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Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions: Regions valuable as EU backbone


CPMR General Assembly. Photo Anni Levonen
Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council invited the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions partner organisation (CPMR) to the annual general assembly that was held in the Finlandia Hall in Helsinki in October 2017. The assembly had about 240 participants from all over Europe. The Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) is the most influential think thank that represents European maritime regions. About 160 regions from 28 different European countries are represented in the organisation.

At the end of the assembly, a final declaration was given upon the core EU priorities of the organisation.  In the declaration, the CPMR wants to underline the role of the regional and local authorities as intermediators between the EU and its citizens, as well as the contribution they make to political stability.  The declaration states that cooperating regions might in fact be the key for sustainable solutions.

On the suggestion of the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council, a linguistic formulation on the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) was added to the declaration. This formulation follows the priorities that the council has when promoting its transport policy interests. After a vote, the Regional Council’s suggestion of an addition about smart specialization was adopted unanimously.  

> To the final declaration ”Future of Europe”

Searching for solutions to significant European questions 

The centre of discussion at the assembly were current and significant issues of the future of Europe, European transport connections, immigration, reducing climate change, special maritime and fishing issued and the future of the EU's structure and cohesion politics. During the assembly, many meetings took place with various themes and regions involved. Mr Jari Sainio acted as the Chair for the Baltic Sea Commission meeting that was hosted by the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council.

CPMR General Assembly. Photo Anni Levonen
Mr Vasco Cordeiro, Chair

In his opening speech, Mr Vasco Cordeiro, the CPMR’s chair, stressed the valuable role of the regions and the cooperation needed for building up the future of the EU. This was also emphasized by Mr Ossi Savolainen, the Regional Mayor of Helsinki-Uusimaa. According to the latter; isolation, nationalism and populism will not give any right answers in this world of today, where we are all so dependent on each other in so many ways. The solutions can only be reached together, he reminded.  

As a representative for the European Parliament, the stage was also taken by the Europarliamentarian Merja Kyllönen, who is a member of the Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism. Ms Kyllönen focused on the importance of transport connections when improving the regional accessibility in Europe. 

CPMR General Assembly 2017. Photo Anni Levonen

In the event section on the EU's future, the Committee of the Regions was represented by its vice chair Markku Markkula. Mr Markkula gave a highly valued speech on the importance of smart specialization and regional innovation systems to ensure the competitiveness of the EU.

The government's greetings to the conference were brought by Mr Kimmo Tiilikainen, the Minister of Housing, Energy, and Environment. He gave a speech upon the national strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, with its main points. Finnish priorities lie in the sustainable development and competitiveness of the Baltic Sea Region, Mr Tiilikainen pointed out.

A variety of aspects and ideas were looked for, among others for changing the EU strategy on the adaptation to climate change.

The conference including two days of versatile issues on the agenda, a sunny autumn weather and a beautiful “ruska” (autumn colours) made an unforgettable impact on the delegates. Many of them expressed a wish to return to Helsinki one day.

> The conference on Twitter: #CPMR2017

> Photos from the conference

For more information, please contact: 

Ms Krista Taipale, Head of International Affairs, tel. +32 (0) 498 126000

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