9th Executive Board meeting, Palanga, 26 March 1994

9th Executive Board meeting, Palanga, 26 March 1994

MINUTES FROM THE NINTH MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE

BOARD OF THE UNION OF THE BALTIC CITIES

Palanga, Lithuania, 26 March 1994

 

INTRODUCTION

Pozarskiene from Klaipėda and Mrs Hjördis Höglund from Sundsvall were elected to check the

The ninth meeting of the Executive Board of the Union of the Baltic Cities was held on 26 March 1994 in Palanga, Lithuania.

The Meeting was attended by members of the Executive Board of the Union, representatives of Union's Working Commissions as well as invited persons.

The meeting was opened by Mr Anders Engström, the President of the Union; the welcome words were given by Mr Bronius Martinkus, Chairman of the City Council of Palanga.

Opening of the meeting and adoption of the agenda.

The Meeting adopted the agenda.

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

Mrs Nijole  minutes.

3. Work of the Commissions, projects related to the work of the Commissions.

Report from the Commission on Environment.

UBC-Helcom Project on Institutional Strengthening / Municipal Environmental Audits.

Mr Mikko Jokinen, Co-chairman of UBC Environmental Commission reported on present status of the project. Mr Jokkinen reminded that during Helcom-PITF Meeting in Brussels in November 1993, UBC submitted to PITF action plan concerning the implementation of local (municipal) level of Baltic Programme 2nd element: "Institutional Strengthening and Human Resources Development". Proposal was fully endorsed by Helcom and UBC was nominated as co-leader for implementation of 2nd element of JCP. Proposed action plan addresses mainly south-east Baltic cities where environmental actions are most needed. The action plan comprises two main elements:

A. Cooperative Programme on "Institutional Strengthening and Human Resources Development".

B. Municipal Environmental Audits (MEA).

The overall aim of element A. is upgrading the expertise and capabilities of municipal institutions and enterprises and shall be realized through series of educational activities: seminars, conferences, training etc. Municipal Environmental Audits /element B./ will be carried out in 5 eastern cities, which will connected to western partners. The main goal of audits is to characterize the condition of local environment and develop broad based environmental strategy. UBC will use twin city model for project implementation.

Mr Żaboklicki from UBC secretariat in Gdańsk, informed that secretariat has spread a questionnaire to all member cities asking for information, which activities the cities are interested to coorganize and take part. Most of the cities responded positively. From applications, the following cities were selected for MEAs: Tallinn, Liepāja, Klaipėda, Kaliningrad, Elbląg. As regards, financing of the MEA project, Mr Żaboklicki informed that Union has prepared the application to EU LIFE-programme which is to be submitted by 31 March 1994. Mr Engström added that UBC also negotiates with Nordic governments their contribution to educational part of the project.

Report on XV Meeting of Helsinki Commission, 8-11 March 1994.

Mr Mikko Jokinen, Co-chairman of UBC Environmental Commission who represented the Union at the Conference made short report from the meeting. Mr Jokinen proudly announced that during the Conference the Helsinki Commission accepted UBC application for observer status to HELCOM. In the consequence the Union will be entitled to take part in Helcom meetings and express its opinions and will be receiving official Helcom materials.

The Conference discussed the achievements on Baltic Sea environmental protection field during 20 years since the Helsinki Convention was signed in 1974. The Conference underlined the necessity to accelerate the effective implementation of HELCOM decisions and recommendations in order to further improve of Baltic Sea marine environment.

Report from the Meeting of the Commission on Telecommunication, Riga 7 Feb. 1994

Mr Andris Teikmanis, Vice-President of the Union presented a report from the meeting of the Commission on Telecommunication in Riga. Commission members from Gdańsk, Kalmar and Riga discussed the present situation in telecommunication between Baltic cities and examined possibilities of creating E-MAIL network linking UBC member cities. Mr Teikmanis informed that pilot E-MAIL connection based on Internet system was successfully established between above mentioned cities and first information were exchanged.

