Dear UBC Friends,
have just met in Kristiansand at the very successful
X UBC General Conference.
Interesting speeches delivered
during the first day of the conference made up a picture
of challenges in implementing the EU Strategy for
the Baltic Sea Region. We realize that there is a
need for political commitment, active involvement
and initiative. The UBC's great experience in working
with multiple partners is a solid basis to take part
in the realization of the EU Strategy. I encourage
the UBC member cities and commissions to contribute
to the EU Strategy implementation through active participation
in the flagship projects.
Climate and economic issues
as well as the other problems and challenges were
in focus during the four thematic workshops. The presentations
delivered were a great starting point for further
discussions that led to concrete ideas and solutions
for the cities.The outstanding involvement of the
cities in the workshops'discussions was highly appreciated.
Making use of the potential
of the EU Strategy, the cities have to face climate
and economic problems at the same time. The Baltic
Sea Region has been affected by the economic and financial
crisis. However, this situation seems to be an opportunity
to rethink the current policies and development strategies.
This issue of the Baltic Cities Bulletin shows that
the crisis may be a kick-off to revise the traditional
model of urban economy concentrated rather on short-term
It is impressive how the
UBC cities, though not without difficulties, deal
with the negative effects of the recession. They try
to reforge the problems into the chance and opportunity.
As a result the new urban strategies focusing on people's
needs and desires, environmental conservation, and
finally, long-term investments, are being implemented.
Moreover, much more reasonable energy policy of the
municipalities is now in focus. Saving energy is saving
The strength of the cities
is also their ability to cooperate. The 10th
General Conference adopted a new, revised UBC Strategy
for the period of 2010 - 2015 entitled 'Cities for
a Sustainable and Prosperous Baltic Sea Region' which
sets the ambitious goals. In the new Strategy the
UBC and its member cities acknowledge the need for
renewing and streamlining of internal structures and
We have a lotto do in the
nearest future. I believe we can work in even more
effective way for the whole region and use the full
potential which the Baltic Sea Region cities possess.
With Baltic Sea greetings,
Per Bodker Andersen
President of UBC
Kolding, November 2009