29th Executive Board meeting, Kolding, 4 November 2000

INTRODUCTION

The 29th meeting of the Executive Board of the Union of the
Baltic Cities was held on the 4th of November 2000 in the City of Kolding,
Denmark, upon the invitation of Mr Per Bødker Andersen, Mayor of Kolding.

The meeting was attended by the Members of the Executive Board.

  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 Per Bødker Andersen, Mayor of Kolding, welcomed all delegates and
    wished them the fruitful discussions and a pleasant stay in Kolding.
    Mr Andersen made a short presentation introducing the city of Kolding.

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

    Ms Lis Lykke Skov, Chairman of International Committee, Kolding and Mr
    Peeter Tulviste, Chairman of the City Council, Tartu, were elected to
    check the minutes.

  3. New Member Cities.

    Mr Paweł Żaboklicki, Secretary General, informed the Executive Board
    about the applications for Union membership submitted by the cities of
    Tukums (Latvia), Võru (Estonia) and Marijampolė (Lithuania).

    Decision:

    The Board decided to accept mentioned cities as Members of the Union
    of the Baltic Cities and wished them fruitful cooperation with other
    UBC member cities. The number of Union members reached the figure 99.

  4. UBC Commission on Transportation.

    President Anders Engström reminded that at the last
    meeting, the Board authorised Mr Maciej Lisicki, Gdańsk, to contact
    the chairman of the Commission on Transportation from Pruszcz and
    discuss to move the leadership of the Commission to another UBC member
    city, due to lack of Commission activities. Mr Engström informed that
    the City of Göteborg expressed an interest to take the leadership of
    the Commission. Göteborg is interested mostly in public transport;
    other aspects of transportation could be delegated to other interested
    cities.

    Mr Lisicki informed that due to lack of resources the city of Pruszcz
    decided to terminate its leading role in the Commission on
    Transportation.

    Decision:

    The Board decided to nominate the City of Göteborg as the leading city
    in the UBC Commission on Transportation.

  5. Financial matters.

    5.1 Membership fees 2000.

    Mr Paweł Żaboklicki informed that the financial situation of the
    UBC is secure. Most of the member cities paid the membership fee in
    the time scheduled.

    So far the fee was not paid by the city of Kaliningrad and the
    satellite cities of St.Petersburg ie. Kronshtadt, Lomonosov, Peterhof,
    Sestroreck. Kaliningrad promised in written to pay the fee in
    November, due to difficult financial situation in the city.

    Ms Natalia Vasilyeva informed that St.Petersburg would pay the fee for
    the satellite cities in two weeks time.

    Decision:

    The Board commissioned mentioned cities to pay their fees by 30
    November 2000.

    5.2 UBC EU-Coordinator.

    President Engström informed the Board, that UBC has not yet received
    the decision of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the
    continuation of financing Mr Juhan Janusson, UBC EU-Coordinator. Mr
    Engström reminded that so far Mr Janusson's remuneration and business
    travels have been financed from three sources ie. Swedish MFA, UBC and
    the city of Kalmar.

    Decision:

    The Board decided to wait with the decision on prolonging the
    engagement of Mr Janusson until the answer from the Swedish Government
    is known. In case of negative answer, the Board authorised the
    Presidium to search for other financial sources.

    5.3 Application from the Youth Network.

    President Engström stressed that it is very important task for the UBC
    to encourage the young generation to get involved into the local
    politics. UBC supports the creation of a network uniting young people
    from our member cities. In September the President sent out a
    questionnaire to all member cities to check how the youth questions
    are handled in the cities. He also asked cities to appoint contact
    persons responsible for youth matters in the city.

    Mr Engström informed about the application from the Youth Network for
    5000 Euro for the network activities and 5000 Euro for the secretariat
    in 2001 and 2002. He suggested to postpone the decision on financing
    until the details on proposed activities are given.

    Decision:

    The Board decided to postpone the decision on financing the Youth
    Network until the programme of activities has been prepared by the
    network.