Mr Żaboklicki from UBC Secretariat in Gdańsk, informed the Meeting that Secretariat will be soon ready to exchange information through X.25 system and recommended the member cities to examine possibilities of receiving files through X.25.

Decision:

The Board encouraged the Commission to continue its work aimed at creation E-MAIL network between Union member cities, at the same time realizing that successful implementation of the project highly depends on extra financial resources.

Report from the Workshop of the Commission on Social Affairs, Rostock 27-28 January 1994.

Due to the fact that representatives of Social Affairs Commission - the lead cities of Rostock and Lübeck were not present at the Meeting, President of the Union, Mr Anders Engström reported from the meeting in Rostock. 28 delegates from 17 Union member cities participated in the workshop. Specialized reports on labour market situation in different countries were presented. The meeting adopted inter alia the following resolutions:

- the UBC acknowledges the need of having active policy concerning the situation on labour market in member cities;

- the UBC Commission on Social Affairs will develop a programme for an active policy concerning the situation on the labour market, proposing activities for each member country;

- a network will be developed in order to try to materialize labour market policies with the help of pilot project set up in eastern UBC member city.

Decision:

The Board approved the proposals from the meeting in Rostock and requested the cities of Rostock and Lübeck to continue the work.

Project on labour market situation in the Baltic Sea region.

Because of lack of delegations from Rostock and Lübeck this point of the Agenda was postponed to the next Executive Board Meeting.

Report from the Commission on Transportation.

Second Baltic Conference of Ministers of Transport, Kaliningrad, 24-25 Feb. 1994.

Mr Alexander Zubarev, city of Kaliningrad reported from latest Commission working meeting in Gdańsk, 18 March 1994. Commission discussed outcomes from Second Baltic Conference of Ministers of Transport of the Baltic Sea Region where Union was represented by prof. Maciej T. Krzyżanowski, Chairman of the Commission. The Conference expressed opinion that in nearest future the road traffic will become much intensive comparing with rail, so priority must be given to implementation of following motorway projects:

- Trans European Motorway North-South /TEM/ going from Gdańsk/Gdynia through Warsaw - Bratislava - Budapest to Athens/Ankara;

- Via Baltica highway linking Helsinki through Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland with southern and western Europe;

- TEM-Scandinavia highway linking Oslo/Stockholm with Trans European Motorway North-South system;

- Via Hanseatica - road connecting St. Petersburg via Narva - Kaliningrad - Gdańsk - Szczecin with Hamburg.

At the Conference prof. Krzyżanowski expressed official Union position regarding the necessity of opening Vistula Bay for international shipping service and tourism, crucial requirement for the development of cities located by the bay.

The Commission meeting in Gdańsk, bearing in mind that there is a common interest of Baltic countries to have an integrated and efficient transport system linking hinterland with Baltic ports, proposed the stimulation of closer cooperation between ports of Gdynia/Gdańsk, Kaliningrad and Klaipėda in this field.

President Engström explained that prof. Krzyżanowski couldn't personally participate in Palanga Board meeting, because at the same time he was invited to represent the Union in transport conference in Karlskrona: "The importance of the adequate transportation facilities for further development of Bleckinge and southeast Sweden".

Report from the Commission on Culture.

Mr Sławomir Szafrański from the city of Szczecin, Co-chairman of the Union Culture Commission informed the meeting about Commission plans and activities. Following the Action Plan adopted at II UBC General Conference in Kaliningrad and Working Meeting of the Commission in Visby (January 1994), currently Commission is preparing a questionnaire to all member cities aimed at obtaining the information about international annual culture events and festivals taking place in the cities. The questionnaire will also collect information about different culture institutions in member cities. After receiving all informations, the Commission together with Union Secretariat will publish a catalogue/guide of all international culture events taking place annually within Baltic Sea region.

Old Boats Race project.

