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Guidelines for cohesion policy and climate targets were discussion topics for participants of local governments in Poland

Our Regional Mayor Ossi Savolainen took part in the 8th European Congress of Local Governments in Mikołajki, Poland, on Tuesday 7 March 2023. He gave his input on the European cohesion policy and regional trends in the distinguished panel discussion. The event gathered more than 2,000 participants from all over Europe.

Ossi Savolainen presented the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Programme, which is aiming to make the metropolitan region ecologically sustainable, financially responsible and socially fair. He was also drawing guidelines for a future cohesion policy.

The discussion brought up a concern about the possibilities of cohesion policy to meet the challenges in Europe of today, and recommendations on implementation were reflected upon. In his speech, Mr Savolainen criticized the national decision making of Finland of not acknowledging Helsinki-Uusimaa well enough as a strongly developing region.

There were also discussions as to how Europe will be able to reach its climate targets as the war in Ukraine is still going on. The most ambitious European climate goals and rapidly done implementations by the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council were greatly appreciated.

Mr Dmytro Razumkov, Deputy of the Supreme Council in Ukraine took part in the panel discussion. He expressed his wish for other countries continuing to offer help to Ukraine, and for his own country to be able to join the EU in the very near future.

The other panelists came from Poland and Norway; Mr Cezary Przybylski, Ms Malgorzata Jarosinska-Jedynak and Mr Even Aleksander Hagen. Mr Jan Rokita from Poland was acting as the moderator.

Award for furthering cooperation and innovations

Ossi Savolainen, Regional Mayor for Helsinki-Uusimaa was rewarded for his significant work for the furthering of cooperation between European regions and for advancing innovation policies. The prize was awarded by the organizer of the event, the Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies.

– I dedicate this great award to the regional actors in the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region and their pioneering activities. Helsinki-Uusimaa has already been ranked the 2nd most innovative region in Europe earlier; a remind given by Mr Savolainen. I am deeply grateful and very proud.

Apart from politicians and office holders, many business representatives were attending. More than 100 smaller seminar sessions were included in the programme. Their themes were (for instance) the competitiveness, energy issues, tourism, cultural heritage and the supply of educational services of cities. Not to forget the discussions about security policy and the situation in Ukraine.

The organizer of this event is also responsible for the Economic Forum with more than 5,000 participants every September.