Copenhagen Resolution 2002

The Baltic Metropolises of Berlin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Malmö, Riga, Saint Petersburg, Stockholm, Tallinn, Vilnius and Warsaw met in Copenhagen on 12 -13 October 2002.

The Baltic Metropolises face two important challenges in the near future that require the metropolises to take a responsibility upon themselves: firstly, global trends indicate that metropolises are changing rapidly, resulting in a growing concentration of political and economic interests as well as innovation in the large cities. Secondly, the Enlargement of the European Union with the Baltic Sea countries of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland creates a new geopolitical reality in the Region.

The Baltic Metropolises Conference in Copenhagen addressed these challenges.

I

The Enlargement
We acknowledge the need for the whole Baltic Sea Region to be a significant growth centre and strongly support the rapid conclusion of negotiations for EU membership of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland by the December 2002 EU Summit in Copenhagen. Furthermore, we call upon the National Parliaments to ensure the Enlargement by 2004.
Taking into account various consequences of the Enlargement process we stress that co-operation between Baltic Metropolises should be promoted and developed leading to creating the common Europe without borders.

Inclusion of North-Western Russia
We recognise the importance of the inclusion of the City of Saint Petersburg in initiatives which are of joint concern to the Baltic metropolises.
We stress that the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation should be-come an example of fruitful EU-Russian interaction in solving relevant practical problems and seizing the opportunities offered by the EU enlargement. We welcome the intentions of the EU and Russia to continue joint work with a view to reaching mutually acceptable solutions for the Kaliningrad region.
We support increased cross-border co-operation with the north-western part of the Russian Federation in order to benefit its economic, cultural and social development. 

Co-operation between the Baltic metropolises
Direct metropolis-to-metropolis contacts are vital for the metropolises in the Europe of the future. At the same time, we aim at further co-ordination of viewpoints and initiatives between our metropolises and at communicating joint views to political decision makers. We are willing to include other Baltic metropolises in further actions.


II

We believe that the ambition of the European Union to become the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010 requires common efforts for the strengthening of the regions. The metropolises play a central role in the realization of this goal.

We firmly believe that the strengthening of cooperation between the metropolitan areas is vital for addressing issues of social coherence as well as for the development of the Baltic Sea Region as the metropolises are the centres of the value-added economy with increasing importance in European development. The core pre-conditions for the growth of the metropolitan areas are:

• Brain circulation
• Upgrading higher education in the region
• Cluster interchange and integration
• Integration of infrastructure

The European Union, the member states and the Baltic Metropolises must work for equal opportunities for people seeking work or an education in our cities. The metropolises must work for improved conditions for students and commuters, i.e. promote co-operation between universities and increase the number of places to live.

The exploitation of the full potential of the Baltic Sea Region regarding the further and higher education of its students is extremely important. A pre-condition for exploiting this potential is a guarantee that the education is of the highest quality. In order to support the research and education level in the new member states and ensure that the universities in the cities have a role to play in the region; the states, the cities and the European Union as well as the international organizations of the Baltic sea region (Eurocities, the Union of the Capitals of the EU, the Committee of the Regions, the Baltic Sea States Sub-Regional Cooperation, the Union of the Baltic Cities, CPMR and the Nordic Council of Ministers) must continue to pay full attention to the development of the region within this field.

We believe that the creation and the maintenance of clusters of competence are indeed important steps in the development of the large cities and of the region. Such clusters already exist within the telecommunication business, IT, food industry, environment and biotech fields, and the Baltic Sea Region has a number of these clusters. The renewal of the public sector and the redefinition of its European position is in itself a cluster of competence and should be an important platform for the exchange of ideas and initiatives from the field of democracy to the provision of services.

The establishment of physical infrastructure is an important stage in the development of a competitive region. The European Union needs to assist in developing road and rail infrastructure in the new member states, as well as connections to the City of St. Petersburg, the Kaliningrad region and the north-west Russia as a whole. The metropolises must point out transport corridors vital for the their growth.

We believe that the policies of the Northern Dimension address an essential part of the conditions for growth as mentioned above.

We call for a more fair distribution of structural funds taking into consideration the specific needs of urban areas.

The development of the Baltic Sea Region and the Northern Dimension
As stated in the chairman’s conclusions at the 4th Baltic Sea States Summit in St. Petersburg, 10 June 2002, the new Northern Dimension Action Plan, to succeed the present one expiring in 2003, should supplement the European Union enlargement.

We therefore urge the European Union and in particular the Danish Presidency to focus on initiatives in the Northern Dimension which can lead to concrete initiatives and benefit for the value-added economy. We therefore welcome the priorities from the Danish Presidency within the framework of the current action plan.

At the same time, we ask for a better co-ordination of the European Union’s financial instruments available for the region and an opening of a specific budget for the Northern Dimension. Consequently, we appeal to the coming Presidencies, the European Commission, the member states together with partner countries to take steps leading to concrete initiatives. All major parties such as the Baltic metropolises, cities and sub-regions affected by the Northern Dimension should be involved in a con-sultation process.

We believe in cooperation between the cities and a fruitful dialogue between the players in Baltic Sea Region. We will actively participate in the Enlargement and make every effort to promote a well-balanced development in the entire Baltic Sea Region.


The signatories

The City of Berlin             The City of Copenhagen

The City of Helsinki           The City of Malmö

The City of Riga               The City of Saint Petersburg

The City of Stockholm      The City of Tallinn

The City of Vilnius            The City of Warsaw

 

 

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