Mr Żaboklicki informed the meeting about initiative from the society of sailors in Gdańsk submitted to the UBC regarding organization of yearly historical yachting event - "Old Boats Race" around the Baltic Sea cities, with aim to integrate Baltic society of sailors. The idea is that itinerary of the race will be adjusted to other events taking place in the cities (the Days of the City, anniversaries, festivals). While the flotilla is staying at the cities, additional events may be organized: exhibitions, song festivals, seminars on ecology etc. The race would also have a sport character, the boats would be classified in some groups: fishing boats, yachts, replicas of old ships.

Decision:

The Board considered the idea of organizing "Old Boats Race" as very interesting, authorized the Secretariat to spread the information about project among UBC members and encouraged interested cities to organize the event.

Preparations to the II UBC International Art&Culture Festival, Kaliningrad, 18 - 25 June 1994.

Mrs Svetlana Vokaltchuk from Kaliningrad reported to the meeting about present status of preparations to the festival. Mrs Vokaltchuk informed that all preparational works are proceeding in accordance with the adopted schedule; detailed programme of the festival is prepared and will be soon distributed among Union member cities. She insisted that not all the cities responded yet to the invitation for the festival. Mrs Vokaltchuk also reminded that yacht carrying "Festival Fire" will leave Kaliningrad on 13 May and call to following ports: Klaipėda, Liepāja, Tallinn, Turku, Stockholm, Kalmar, Karlskrona, Nykøbing F., Rostock, Gdynia, Baltijsk and is expected back in Kaliningrad on the eve of festival opening.

Decision:

The Board urged all member cities to provide as soon as possible city of Kaliningrad and UBC Secretariat with the names of culture groups selected to take part in the II UBC International Art&Culture Festival in Kaliningrad.

New UBC Member Cities

Mr Żaboklicki informed the Executive Board about new applications for Union Membership as follows:

- Copenhagen (Denmark)

- Køge (Denmark)

- Haapsalu (Estonia)

- Kaunas (Lithuania)

- Panevėžys (Lithuania)

- Siauliai (Lithuania)

- Vilnius (Lithuania)

- Oskarshamn (Sweden)

Additionally Mr Engström informed that city of Pori from Finland also expressed interest to join the Union. Presently, the official decision of Pori City Council, as regards membership in the Union is expected.

Decision:

The Board decided to accept above mentioned cities as the Members of the Union of the Baltic Cities and wished them successful cooperation with remaining UBC members. The number of Union member cities reached the figure of 50.

Project - Vision and Strategies 2010 around the Baltic

II Conference of Ministers for Spatial Planning, Gdańsk 14-15 December 1993

Mr Żaboklicki from UBC Secretariat who represented the Union at the Conference reported that Ministers for Spatial Planning of Baltic countries gathered in Gdańsk to discuss interim report on "Vision and Strategies around the Baltic 2010" project aimed at creation of joint spatial planning policy within Baltic Sea region. Mr Żaboklicki in his address to the Conference introduced Union of the Baltic Cities and described Union projects having regional aspect. The Conference expressed its interest to the Union activities within Baltic region and suggested the "Baltic Vision 2010" coordinators to invite Union to common work.

UBC participation in "Baltic Vision 2010" project.

Mr Hans Duned from Kalmar reported to the Meeting that project coordinators contacted the President Anders Engström with request for Union input to the project. The Union has been asked to make its comments on interim "Vision and Strategies around the Baltic 2010" report. Mr Engström also reported that he received the questionnaire from Swedish Ministry concerning UBC input to Geographic Information System GIS (part of Baltic Vision Project). Mr Engström informed that the questionnaire will be returned to the Ministry after his consultations with selected Union member cities.

Decision:

The Board authorized the Union Commissions to prepare their opinions about report "Vision and Strategies around the Baltic 2010" and send them to Kalmar. The city of Kalmar was requested to provide the Union Commissions with the mentioned report if necessary.

