The meeting of the Council of the Euroregion Baltic took place in Kosta, Sweden between 28-29th October 2010. The meeting was of special importance to the future of ERB as it marked the completion of the cooperation review process which had started in October 2009 and continued throughout 2010. The highlights of the process included the adoption of the cooperation review roadmap by the Council in March, ERB Stakeholder Conference in June, anchoring process in the member organisations in July and August, and the ERB Board meeting in Copenhagen in September.
The main goal of this process was to draw on successful experiences and help the organisation move into a new phase where it would become a more dynamic tool to tackle common challenges observed by its members, and a strengthened political leverage in the cross-border cooperation of the Baltic Sea Region.
The Council concluded the cooperation review process with a series of decisions by adopting the following strategic documents. The ERB 2020 Agenda is the most important document, setting out new goals of ERB cooperation until 2020 and detailing three strategic focus areas: lobby activities, strategic actions, and exchange activities. The second important document adopted by the Council is the ERB Statutes which provides the organisation with a new organisational structure. According to the provisions of the Statutes, the ERB Executive Board is now the ERB’s highest authority with decision-taking power concerning all activities within the Euroregion (ERB Council has been dismantled). The Statutes also strengthen the role of the ERB President who chairs the Executive Board and is the ERB’s highest-ranking representative able to act on behalf of the Board and represent the ERB externally. The third important change is the abolishment of the ERB Working Groups. Instead, the Executive Board will have the authority to establish task forces which will be able to operate in accordance with the Terms of Reference specifying clear objectives, composition, time framework and expected outputs.
During the meeting in Kosta the ERB Council adopted the Action Plan for 2010 – 2011 and established four ERB task forces: on EU Cohesion Policy (responsible for monitoring the preparation of the future EU Cohesion Policy and promoting a greater role of its Objective 3 – European Territorial Cooperation), on EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Strategy), on ERB Annual Forum of Stakeholders (responsible for the organisation of the Annual Forum), and finally, on ERB Joint Project (in charge of investigating a potential joint project that would be focused on the implementation of the ERB 2020 Agenda and provide added value for all member organisations).
ERB Council also debated on ERB’s role in the forthcoming EU Cohesion Policy. The participants of the debate gave their views on issues such as the availability of structural funds after 2013, the role of the INTERREG programmes in the next programme period 2014-2020, and the future of the South Baltic Cross-border Cooperation Programme.
You will find the photographs from the last ERB Council meeting in the Gallery.