GDANSK, February 16-17, 2011
The Second Working Meeting on Implementation of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region was held in Gdansk, Poland on 16-17 February 2011.
More than 160 representatives of the national and regional development programmes, European Fisheries Fund and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development programmes and the European Commission, Priority Area Coordinators, Horizontal Action Leaders and the National Contact Points of the EUSBSR participated in the meeting. Several other institutions were invited to take part and to share the experience gained.
On 8 December 2010 the European Commission adopted the Action Plan and Communication for the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region. The representatives of the National Contact Points and the Priority Areas of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) were participating in the meeting to share the ideas on the macro-regional strategy implementation and learn about the practical experience gained in implementation of the EUSBSR.
The meeting was aimed at strengthening existing cooperation and to build-up new links between the stakeholders of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) to support more effective implementation.
High level representatives: Mr José Palma Andrés, Director of the European Commission Directorate General for Regional Policy, Mr Maciej Lisicki, Vice-Mayor of the City Council of Gdansk, Mr Mieczysław Struk, Marshal of Pomorskie Voivodeship and Mr Artur Harazim representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland acting as the National Contact Point in Poland of the EUSBSR, welcomed the participants of the meeting. The key notes on the challenges of the EUSBSR implementation, financial engineering and linking of existing funding sources were presented by different invited experts (Mr Ole Norrback, Honorary Minister of Finland, Mr Alexander Schenk, Special Advisor of the Ministry of Finance of Sweden, representative of the European Investment Bank, Mr Graham Cope, Head of Region – Northern Europe of the Regional Business Development of the European Investment Fund and Ms Sheila Maxwell, external expert of INTERACT programme).
The stakeholders of the macro-regional strategies (EUSBSR and EUSDR) had an opportunity to define the key challenges they are facing and to discuss the next steps to be taken for the success of the macro-regional strategies’ implementation. The concept of financial engineering and opportunities to link the existing financial sources to the implementation of the Priority Areas of both macro-regional strategies gave thoughts for the future.
Key words highlighted during the Second Working Meeting on Implementation of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region are – cooperation; networking; funding, stakeholders involvement and political commitment.
Just by joining the efforts of different stakeholder groups the macro-regional strategies could present practical results and success!