UBC Homepage Bulletins Main Page Bulletin 1/99 Contents

Pawel Zaboklicki

Risto Veivo
Ewa Kurjata
Iwona Smigerska Belczak
Union of the
Baltic Cities
"Green Gate"
Dlugi Targ 24
PL-80-828 Gdansk
+48 58 3017637
Don Krug
Ewa Kurjata
Materials for the next issue must be sent by 25 May 1999
"Sail" painted by Nerijus Naujokas from Klaipeda


Dear UBC Friends,

One of the strategic projects of the UBC is to contribute strongly to the implementation of Agenda 21 in the Baltic Sea Region. As you can see in this issue of the Baltic Cities Bulletin, there are plenty of excellent Local Agenda 21 activities in our member cities. It also is very encouraging, that the level of these activities is very high both in the "Eastern" and "Western" member cities. Local Agenda 21 definitely is one of the most practical ways for local actors to contribute to sustainable development. Moreover, in the case of many UBC member cities, it can also be conceived as a positive contribution to international integration and EU approach.

During the recent years, the UBC has indeed become one of the driving forces of Local Agenda 21 work in Northern Europe. We play a central role in the implementation of the Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region (Baltic 21) and in the Baltic Local Agenda 21 Forum Network. Both our national governments and the European Commission have recognised our achievements and abilities, and also supported our activities financially.

Moreover, we are now preparing our own UBC Local Agenda 21 Programme. The last meeting organised on this programme in Lübeck 15-16 January gathered together 40 participants from the member cities. This active participation indicates a great interest in our cities. The necessary initiating force in this work has been the Commission on Environment. However, Local Agenda 21 never can be a matter of just one sector or one commission, and the intention now is to continue the work in co-operation with the Commission on Health and Social Affairs and the other commissions as well.

Recently, we have also made many important steps in other fields. Our good organization, the increasing quality of our activities and the rising number of member cities have had many positive effects. I have experienced that organisations and authorities listen to us with rising attention. This is of course very encouraging.

In recent time, we have started activities I hope will lead to significant benefit for our cities. One example is the new EU Co-ordinators Network. We will organise activities to prepare the member cities for the enlargement of EU through this network.

I also believe that an organised co-operation between the major networks and organisations on different levels in the Baltic Sea Region is finding its forms. UBC initiated such co-operation at our last General Conference in Gdansk. I have attended two meetings with the BSR organisations, at the invitation of Council of Baltic Sea States. I think that the first concrete results of the co-operation will be noticeable soon, for example in connection with a joint meeting in Brussels soon.

The situation a few months ago after the last submission date of BSPF was rather discouraging. The perspective for our Polish and Baltic member cities to participate in EU projects was rather poor. However, many EU programs have been opened or will be opened during 1999 for participation for cities in accession countries. I can mention Daphne, Anima, Kaleidoscope, several programs for Business Development Projects and others. I think this is a very encouraging development.

Finally I would like to invite you all to the UBC fifth General Conference 24-25 September 1999 which will be held in the beautiful city of Stockholm. The theme this time is "EU Enlargement Process in the Baltic Sea Region", which is a very important question for all of us.

Anders Engström
UBC President
Kalmar, March 1999

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