Dear UBC colleagues,
It can be hard to grasp that this year is already slowly coming to an end, and the world today is not the same as it was in the beginning of 2022. The pressing uncertainty can endanger democracies, but to quote a speaker at this year’s EUSBSR Annual Forum in Lappeenranta, “the Baltic Sea Region has incredible potential for renewable energies, stable democracies – let’s make it happen”. The Forum, together with other events and activities of this year, vividly emphasized that the shared spirit of cooperation in our region is stronger than ever.
The autumn brought us even more good news: the results from the first Interreg BSR Programme call revealed that we got two projects approved! The EMPEREST project will improve the quality of our regional waters and BALTIPLAST will reduce plastic waste in our cities. Now we are eagerly waiting to kick them off in the beginning of 2023. As the second call for funding is also open now, we continue preparing proposals for sustainable mobility and climate adaptation together with our member cities.
Already by the end of summer, our Secretariat has regained its full coordination team. With Esther back on board, we – Esther and Agnieszka – now share the coordination tasks, and together with Mariia Andreeva, our communications coordinator, create a strong team to plan and implement all our commission’s activities. The project coordination team of course continues to support the development and implementation of projects.
Looking into the next year, we are currently planning the activities for 2023 and besides our well-established formats, like the UBC TALKS webinars and publications, we are preparing a face-to-face Commission meeting in the autumn 2023 and have many new ideas for exchange and cooperation between member cities. More about this will come in the beginning of the next year.
We wish you all a successful final spurt of the year and an inspiring read of our bulletin!
Warm greetings form Turku,
Esther Kreutz-Hassinen, Head of Secretariat & Agnieszka Ilola, Deputy Head of Secretariat
Union of the Baltic Cities Sustainable Cities Commission