UBC Executive Board held its second online meeting

The  86th  UBC  Executive  Board  meeting  took  place  online  on  28  October  2020.  The  topics  discussed  include,  among others, activities of UBC Commissions, XVI UBC General  Conference  in  St.  Petersburg  in  October  2021,  UBC’s Brussels office activities, task force work and project applications, and EUSBSR cooperation.

The  meeting  was  opened  by  UBC  President  Mantas Jurgutis. First up on the agenda were the reports from UBC Commissions and task forces. The reports were presented by: Cultural Cities, Rūta Stepanovaitė,  Chair  of  the  Commission, Kaunas; Planning Cities, Paulina Szewczyk, Chair of  the  Commission,  Gdynia;  Safe  Cities,  Kaspars  Varpins, Chair of the Commission, Liepaja; Smart and Prospering Cities, Wolfgang Schmidt, Chair of the Commission, Kiel; Sustainable  Cities,  Björn  Grönholm,  Head  of  SCC  Secretariat,  Turku; Youthful Cities, Dmitrijs Zverevs, Chair of the Commission, Riga; Gender Equality, Katarina Johansson-Storm, Ann-Sofie  Lagercrantz,  co-Chair,  Kalmar;  Youth  Employment & Well-being, Matti Mäkelä, Chair, Turku.

Also Commissions’ project applications were discussed  and a new  regulation was proposed that the UBC  Commissions and  other bodies  apply  for  funding  from external sources ie. EU programmes. In the future, the Presidium will approve each application before it has been submitted.

XVI UBC General Conference, to be held in St.Petersburg in October  2021,  was  discussed  and  the  initial  theme  of  the  conference decided as “Resilient Baltic Sea Cities. Tackling the challenges and creating the future(s)”. The Board decided that the Presidium will set up a task force to help support the St. Petersburg organisers with the tasks.

The head Of UBC Antenna in Brussels Marko Paunovic talked about the Antenna’s work during 2020 and the future plans. He presented the UBC Positioning Road Map for Brussels which the Board adopted.

Task Force on Policy and Projects was presented by the Chair Igor Jojkic. In it’s last meeting, the task force decided to establish four working groups: Urban Agenda for EU, Cohesion policies  beyond  2020,  Climate  Change  and  Sustainable Development, and Resilient UBC Cities. The Task Force  on  the  new  UBC  Strategy  is  to  commence  its  operations soon.

This  autumn,  UBC  will  be  in  charge  of  organising  seven  online  workshops  as  part  EUSBSR  HA  Capacity,   covering  following  countries:  Denmark, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland. The objectives of each session: Promoting stakeholders and their involvement in each country; Increasing the level of knowledge of macro-regional strategies; Introducing concrete benefits for the stakeholders;  Brainstorming and suggesting  potential  follow-up  actions within EUSBSR.

In  addition,  the  Board  received  information  on  the  11th  EUSBSR Annual Forum held online from Turku on 20 October  2020,  about  the  2nd  BRICS  International Municipal Forum  in  St. Petersburg to be held online on 5–6  Novem-ber  2020, and the severe waste water treatment problem in Guatemala. The Board also accepted the New Horizons Social Cooperative to become UBC partner.

The next UBC Executive Board Meeting will be held in spring 2021.