  6. Information on Baltic University Programme.

    Professor Lars Ryden, Director of Baltic University Programme,
    Uppsala, made a presentation introducing BUP's background, aims and
    activities. BUP is a network of universities, initiated by Uppsala
    University in Sweden in 1991. Today some 170 universities in the 14
    countries within the Baltic Sea Basin take part in the programme. BUP
    have developed courses on environmental science, democracy, security,
    social change and sustainable development. Courses are produced in
    English language but are being translated into Polish, Russian and
    Latvian.

    Mr Ryden agreed that there is a need to enhance cooperation between
    the cities and universities in order to advance the development of the
    Baltic Sea region.

    The Board warmly thanked Professor Ryden for his presentation and
    expressed hope for further close and mutually beneficial cooperation
    between the UBC and BUP.

  7. Cooperation between cities and universities.

    At the last Board meeting in St.Petersburg, Mr
    Eugenijus Gentvilas, UBC Vice-President, put forward the idea to
    discuss the question how to stimulate better cooperation between the
    cities and universities. The Board authorised Mr Gentvilas to prepare
    a background paper on existing cooperation between cities and
    universities. Having in mind above Mr Gentvilas sent out a
    questionnaire to all member cities. 15 cities replied to the
    questionnaire. On the basis of the questionnaire Mr Gentvilas compiled
    and presented an overview of the cooperation between cities and
    universities in the UBC.

    The presentation was followed by the discussion.

    Mr Juhan Janusson put forward the proposal to create a network of UBC
    cities that have universities.

    Mr Peeter Tulviste, Tartu, proposed to organise a UBC conference on
    the great scale where cities, universities and business would discuss
    how to improve cooperation between these three important actors in
    order to advance the development of the Baltic Sea region.

    Ms Cay Sevon, Turku, agreed on importance of organising such
    conference and stressed that all member cities should be invited, not
    only the ones which have universities.

    Ms Anne-Grete Strom-Erichsen, Bergen, presented the cooperation
    between the city of Bergen, the university and the chamber of
    commerce.

    Mr Anders Engström informed about conference on Cities and
    Universities in Partnership, to be held on 8 November in Helsinki.

    Mr Lars Ryden informed the Board about the 2nd Baltic Meeting Point
    conference to be held in Uppsala in May 2001. The conference will
    gather representatives of cities, universities and business. Mr Ryden
    proposed UBC to take active part in the conference eg. through running
    one of the workshops. Mr Risto Veivo, Turku, informed that the
    Commission on Environment will be involved in one of the conference
    workshops. Mr Paweł Żaboklicki informed that information about the
    conference will be published in the next issue of Baltic Cities
    Bulletin.

    Decision:

    The Board appointed a working group consisting of Bergen, Klaipėda and
    Tartu, aimed at initiating the UBC network of cities with
    universities. The group should also cooperate with the Baltic
    University Programme. It was also decided that UBC would take part in
    the Baltic Meeting Point conference.

  8. Report from the UBC EU-Coordinator.

    8.1 UBC Interreg III initiative - update.

    Mr Juhan Janusson reported from the meeting of UBC-BSSSC-CPMR Working
    Group which task was to create a program for cooperation between local
    and regional authorities in the BSR and submit the application for
    funding to Interreg III B. Mr Janusson sent out a questionnaire to all
    member cities asking cities to list the potential projects that could
    be funded within the programme. He received about 60 project
    proposals.

    UBC has struggled for a new facility for small and medium sized
    projects between the local authorities, since the last programs
    disappeared in 1998. The UBC President has taken up the matter in many
    CBSS meetings as well as in Brussels. Mr Janusson stressed that
    "the voices from the BSR" have been heard in Brussels. On 27
    October the European Commission adopted a document named "Phare
    2000 review - Strengthening Preparations For Membership" prepared
    Mr Gunther Verheugen, EU Commissioner on Enlargement.