Financial report from the year 1993, UBC budget for 1994.

Mr Paweł Żaboklicki from Union Secretariat presented the financial draft report of the Union for the year 1993 and budget proposal for 1994.

In 1993 the Union income from membership fees paid by western and polish member cities equaled to 998.822.400,- PLZ, Union expenditures in the same period totaled 802.782.650 PLZ.

The budget proposal for 1994 was made on prerequisite that Union incomes and expenditure will be comparable to the ones from 1993. Expected income from membership fees totals 59.000 USD, and shall cover the following expenses: meetings organization, travels and conference fees for President and secretariat, communication (phones, fax, mail), office maintenance and materials, publications.

Decisions:

1/ The Board decided that in 1994 eastern Union member cities (from Russia and Baltic Republics) shall pay up to 1.000,- USD as their membership fee (during first two years of Union activity mentioned cities were exempted from paying membership fee).

2/ To strengthen the work of Union working Commissions the Board assigned in 1994 2.000,- USD to each Commission; the money can be used for meetings organization, travels etc.

Other matters.

Preparation to the course on Social Welfare, Kalmar 15-21 May 1994.

Mr Anders Engström informed the meeting that following cities were selected to send their representatives to the seminar: Pärnu, Ventspils, Panevėžys, Kaliningrad, Łeba, Gdańsk, Rostock.

Participants will learn about labour market policies, social insurance system, elderly people care. Through lectures and study visits, the participants will receive a complete picture of Swedish social welfare system.

Seminar on public transport in Kalmar - report on present status.

Mr Anders Engström informed the Board members that city of Kalmar forwarded an application to Swedish governmental agency BITS to obtain the resources for organization of the seminar directed to eastern Baltic countries, concerning public transportation services systems in Nordic countries. First pilot seminar will be addressed to politicians and heads of public transport departments from city and state authorities in Lithuania. Government of Lithuania already expressed its strong support to the project. If the project succeeds, the analogical seminars will be organized for the cities from other eastern Baltic countries.

Report from Hansa Business Days, Kiel, 15-16 March 1994.

Mr Anders Engström who represented the Union in Kiel informed that event was organized by Baltic Sea Chamber of Commerce (BCCA) and consisted of trade exhibitions, various seminars on business, transportation etc, round table discussions. Mr Engström presented a scope of UBC activities within Baltic Sea region and discussed possibilities for Union cooperation with other organizations active in the region: BCCA, Baltic Ports, Baltic Chamber of Tourism, Nordic Council.

Project concerning International UBC Economic Exhibition

Mr Paweł Żaboklicki presented a proposal submitted by the city of Gdynia together with World Trade Centre in Gdynia to organize the annual event - International Economical Exhibition of the Union of the Baltic Cities, proposing that first exhibition would take place in Gdynia in 1995. The organizers expect that such Exhibition will strengthen cooperation between Union member cities through:

- exchange of scientific, technical and cultural achievements and experience,

- presentation of offers from manufacture, service, trade companies aimed at finding new markets and mutual investment possibilities,

- direct contacts between firms enabling contract arrangements and creation of joint ventures,

- finding out new trends in mutual cooperation.

Decision:

The Board warmly supported the idea of creation annual UBC Economic Exhibition and authorized the city of Gdynia jointly with WTC to organize first event in 1995. Although Union financial participation in the project is not possible, the Board offered Union assistance to the organizers f.ex. through availing Union network of contacts. The Board authorized the President to sign a letter of intent between the Union and WTC in Gdynia concerning the organization of Exhibition. The Meeting encouraged all UBC member cities to consider active particiation in First UBC International Economic Exhibition, Gdynia 1995.

Environmental Exhibition & Conference in Sundsvall, 19-22 May 1994 - status of preparation

Mrs Hjördis Höglund presented a programme of the Conference in Sundsvall and informed that in combination with seminars, an eco-clothes fashion show and environmentally engaged top class entertainers, the organizers intend to present the work of environment organizations, environment technology and environment products, the way to the sustainable society. Mrs also remark that sponsors are still welcome to contribute to the event.

