Last days of rush and running before summer holidays at the UBC Commission on Environment, one of the busiest times during the year. Projects need to be reported and most of the autumn plans need to be set. Furthermore, budgets, activities and plans for the next year need to have clear frameworks. At the private level, we need to have clear goals and plans for our valuable holiday days. There are perhaps some tensions and stress in the air.
I usually say that we live in an interesting period and can´t stop repeating myself. Looking at the last few months we have behind us, and the months to come there are a lot of both demanding but also interesting issues going on.
The EU strategy for the Baltic Sea Region has been evaluated and updated. Gaps and shortcomings in it have been identified and clear development tasks are about to be identified. The EU budget will be set for the next 5-6 years and communicated further to EU funding instruments and programmes. Both the strategy and the funding instruments will have a fundamental effect on how the cooperation and what kind of activities will take place in our Baltic Sea Region.
Our own organization is also approaching the bi-annual UBC General Conference in City of Mariehamn with a lot of important political and organisatorial issues on the agenda. The UBC has been operative for more than 20 years, during a time of lots of success and development. Important for UBC, as it is for any organization, is to further develop the organization and the activities in order to meet the needs of our member cities. There is a clear mandate for a strong city network and a momentum for cities to take a strong role in further development of the Baltic Sea Region.
As we now are living in a period when a lot of projects and activities are being finalized, and at the same time a lot of new activities under some uncertainty are being starting up, there can be a moment chaos. Nevertheless, looking back on earlier similar “chaotic” periods, these moments have most often been really creative despite the stress and uncertainty - so let us look forward with confidence and enthusiasm!
The summer is the time for rest and relaxation. The summer is the time when we meet up with families and relatives and perhaps travel to new places. The summer is the time when we read, think, listen, feel and discuss in another, perhaps more relaxed, way. The summer is the time when we should charge our batteries and also collect new ideas, get inspiration and motivation for upcoming work.
Finally I would like to wish all colleagues, partners and friends a really relaxing summer time with a lot of positive feelings, experiences and inspiration.
Head of Secretariat, UBC Commission on Environment