    Mr Verheugen introduces two new possibilities for small and medium
    sized cooperation projects between local and regional authorities. The
    first is connected to Interreg III, and the second is a new twinning
    scheme. In the BSR, Phare will finance accession country participation
    in the Interreg III B projects. Also - what is crucial for our region
    - the maritime borders in the BSR will be eligible for funding.

    Mr Janusson concluded that there will be a program for small and
    medium sized cooperation projects in the framework of Interreg III B
    and the financing of the eastern partners looks secured. The call for
    projects is to be published in September 2001.

    President Engstrom asked the Board members from Phare countries to
    influence their Ministries responsible Phare CBC to secure appropriate
    funds within Phare to enable cities to participate in the Interreg III
    B.

    Vice-President Gentvilas suggested Mr Janusson to inform cities about
    the new funding facility during the next meeting of UBC
    EU-Coordinators Network.

    8.2 Cooperation with LVRLAC - update.

    Mr Juhan Janusson informed that cooperation project between UBC and
    LVRLAC will consist of several activities directed to Lake Victoria
    cities such as: study tour for LVRLAC officials in the BSR; Internet
    installation and training; environment pedagogical centres;
    strengthening of LVRLAC secretariat; creation of LVRLAC women's
    network etc. Different actions will be coordinated by specialists from
    UBC member cities.

    The project is financed by the Swedish International Development
    Agency SIDA. The agreement between UBC and SIDA is being finalised.
    The project duration is 3 years and the budget is 1.000.000 SEK per
    year. UBC acts as consultant in the project. The consultancy fee will
    be transferred to the UBC budget. UBC has no costs in relation with
    the project.

    8.3 3rd Seminar of the UBC EU-Coordinators Network.

    The 3rd seminar of the UBC EU-Coordinators Network was held in Jēkabpils on 29-30 September 2000. The seminar was devoted to the EU
    projects, particularly fund raising and project implementation. The
    seminar was run by experienced EU consultant Mr Jan Blomstrand.

    Mr Janusson informed that Ms Karin Wessman, Kalmar, has terminated her
    work as a leader of UBC EU-Coordinators Network. Ms Charlotte Pedersen
    from Aalborg will be the new leader of the network.

    Mr Janusson also informed that presently the Technical University of
    Tallinn, Computer Technology Department for Handicapped, is working on
    the UBC EU-Coordinators network website.

    Mr Janusson reminded that the Network had three - related to each
    other - seminars so far. He indicated that most of the cities from
    Poland and Baltic States sent different person to each seminar. Mr
    Janusson recommended the cities to delegate one person (city
    EU-Coordinator) to all seminars.

    Mr Anders Engström stressed that it is extremely important for cities
    in applicant countries to have the EU Coordinator and give all
    possible support to his/her work.

    Next meeting of the UBC EU-Coordinators Network is planned to be held
    in Kotka, Finland, in spring 2001.

    8.4 Information on ISPA.

    Mr Janusson informed the Board about the new EU program ISPA -
    Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-accession. ISPA is one of
    the EU's three financial assistance programmes set up to assist the 10
    candidate countries in CEE to prepare for accession. Program supports
    infrastructure projects in the fields of transport and environment.
    ISPA's budget in the period 2000-2006 is 1.040 million Euro. The
    proposed projects must fit into a national strategy of each candidate
    country. It is up to the national coordinator (appointed by the
    government) to prioritise the projects. However the cities have also a
    possibility to turn directly to ISPA with the project proposals.

    Mr Janusson informed that he met the director of ISPA at DG REGIO Mr
    Marc Franco. Mr Franco expressed the readiness to attend the UBC Board
    meeting an give direct information on the program.

    Decision:

    The Board decided to invite a representative of ISPA directorate to
    the next Board meeting.

