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All photos: Martin Rümmelein, BSSSC Youth Board Member. 

Summary of first BSSSC Board Meeting 2019

The meeting was held in Hyvinkää, Finland February 8. Main points on the agenda were revision of the BSSSC strategy, ongoing lobbying on the EUs multiannual financial framework and meeting with European Committee of the Regions.

20. February 2019

The meeting was opened by BSSSC Chairman Roger Ryberg. He opened by giving his condolences to our polish partners.

- We were all moved by the terrible murder of the popular Mayor of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz. Being an elected politician means to be a public person in contact with the people. In Europe we need more open and transparent contact between politicians and citizens – not less. We have to continue to work for openness, dialog and democracy – and not let this kind of hate crime allow for bigger distances between politics and people. 


Update on the Committee of the Regions work on the sustainable development goals (SDGs)

Vice-president of the Committee of the Regions, Markku Markkula was present at the Board Meeting. He updated the Board on issues of sustainability. Mr. Markkula emphasised the need to promote sustainable development in the Baltic Sea Region, and it is important to make the business communities show how they implement their work towards these goals. He said the elevator and service company Kone, located in Hyvinkää, Finland is one example of how SDGs are implemented in a business-model. The 25 + 5 SDGs Cities Leadership Platform in the United Nations is another example of an initiative towards actively achieving the goals. The Finish city of Espoo and the Norwegian capital, Oslo are participating in this initiative, said Mr. Markkula.

Markkula also mentioned the recently published EU reflection paper on how to reach the SDGs. It focuses on the importance of horizontal enablers when reaching the SDGs. The Committee of the Regions is actively working on issues related to the SDGs both from an economic and an environmental angle. They are organising a big summit for regions and cities in Bucharest in March 2019. It is important that the ambition level needs to be higher than the Paris agreement. The Finnish EU Presidency has an opportunity to influence the future implementation with regard to the SDGs. It is important to have a bottom-up approach in order to achieve these goals. Mr. Markkula then quoted Mr. Timmermans who has stated; “Sustainable development starts and ends with people, it is about making our economy and society sustainable and prosperous at the same time.”

Future of the BSSSC and other issues

On February 7 the BSSSC Board Members and Board Civil had a workshop on the future of the BSSSC. Main viewpoints were that there is a need to sharpen the profile of the BSSSC. Strong sides of BSSSC mentioned were people-to-people contact, networking opportunities and the creation of common political statements. It was agreed to make a questionnaire and to follow-up the strategic work at our next Board Meeting in Latvia, 9-10 May.

At the Board Meeting it was also agreed to create another paper on the statement on the next multi-annual financial framework of the EU and continue our work on lobbying on the direction of the revision of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. A BSSSC ad hoc Working Group on the revision process of the EUSBSR Action Plan was also established. The Board were also given an update on the BSSSC Annual Conference in Klaipeda, Lithuania 18-20 September, and on the EUSBSR Annual Forum June 11-12, and the Baltic Youth Camp 2019 June 8-11. Full minutes from the meeting will be posted after our next Board Meeting in Cesis, Latvia, May 10.

The hosting region kindly invited BSSSC Board Members to the Lahti Games on Saturday as well - with Nordic Combined, Ski sprint and ski flying as highlights. The BSSSC secretariat thanks the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region for being such wonderful hosts.

Notable BSSSC events 2019

  •  BSSSC Board Meeting Cesis, Latvia, May 8-9

  •  The Baltic Sea Region Youth Camp June 8-11

  •  The EUSBSR Annual Forum June 12-13

  •  The BSSSC Youth event in Klaipeda September 17-18 

  •  The BSSSC Annual Conference in Klaipeda September 18-19

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