BDF Chairman proposes to Danuta Hübner, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, that BDF’s Summits become a yearly venue for discussing progress and update on the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.
At a meeting with EU Commissioner Danuta Hübner’s cabinet 29 April, Director Hans Brask handed over a letter from BDF Chairman Uffe Ellemann-Jensen proposing “that the BDF’s Summit platform serves as a yearly consultation venue on the EU Strategy” (see the full letter below).
BDF would like to be useful in organizing a review, exchange of views on progress of the EU Strategy and the promotion of partnerships once the Strategy is adopted. “We are ready to use part of the Summit programme to organize a forum with the participation of all relevant stakeholders, including the Commission, Parliament and parliamentary grouping, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions, BDF’s chair states.
For a long time, Baltic Development Forum has made strong effort to promote and contribute to a successful elaboration of the EU Strategy. A strategy for the Region has been on the agenda on three consecutive BDF Summits in Helsinki 2006, Tallinn 2007 and Copenhagen/Malmo 2008 where the latter served as a platform for the Commission’s formal consultation process with stakeholders on the creation of a more prosperous region.
BDF’s publications, written contributions and participation in regional networks have also had focus on the importance of deepening regional and European integration processes in parallel. BDF’s political neutrality, independence, experience and regional identify would be helpful for organizing a forum where the many regional stakeholders – in the broadest sense of the word – are encouraged to stay active in the EU process on the Strategy and well-informed on the progress. BDF possesses the largest regional network and database and has a very good working relationship with governments, NGOs, private businesses and regional organisations.
Without the support of the governments in the region, BDF would, however, not be able to play this role. Therefore, a copying of the letter to the Commissioner will be sent to all the Baltic Sea Region governments.
BDF hopes that the first meeting of this new forum could take place 1-2 June 2010 in Vilnius.