Photo: Lars Godbolt, BSSSC.
BSSSC last Board Meeting of 2017 held in Drammen, Buskerud County, Norway
Yesterday, a very fruitful BSSSC Board Meeting included amongst others, support for a continuous strong EU Cohesion Policy post 2020, support for UBC Appeal on Tackling Rising Populism and Euroscepticism, and the adaption of BSSSC paper on subsidiarity and democracy.
Twenty five participants from the countries of Norway, Estonia, Germany, Russia, Finland and Poland were present at the last BSSSC Board Meeting of 2017.
- I am very proud to host this meeting and to show all the dedicated members our beautiful Buskerud County. BSSSC is becoming a good political organization in Europe that actively engages in lobbying in democracy, politics, culture and education, says Roger Ryberg, BSSSC Chairman and Regional Mayor of Buskerud County.
- I will also emphasize that our youth initiative is unique in the European context, and the youth contributes a lot! says Mr Ryberg.
The Board Meeting started with a presentation by Buskerud County Director of development, Kristian Thowsen. He introduced the work of Buskerud County and how they strive at sustainable development. He was followed by Per Mannes from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who introduced the work of the Norwegian Chairmanship of the Nordic Council of Ministers and funding opportunities available through the EEA grants.
EUSBSR (EU strategy for the Baltic Sea Region) Annual Forum 2019
The BSSSC has been approached by Poland and asked if we want to become partner in the EUSBSR Annual Forum 2019. The forum will take place in Gdansk and the Pomeranian Region will be Lead Partner. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be an associated partner. In addition, the Baltic Development Forum (BDF) considers joining the project as partner. The Board considers this a very good opportunity and decided to proceed with an application to join as a partner in arranging the EUSBSR Forum in 2019.
Support for #cohesionalliance
The Board agreed to support the initiative called #cohesionalliance. The #CohesionAlliance is a coalition of those who believe that EU cohesion policy must continue to be a pillar of the EU's future. The Alliance was created through cooperation between the leading European associations of cities and regions and the European Committee of the Regions. It demands that the EU budget after 2020 makes cohesion policy stronger, more effective, visible and available for every region in the European Union.
- We are an organization that is in good contact with the EU leadership, especially the regional committee, and we ensure that there is a great deal of participation in the debate about future funds, says Mr Ryberg.
- It is huge money to be redistributed. We want to participate in this, I can assure, he continues.
Currently worth one third of the EU budget, the EU's cohesion policy reduces regional disparities, creates jobs, opens new business opportunities and addresses major global issues such as climate change and migration. In these days, the EU budget after 2020 is discussed and the EU cohesion policy is under pressure. BSSSC is convinced that cohesion policy’s prominent role among EU policies and also within the future Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) must be maintained beyond 2020.
You may also read our paper and statement on cohesion policy post 2020, written in February 2017.
Support for UBC (Union of Baltic Cities) resolution Appeal on Tackling Rising Populism and Euroscepticism
During the XIV UBC General Conference in Växjö, Sweden, 24-27 October 2017, 230 representatives from cities, institutions and organisations around the Baltic Sea Region (BSR), endorsed an appeal on tackling rising populism and Euroscepticism. Due to the advocacy of democracy, understanding and cross-border cooperation in our Work Plan, and our close cooperation with the UBC, the BSSSC Board decided to support this appeal by issuing a letter of support.
The board also agreed upon the following dates in 2018:
BSSSC Board Meetings
6 March: Stockholm, Sweden
22 – 23 May: Kaliningrad, Russia
10 September: Gdansk, Poland
28 – 29 November: Copenhagen, Denmark
BSSSC youth events
18-20 April: Häme, Finland
8-10 September: Gdansk, Poland
The BSSSC would like to thank Buskerud County for being great hosts for our Board Meeting.
Board Meeting minutes will be posted on our website first part of January 2018.
Sari Rautio, is the newly appointed BSSSC Board Member of the Regional Council of Häme, Finland.
Photo: Lars Godbolt, BSSSC.