Statement of the city of Elbąlg on opening the Vistula Bay for free navigation.

Mr Paweł Żaboklicki presented a statement from the city of Elbląg concerning the necessity of opening the Baltijsk Strait for free navigation. The statement expresses the opinion that the Vistula Bay should have the status of internal sea area with the free access for all countries and transition through the Baltijsk Strait should have the similar character as the crossing through the Straits of Bosfor, Gibraltar, Skagerrak etc.

The Board reminded that this issue was already treated at 8th UBC Executive Board Meeting in Tallinn, 27 November 1993. Following the recommendations from Union Commission on Transportation and statements from the cities of Kaliningrad and Baltijsk, Executive Board Meeting in Tallinn issued the Resolution appealing for the opening of Vistula Bay area for international water transportation and tourism, having in mind the fact, that development of cities located by the Bay highly depends on unlimited transport possibilities in the area.

The Resolution was personally forwarded by Union President to Mr Youri Matochkin, Governor of Kaliningrad Region, who was also asked to pass the Resolution to government of Russia. The Resolution was also sent to Polish government.

Film project "The World of the Baltic Sea".

Mr Żaboklicki reported that film making company Video Studio Gdańsk submitted a proposal of making documentary film series entitled "The World of the Baltic Sea". The goal of the picture is to show the most important problems of the Baltic Sea area.

The series will consist of 6 parts. First three parts will present the origin and evaluation of the Baltic, the wildlife of the seacoast and deep waters. Parts 4-6 of the series will try to describe the man's activity at the Baltic - origin of civilization at the sea, threats for the sea and coastal ecosystems, that man carries with himself, finally will show a new way of thinking how to preserve Baltic Sea through introducing the activities of e.g. Greenpeace, Helcom and Union of the Baltic Cities.

Decision:

The Board found the idea of making such a film series as very interesting and encouraged the member cities in which the shooting will take place to help the film crew with guide, transportation, accommodation, contacts etc.

Additionally the following issues have been taken up.

3rd Parliamentary Conference on Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Area, Warsaw 5-6 May 1994.

President Anders Engström reported, that he received the invitation from Presidium of Parliament of the Republic of Poland to take part in Parliamentary Conference on Cooperation in the Baltic Sea area, which he warmly accepted. Mr Engström also informed that conference organizers invited him to make a presentation during the conference introducing UBC activities within the Baltic region.

Business and Culture Information Centre "Capitol" in Klaipėda.

Representative of the city of Klaipėda informed the Meeting about establishing Business and Culture Information Centre "Capitol" in Klaipėda. The centre was created to serve inter alia the following purposes:

- development of cultural and business contacts between the Nordic, Baltic and European countries,

- spreading information about cultural and economical activities of mentioned countries,

- organization of seminars, exhibitions, festivals and other events,

- organization of information, telecommunication and tourism services

- development of commercial, music, cinematographic and art relationships between various groups societies etc.

Decision:

The Board encouraged the member cities to urge similar centres in their cities to contact centre in Klaipeda in order to cooperate.

Next Meeting of the Executive Board.

Decision:

Following the invitation from the city of Liepāja, the Board decided that next Meeting of the UBC Executive Board will be held in Septemer/October 1994 in Liepāja, Lithuania. The exact date of the meeting will be decided later on.

Closing of the Meeting.

The Chairman of the Meeting, Mr Anders Engström, expressed his thanks to the City of Palanga for the hosting of the delegation and closed the ninth Meeting of Executive Board of the Union of the Baltic Cities.

Mr Anders Engström                              Mrs Nijole Pozarskiene

Chairman                                               Adjuster

Mr Paweł Żaboklicki                               Mrs Hjördis Höglund

Acting Secretary                                   Adjuster