.
9. BOARD OF AUDIT REPORT
Mr Bartłomiej Sochański, City Councillor, Szczecin, presented the report of the Board of Audit. The General Conference took note of the report.
The Board of Audit proposed to the General Conference to authorise the Executive Board to make adjustments in the UBC budget. The General Conference authorised the Executive Board to make adjustments in the UBC budget.
10. ABSOLVING THE PRESIDIUM, THE BOARD AND THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THEIR RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PREVIOUS TWO YEAR PERIOD
The Board of Audit proposed to the General Conference to absolve the Presidium, the Board and the Secretary General of their responsibility for the previous two year period.
The General Conference absolved the Presidium, the Board and the Secretary General of their responsibility for the previous two year period.
11. APPROVAL OF THE BUDGET AND DECISION ON MEMBERSHIP FEES IN THE NEXT TWO YEAR PERIOD
President Anders Engström presented the Executive Board’s proposal for the UBC budget and membership fees for the financial period 2002-2003. The Board proposed to keep the fees on unchanged level.
The Conference approved the budget and membership fees for the financial period 2002-2003.
12. APPROVAL OF UBC AUDITOR FOR 2001-2002
President Anders Engström informed the Conference that the Executive Board decided to propose the licensed auditing company BILANS from Gdańsk as UBC auditor for 2001-2002. The General Conference approved BILANS as UBC auditor for 2000-2001.
Mr Bartłomiej Sochański proposed to the General Conference to authorise the auditor to check the accordance of UBC expenditure with the UBC budget, as it goes beyond the possibilities of the Board of Audit. The General Conference authorised the Executive Board to discuss this question.
13. REPORTS FROM THE COMMISSIONS AND NETWORKS
The following representatives of the Commissions and Networks submitted reports and action plans to the assembly:
Mr Edvins Drigins, Liepāja, Commission on Business Cooperation
Mr Sławomir Szafrański, Szczecin, Commission on Culture
Ms Monika Soderman, Norrtälje, Commission on Education
Mr Mikko Jokinen, Turku, Commission on Environment
Ms Karin Wohlgemuth, Rostock, Commission on Health & Social Affairs
Ms Ewa Depka, Gdynia, Commission on Sport
Mr Kyrre Dahl, Kalmar, Commission on Tourism
Ms Lisa Sundell, Göteborg, Commission on Transportation
Mr Jussi Kautto, Helsinki, Commission on Urban Planning
Ms Hjördis Höglund, Sundsvall, Women’s Network
Ms Charlotte Pedersen, Aalborg, EU-Coordinators Network
The Conference took note of the reports.
14. AMENDMENT IN THE UBC STATUTE
Mr Anders Engström informed the General Conference that the Executive Board proposed to make an amendment in the UBC Statute concerning the number of Vice-Presidents – three instead of two. The General Conference decided to make the proposed amendment in the Statute.
15. APPROVAL OF THE UBC STRATEGY
President Anders Engström informed the General Conference that the Executive Board proposed to re-approve the UBC Strategy adopted at the V General Conference in Stockholm in 1999. The General Conference re-approved the UBC Strategy.
16. ADOPTION OF UBC AGENDA 21 ACTION PROGRAM 2002-2003
Mr Anders Engström informed the General Conference that the Executive Board proposed to the General Conference to adopt the UBC Agenda 21 Action Program 2002-2003. Mr Risto Veivo, UBC Environmental Coordinator, made a brief introduction of the Program. The General Conference decided to adopt the UBC Agenda 21 Action Program 2002-2003.
17. ELECTION OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
The following cities were elected as members of UBC Executive Board for the next two-year period: Aalborg (Denmark), Baltijsk (Russia), Gdańsk (Poland), Kristiansand (Norway), Kuressaare (Estonia), Liepāja (Latvia), Lübeck (Germany), Panevėžys (Lithuania), Pori (Finland), Stockholm (Sweden).
