2010 is drawing to a close and BDF can evaluate another extraordinary year due to our sponsors and members.
We are especially grateful for the support of the Danish Industry Foundation and the Lithuanian Government.
The Baltic Sea Region is strongly establishing itself as a European model and an international laboratory for solving common problems and promoting sustainable growth. BDF has placed itself at the centre of this development, extending its leading platform for decision-makers to the new EU strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. BDF has especially played a role by involving the private sector and our business network. We are providing inspiration and new ideas, and contacts to Russia are being developed at the same time. Slowly but consistently the region re-establishes itself as the Top of Europe in innovation and economic growth.
As always the Summit was the peak of the year – this time in beautiful Vilnius in the early summer. It was an important rendez-vous that comprised of both a political Summit and a business Summit. All the Prime Ministers of the Region met in Vilnius, and President Barroso stated that the Baltic Sea Region could become a beacon in Europe, combining the EU Strategy for the Region and the Europe 2020 growth strategy. Also the Nordic and Baltic members of Business Europe came to Vilnius and made it clear that improved competitiveness cannot be achieved without a close partnership with the private sector. It stands as one of the most important messages of the year: the private sector has to become more involved in the future of the region. The business networking was very active and productive.
BDF organized many conferences, seminars, think-tank meetings and roundtable discussions – this year in Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania and Russia and took part in many more events. Also closed and smaller member meetings were organized, where the meetings with Prime Minister Kubilius of Lithuania in September and Prime Minister Ansip of Estonia in December were highlights.
BDF published several reports that gave new insights: Especially, the 2010 State of the Region Report where Christian Ketels provided useful knowledge into the region’s economic situation. The report Going for Green Growth in BSR gave recommendations as to which issues that ought to have the highest priority. The Place Branding and Place Promotion Efforts in the BSR report mapped out the vast initiatives on and gave recommendations as to the best ways to present the region internationally. Energy Perspectives for the Kaliningrad Region as an Integral Part of the BSR disclosed the facts surrounding the nuclear power plant expansion and their impact on the neighbouring countries.
We look more optimistically towards the future than we did one year ago. Still we are dependent on sponsors and hope you will help us make the region a European Beacon. Let’s make 2011 even more exciting – and see you all in Gdansk in October 2011.
On behalf of the whole BDF secretariat,
Uffe Ellemann-Jensen & Hans Brask
Chairman of the Board & Director