Swedish gvernment has welcomed the initiatives by the European Parliament and the Council of the Baltic Sea States to work towards the development of a Baltic Sea Strategy with a view to its upcoming EU Presidency in the second half of 2009. To see the text, please go to Non-Paper
Monday 13th August 2007 the Water Forum organised a Water Seminar in Halltorps Gästgiveri on the Swedish island Öland, with the participation of around 60 representatives from the 8 member regions of Euroregion Baltic (ERB). Mr Bernt Johnsson, ERB President, and Mayor Roger Kaliff from the City of Kalmar, opened the seminar.
The coordinator of Water Forum, Ms Carolina Gunnarsson from Kalmar Region, then introduced the Water Forum network, the objectives, main actors, the core croup and current projects under development: Modern Water Management, Environmental adopted Farming and a study of climate change and its correlation to water issues.
Mr Boris Chubarenko, Head of Laboratory for Coastal System Study in Kaliningrad Region, presented the current situation and ongoing activities in the Kaliningrad Region, as for river basin management, databases, public awareness and participation.
Mr Niklas Holmgren from the Swedish Water Authority of the South Baltic Water Drainage Basin, presented the current activities as regards the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) in Sweden.
Finally, Ms Anna Thore from the LEADER+ Local Action Group “Kustlandet” in the northern part of Kalmar Region presented their activities and practical work with the coastal waters, fighting problems relating to pollution, the outflow of nutrients, poisoning algaes etc.
ERB Board met in Kalmar on 14th August 2007 on the Swedish island of Oland. The meeting followed the ERB Water Forum that took place the day before, gathering about 60 representatives of regional authorities, water management boards, experts and consultancies.
The Board discussed the implementation of the ERB Strategy for 2007 and 2008, including youth and financial aspects of the cooperation, as well as the status of the Seagull II project. Invitations were also announced to the international scientific-methodical Conference On Regional Problems conference in Klaipeda and the International Business Forum in Kaliningrad.
Following an internal debate, ERB Executive Board agreed on a joint position towards towards the European Commission Green Paper on a Future Maritime Policy for the European Union. Please, go to: Position Paper
Council of the Baltic Sea States adopted a declaration calling for the the development of the Baltic Sea Strategy. To see the text, please go to Declaration
Thursday 21 June 2007 from 11:00 CET: Core Group on-line meeting (Marratech system)
Friday 29 June 2007: Deadline for expression of interests to the first draft project distributed 7 June 2007
Monday 13 August 2007: Water Forum Core Group meeting and seminar in Kalmar Region, Sweden
Tuesday 14 August 2007: Project partner meeting in Kalmar Region, Sweden
ERB Board met in Vilnius following a two-day study visit to Lithuania, including meetings at the Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Vilnius, at Euroregio Sesupe Office in Siakai and at Euroregion Nemunas Office in Mariampole. For the minutes of the meeting, please go to: Minutes
Around 80 of the 120 participants at the ERB Youth Conference 20 April 2007 in Elblag were young people from the Danish, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian and Swedish regions in Euroregion Baltic (ERB). They were welcomed by Deputy Mayor Mr Artur Zielinski from City of Elblag, where the Conference took place in the restored Old Library. Marshal, Mr Jacek Protas welcomed on behalf of the Warmia-Mazury Region. ERB President Bernt Johnson introduced the ERB Executive Board and some of the national representatives, followed up by Mr Jan Marek Ziolkowski from the EU Representation in Warsaw, who introduced the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008.
The Active Youth and Lifelong Learning programmes 2007-2013 were presented, before the participants got a nice Polish lunch and then divided themselves into the three workshops focusing on 1) Environment, 2) Intercultural dialogue and 3) Democratic participation.
After three hours of hard work and a short closing session, the programme included a great evening dinner, music, dance etc.
Lot of aspects were discussed during the conference and especially in the workshops. The ERB Executive Board will now follow up at the next Board meeting to take place in Vilnius 2 June 2007. Vice President Per Ole Petersen in his closing speech indicated that a Youth Board will be established later this year, and will get a full mandate within the ERB Board and Council. A Youth weblog, representation in the 8 current ERB networks and lot of other ideas will now be discussed and concluded in the process to follow.
Photos from Eva-Lisa Ahnström, Europa Direkt Blekinge: Photos
The ERB Executive Board today met in Elblag, under the chairmanship of the new ERB President, Bernth Johnson. A main issue was the ERB Youth Conference held the following day in Elblag. The Board agreed on a four step plan for the further work to better integrate the Youth in the ERB work and development: 1) ERB Youth Conference 20 – 21 April, 2) Evalutation at the next Board meeting in Vilnius 2 June 2007, 3) Agreeing on the mandate of a Youth structure within ERB including financial means, to be discussed at the Board meeting in Kalmar 13 August 4) Start up of an ERB Youth structure at the next Council meeting in Gdansk in December 2007.
The Board also focused on the current debate within EU on a future Maritime Policy. Based on a presentation by Niels Chresten Andersen from Bornholm, the Board agreed to establish a Task Force lead by Mr Bo Löfgren from Blekinge Region, to prepare an ERB position to the next Board meeting in Vilnius 2 June 2007.
Two of the ERB networks reported about their activities to the Board: the Rural Development Network by its expert Mariana Gomez Johannesson from Kronoberg Region, and the Tourism Development Network by its expert Jacek Zdrojewski from Pomerania Region. Both networks are in a very solid progress in order to prepare concrete projects.
At the Council meeting today in Karlskrona Bernth Johnson from Blekinge Region today was appointed as the new President of Euroregion Baltic and will replace Mikhail Pluhin from Kaliningrad Region. As a new Vice President was appointed Per Ole Petersen from Bornholm.
The new President presented a two-year strategy, prepared by Blekinge and Bornholm, and recommended by the Executive Board. The strategy includes five objectives: 1) Improving the institutional capacity; 2) Strategic and visible management; 3) Broader anchoring of the cooperation; 4) More involvement of the Youth; 5) Social and economic integration. The strategy was unanimously adopted by the Council. See: ERB Strategy 2007-2008
The Council asked the Executive Board to prepare a position to the Green Paper on a future maritime policy for the European Union. The Green Paper was launched by the European Commission in June 2006 and the consultation period runs until the end of June 2007.
The Council adopted two resolutions. The first one on border crossing issues, which was forwarded to the Border Crossing Conference organised the following day in Karlskrona (See: Border Crossing Resolution)
The second resolution gave support to two “Motorways of the Sea” projects: “Motorways of the Sea, Karlskrona – Gdynia” and “Motorways of the Sea, Klaipeda – Karlshamn”. (See: Motorways of the Sea Resoluion)