18. ELECTION OF THE PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENTS
The General Conference elected for a two-year period:
Mr Per Bødker Andersen, Mayor of Kolding, as President of the Union
Mr Armas Lahoniitty, Mayor of Turku, as first Vice-President of the Union
Mr Arno Pöker, Mayor of Rostock, as Vice-President of the Union
Ms Liisa Pakosta, Vice-Mayor of Tallinn, as Vice-President of the Union
Mr Per Bødker Andersen expressed his thanks to all delegates for trusting him and electing him as UBC President. He said it is a great honour for him to continue the work started by Mr Anders Engström aimed at development of the Baltic Sea region and well-being of Baltic cities citizens.
19. ELECTION OF THE BOARD OF AUDIT
President Per Bødker Andersen presented the candidates for the Board of Audit proposed by the Executive Board:
Mr Bartłomiej Sochański, City Councillor, Szczecin
Ms Silvia Löbner, Head of Auditing Department, Wismar
Mr Alfredas Lankauskas, City Councillor, Siauliai
The General Conference elected above persons to the UBC Board of Audit for a two-year period.
20. FAREWELL TO THE PRESIDENT ANDERS ENGSTRÖM
Mr Michael Bouteiller former UBC Vice-President and former Mayor of Lübeck, made a laudation speech in honour of Mr Anders Engström, UBC President 1991-2001, emphasising his outstanding role in establishment and development of the Union of the Baltic Cities.
Mr Mikko Jokinen, Turku, on behalf of all 100 UBC member cities handed over the farewell gift to the outgoing President – the chess box made of amber. The General Conference unanimously decided to nominate Mr Anders Engström as the Honorary President of the UBC.
Mr Anders Engström expressed his warm thanks to the representatives of all UBC member cities for 10 years of successful cooperation. Mr Engström recalled the most important moments from the 10 years of UBC history.
Mr Michał Guć, Gdynia, on behalf of the UBC Commission on Sport handed over a cup to Mr Anders Engström, who can be called the “UBC long-distance runner”.
21. ADOPTION OF THE UBC SOCIAL CHARTER
President Per Bødker Andersen put forward the question to the General Conference whether the Conference is ready to adopt the UBC Social Charter proposed by the Executive Board – the first Charter in the UBC history. The General Conference unanimously adopted the UBC Social Charter. The Charter is enclosed in this report.
22. ADOPTION OF THE CONFERENCE RESOLUTION
President Per Bødker Andersen presented the proposal of the Resolution from the VI UBC General Conference in Rostock. The Conference unanimously adopted the Resolution. The Resolution is enclosed in the report.
23. BEST ENVIRONMENTAL PRACTISE IN BALTIC CITIES AWARD
The first UBC Best Environmental Practise in Baltic Cities Award was granted during the V General Conference in Stockholm in 1999 to the City of Tartu. Sixteen applications were submitted for the second edition of the award. This time the requirement was that the projects should combine environmental and social goals. The results were announced on 12 October during the reception at “Standehaus”, given by the Mayor of Rostock. The winner was the City of Gdańsk for the project “Ecological Sobieszewska Island”. The winner received the grant of 7.000 USD donated by PER AARSLEFF A/S, Aarhus, Denmark. The grant should finance a study tour for employees directly involved in and responsible for the project. The report of the Award Committee is enclosed.
24. VENUE OF THE GENERAL CONFERENCE IN 2003
Following the proposal of the Mayor of Klaipėda, Mr Rimantas Taraskevicius, the General Conference decided to hold its 7th Meeting in the City of Klaipėda in the year 2003.
Mr Arno Pöker, Mayor of Rostock, expressed his thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of the General Conference in Rostock and handed over a UBC flag to Mr Eugenijus Gentvilas, wishing Klaipėda a successful conference in 2003.
25. CLOSING OF THE CONFERENCE
Mr Per Bødker Andersen, the President of the Union, expressed his warm thanks to the City of Rostock, delegates from member cities, speakers, guests and the UBC Secretariat for their outstanding contribution to the success of the VI UBC General Conference.