24th Executive Board meeting, Tartu, 28 June 1999

24th Executive Board meeting, Tartu, 28 June 1999

MINUTES FROM THE 24TH MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE

BOARD OF THE UNION OF THE BALTIC CITIES

Tartu, Estonia, 28 June 1999

 

INTRODUCTION

The 24th meeting of the Executive Board of the Union of the Baltic Cities was held on the 28 June 1999 in the City of Tartu, Estonia, upon the invitation of Mr Andrus Ansip, Mayor of Tartu.

The meeting was attended by the members of the UBC Executive Board and invited guests.

1. Opening of the meeting and adoption of the Agenda.

The 24th 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 Madis Saluveer, Head of City Government Office, on behalf of the Mayor of Tartu, welcomed all delegates and wished them the fruitful discussions and a pleasant stay in Tartu. Mr Saluveer made a brief presentation about the city of Tartu.

The meeting adopted the Agenda.

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

Mr Armas Lahoniitty, Mayor of Turku and Mr Audun Øiestad, Department Director, Bergen, were elected to check the minutes.

3. New Member Cities.

Secretary General Paweł Żaboklicki informed the Executive Board about new applications for Union membership submitted by the cities of: Chojnice and Reda (Poland), Landskrona (Sweden), Sestroretsk (Russia).

Decision:

The Board decided to accept the cities of: Chojnice, Landskrona, Reda and Sestroretsk as Members of the Union of the Baltic Cities and wished them a successful cooperation with other UBC members.

V UBC General Conference.

Organisational matters - present status.

Mr Dag Larsson, Stockholm City Councillor, once again warmly invited all member cities to participate in the Fifth General Conference of the Union of the Baltic Cities to be held in Stockholm, on 24-25 September 1999.

Mr Anders Kylberg, Project Manager, presented the final program of the conference. The first day of the conference will be devoted to the conference head theme: "European Union Enlargement in the Baltic Sea Region - the role of Cities, Regions and States". The second day - the General Assembly - will deal with internal UBC issues such as elections, reports, budget etc. Mr Kylberg informed that the conference invitations have been sent out to all member cities.

The Board encouraged all member cities to send delegations to the General Conference in Stockholm.

Budget and Membership Fees 2000-2001.

The Secretary General presented the proposals of the UBC budget and membership fees for the period 2000-2001.

Decision:

After discussion, the Board decided to forward the proposals of UBC budget and membership fees for 2000-2001 to the General Conference. The Board proposed to change the fee currency from USD to EURO.

Elections

Presidium

Decision:

The Board proposed to the General Conference the candidates to the UBC Presidium in the next two-year period ie. Mr Anders Engström, Kalmar, for the President; Mr Eugenijus Gentvilas, Klaipėda, and a representative of Turku, for the Vice-Presidents.

Executive Board

The President reminded the Board members to contact member cities in their countries and select the candidate cities to the Executive Board for the next two-year period.

Board of Audit

Decision:

The Board proposed to the General Conference the candidate cities to the Board of Audit ie. Aalborg (Denmark), Rostock (Germany), Szczecin (Poland). In case the mentioned city has been elected to the Executive Board, the city should appoint an other city from its country.

General Conference in 2001

The President reminded that at the last meeting in Pori, the Board expressed an opinion that the VI UBC General Conference in 2001 shall be held either in Klaipėda or in Rostock as both Lithuania and Germany have not yet hosted the General Conference.

Decision:

After voting the Board recommended the General Conference to hold its meeting in 2001 in Rostock, Germany and in 2003 in Klaipėda, Lithuania.

UBC Statute

The President reminded that at the last Board meeting in Pori the Board members were requested to submit proposals of amendments to the UBC Statute. The Secretariat received proposals from Aalborg, Rostock and Szczecin. Moreover the Presidium submitted a proposal which incorporates proposals from mentioned cities.

Decision:

After detailed discussion the Board adopted Presidium's proposal and decided to forward it to the General Conference.

UBC Strategy.

Mr Bartłomiej Sochański, UBC Vice-President responsible for drafting the UBC Strategy, informed that the comments submitted to the last Board meeting in Pori have been included in the document.

Decision:

After making a few small amendments the Board decided to forward the UBC Strategy document to the General Conference.

UBC Project Policy.

The President reminded that last year he appointed a working group, which aim was to draft the project policy for the UBC. The group hold three meetings and as a result the UBC Project Policy document was prepared.

Decision:

The Board adopted the document and authorised the working group to continue its work as regards points 8 and 9 of the policy.

UBC Internal Regulations.

The President informed that there is a proposal to the latest draft of Internal Regulations to include a paragraph specifying financial liabilities of the UBC and the member city hosting the: General Conference, Executive Board meeting or the Commission meeting.

Decision:

The Board decided to include the financial paragraph to the Internal Regulations.

Dr Ulrich Bauermeister, Rostock, expressed an opinion that the Board shall not formulate regulations for the General Conference which is a superior body to the Executive Board.

Decision:

The Board agreed with this opinion and authorised the Secretary General to make appropriate changes in the document.

Moreover the Board made a few small amendments in the document.

Proposals from the Commissions.

Best Environmental Practise Award.