  9. Reports from the conferences attended by Union representatives.

    The following delegates submitted reports from the conferences where
    they represented the Union of the Baltic Cities:

    • 9th Ministerial Session of CBSS, Bergen, 21-22
      June 2000 - reported by Anders Engström
    • 24th INTA Annual Congress, Bergen, 19-23 June
      2000 - reported by Armas Lahoniitty and Cay Sevon
    • Conference on Northern Dimension, Schwerin, 1
      September 2000 - reported by Anders Engström
    • Parliamentary Conference on Cooperation in the
      BSR, Malmo, 4-5 September 2000 - reported by Juhan Janusson
    • Eurocities Seminar 'Cities meeting challenges of
      EU membership', Brussels, 26 September 2000 - reported by Juhan
      Janusson
    • Conference on Decentralised Cooperation,
      Stockholm, 17-18 October 2000 - reported by Eugenijus Gentvilas
      and Anders Engström
    • Eurocities Conference "Cities as driving
      forces for change", Leipzig, 25-27 October 2000 - reported by
      Armas Lahoniitty
    • BSSSC Conference, Parnu, 27-28 October 2000 -
      reported by Juhan Janusson

      Mrs Karin Wohlgemuth, Rostock, proposed that all member cities
      should be informed in advance about the conferences to be attended
      by UBC representatives. She also stressed that it would be very
      useful for the Board members to receive the written reports from
      the conferences before the Board meetings. The Board supported the
      proposals.

  10. Information on UBC website.

    Ms Anna Sośnicka, UBC Secretariat, made on-line
    presentation introducing the UBC internet homepage www.ubc.net.
    She presented the structure of the website ie. the links and gave
    information on statistics concerning the number of visits on
    respective links. Ms Sośnicka recommended the newest link on the
    homepage named "Documentation Centre" that includes all
    major UBC documents.

    The Board expressed its satisfaction to the UBC Secretariat in Gdańsk
    and to the Webmaster in Szczecin for maintaining the high level of the
    UBC internet homepage.

  11. Questions raised at the meeting.

    Mr Anders Engström informed about the cooperation with other
    organisations. CBSS proposed to discuss working methods, information
    routines and "common voice" towards Brussels. President
    Engström met Mr Heimsoeth, Chairman of CSO CBSS, to discuss above
    questions. UBC has also often working contacts with BSSSC, Eurocities
    and CPMR BSC.

    Mrs Lillian Westerberg informed about the "Guidelines for
    Cooperation between UBC and Eurocities East West Committee"
    prepared by Claus Schultze, Juhan Janusson and herself. The guidelines
    have been adopted by the Eurocities East West Committee. Mrs
    Westerberg suggested that UBC should also adopt this document. The
    Board decided to adopt the guidelines if there is no comments from the
    Board members within two weeks time.

    Mr Engström informed the Board about the question from CPMR BSC,
    whether CPMR could permanently participate in the UBC Executive Board
    meetings. The Board underlined that Board meetings deal with internal
    UBC matters and stressed that representatives of other organisations
    are welcome to participate in these meetings in case there is concrete
    issue to be discussed.

    Mr Risto Veivo, UBC Environmental Coordinator, informed the Board
    about the EU's Community Framework for cooperation to promote
    sustainable urban development. The framework is a four-year program to
    support European networks' work on sustainable urban development.

  12. Next Meeting of the Executive Board.

    President Engström presented the invitation of the Mayor of Cēsis, Mr
    Janis Beikmanis, to host the next meeting of the Executive Board.

    Decision:

    The Board decided to hold its 30th meeting in the City of Cēsis,
    Latvia, on 16-18 March 2001.

  13. Closing of the Meeting.

    Mr Anders Engström expressed his thanks to all participants for the
    fruitful meeting and to the City of Kolding for its warm hospitality
    and closed the 29th Meeting of the Executive Board of the Union of the
    Baltic Cities.

Mr Anders Engström  - Chairman
Mr Paweł Żaboklicki -  Secretary
Ms Lis Lykke Skov - Adjuster
Mr Peeter Tulviste - Adjuster

29th Executive Board meeting, Kolding, 4 November 2000