Mr Risto Veivo, UBC Environmental Coordinator, Turku, introduced the concept of Best Environmental Practise in Baltic Cities Award. The intention of the award is to encourage member cities to develop their administration and services in innovative ways for the good of the whole municipality and its citizens. The award will be granted during the General Conference in Stockholm, in the City Hall where the Nobel Prize dinners are held. The winner will be chosen by the small award committee. The contest is open to all member cities. The deadline for applications is September 1.

Decision:

The Board endorsed the proposal and encouraged all cities active in the field of environment to apply for the award. The Board nominated Mr Mikko Jokinen, co-chairman of UBC Commission on Environment, as chairman of the award committee.

UBC LA21 Action Program.

Mr Mikko Jokinen, Turku, introduced the draft of UBC Local Agenda 21 Action Program for the coming three years 2000-2002, developed by the LA21 Working Group. Mr Jokinen stressed that the basic commitment of our organisation, as expressed in the program, is that the Union of the Baltic Cities, as a major network of cities in the Baltic Sea Region, recognises its responsibility to make our future a sustainable one. UBC has the potential and will to contribute to sustainable development of the Baltic Sea Region, for the benefit of the citizens of its member cities.

Decisions:

The Board decided:

1. To propose the program to the General Conference and to give the Commission on Environment secretariat a mandate to further develop the draft.

2. To establish UBC LA21 working group as outlined in the chapter 7.1 of the program proposal and appoint Mr Mikko Jokinen to chair it.

3. To allocate in the UBC budget 2000-2001 15.000 Euro annually for the program implementation.

4. To approve lead party responsibility over Joint Action 4 of Baltic 21.

Application from Women's Network.

Mrs Hjördis Höglund, Coordinator of UBC Women's Network applied for 3.000$ for the period of one year, to cover the travel costs to the conferences and meetings devoted to women's problems. In her application Mrs Höglund informed that the city of Sundsvall provides her with office facilities and equipment but is not able to cover the travel costs related to her work within the UBC Women's Network.

Decision:

The Board decided to grant the Women's Network Coordinator with 3.000$ for the 1 year period.

Proposals from member cities.

The President informed that he received applications for funding from three institutions in Klaipėda.

First application concerned the youth summer camp; second the international youth conference on Baltic marine environment; third the video film about the UBC member cities.

The President reminded that unfortunately UBC has no financial resources to sponsor projects proposed by individual member cities. However UBC may help to search for the institutions which have possibilities to fund projects. Also some UBC member cities may be interested to co-finance the projects, so the organisers are advised to send project proposals directly to the cities.

Decision:

The Board requested the Commissions on Education and Environment and the Project Manager to indicate funding institutions which might be able to finance mentioned projects.

The Board encouraged the member cities to give all possible help to the producers of the video film about the UBC member cities ie. help with accommodation, meals, guides, logistics etc.

Reports from the conferences attended by Union's representatives.

President Anders Engström informed that Union representatives participated in the following conferences and meetings:

  • Transfrontier cooperation for environmental protection in BSR, Baltijsk, 18 March 1999 (Bartłomiej Sochański)
  • Council of Baltic Sea States CSO Meeting , Brussels, 23 March 1999 (Anders Engström)
  • Council of Europe's Conference on Transfrontier Cooperation in the BSR, Kaliningrad, 24-25 March 1999 (Anders Engström)
  • Conference on Regional Transport Integration, Klaipėda, 15-16 April 1999 (Eugenijus Gentvilas)
  • CLRAE Conference on Local and Regional Cooperation in BSR, Kaunas, 21-23 April 1999 (Anders Engström)
  • Conference ‘Culture and Tourism in the BSR', Lübeck, 10-11 May 1999 (Michael Bouteiller)
  • HELCOM PITF Meeting, Helsinki, 18-19 May 1999 (Mikko Jokinen)
  • CBSS Ministerial Session, Palanga, 14-15 June 1999 (Anders Engström)
  • 6th Plenary Session of CLRAE, Strasbourg, 15-17 June 1999 (Bartłomiej Sochański)
  • Major Baltic Rim Cities Conference, Helsinki, 22-23 June 1999 (Michael Bouteiller)

Situation in Belarus cities

The President informed that the Belarus government authorities asked for the information about UBC and discussed the possibilities for Belarus cities to join the Union. Mr Engstrom invited Mr Mechaslau Hryb and Mr Hristofor Zhelapov, representatives of Sapieha Foundation (pro-democratic movement) from Belarus who introduced the Board with the situation of cities and regions in Belarus. Guests from Belarus described the present situation as undemocratic and informed that the local and regional authorities are virtually appointed by the government.

Decision:

The Board took note of the report and appealed for democratic reforms in Belarus. The Board authorised the President to appoint a working group which would discuss the ways how to involve Belarus cities in UBC work.

Next Meeting of the Executive Board.

The Board decided that the next meeting of the UBC Executive Board will be held in Stockholm, on the eve of the V General Conference, 23 September 1999.

Closing of the Meeting.

Mr Anders Engström expressed his thanks to all participants for the fruitful meeting and to the City of Tartu for warm hospitality and closed the 24th Meeting of the Executive Board of the Union of the Baltic Cities.

Mr Anders Engström                                             Mr Paweł Żaboklicki

Chairman                                                              Secretary

Mr Armas Lahoniitty                                             Mr Audun Oiestad

Adjuster                                                               Adjuster