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Greetings from the maritime piece of land, Hiiumaa!

Georg LinkovHiiumaa is the Chair for the Baltic Seven Islands network B7 in 2014, and we can feel the excitement already in the air. We have so much to offer and to share that right now we don't even know where to start.

B7 has previously declared that the topics related to the sea and maritime policies that have impact on all of the different Baltic Sea islands, will be always in the agenda of B7. This is what binds us together. The creation of a single European maritime policy must take into consideration the development of the islands and the creating of better jobs, in order to accelerate and consolidate the strong, growing, competitive and sustainable maritime economy. We, islander, all have a huge advantage, we have the sea! This is our "gold" and we have to keep it "shining".

Everyone is aware that the year 2014 has been nominated to be the year of the Gulf of Finland, but it is still known to few that in 2014 in Kärdla, after a seventy year break, an event of the century is taking place: The Revival of the Kärdla Marina. The new marina has been built and marked on the map of the Baltic Sea for good to provide a shelter from storms at any time and to all.

You are always welcome to the Kärdla Marina! For the first time in history, early in July, the Estonian largest sailing event, the Moonsund Regatta will take place here! It is all part of the Maritime Policy and the tourism industry, but not only – this is also a matter of a cooperation. On the sea you acknowledge partners you can rely on. Islands in the Baltic Sea must cooperate together on good years, in order to have strong partners when it is a necessity.

Opening events of the Marina will take place on 23-24 May, 2014. We kindly invite the politicians of B7Baltic Sea islands to join us and to take the opportunity to discuss the future of the Baltic Sea, the islands and the importance of the cooperation in the threshold of the new EU programming period.

I am pleased to thank all our partners in B7 islands for the work done so far. I wish the Chairman Island many "flying" ideas for the benefit of the B7.

Long live, Hiiumaa!

B7 meeting at the Tallinn Embassy of Finland

ilovegof-logoBy the invitation of H.E. Ambassador Mr Aleksi Härkönen and former Prime Minister of Estonia and MEP, Mr Andres Tarand, B7 was invited to take part in the round table dedicated to the celebrations of the Year of the Finnish Gulf 2014 (gof2014). B7 Secretary, Reet Kokovkin presented the annual plan of the B7 Network that co-inside with the aim of the year. Two events, Opening of the Kärdla Marina in May 23-24, and Tourism Conference in November 26-28, are the focal points of B7 annual program.

In the meeting also participated members of the organising committee of yof2014: Ambassador Raul Mälk (MoFA), Kai Myberg (project manager for gof2014), Allan Gromov (MoE) and representatives of key NGOs incl B7 .

Read more in http://www.gof2014.fi/

President of Finland: Gulf of Finland is the shared responsibility of all stakeholder nations. Helsinki opened the international Gulf of Finland Year on 30th of January, an event dedicated to the improvement of the ecological state of the water body. Representatives from Estonia, Finland and Russia emphasized the need for joint action, noting that an approach focussing on concrete tasks should bring rewards in improving the situation. http://www.envir.ee/1204769

WHAT is the B7?

The B7 is a co-operation of the 7 largest islands in the Baltic Sea from 5 different countries that started in 1989. Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the cooperation, the B7 believes that as a co-operation they can influence developments for their common good.

The PARTNERS of the co-operation are Bornholm (Denmark), Gotland (Sweden), Hiiumaa (Estonia), Rügen (Germany), Saaremaa (Estonia), Åland (autonomous region of Finland), Öland (Sweden).

 

Riho Rahuoja, the President of B7 2014

riho rahuojaDear islander of Baltic Seven Islands B7

Hiiumaa has taken over the B7 Chairmanship for 2014, celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Network. This Chairmanship period is remarkable because we have such an outstanding past to base upon for the future. Hiiumaa has planned the agenda for this year according to the new B7 Strategy 2014-2020, focusing to the renewal of the cooperation as well as the strenghtening the political position among the organisations in Baltic Sea Region and EU.

It is very importand to to be visible in the EU political arena, but equally important is to be seen in our islands. We need, that our islanders recognise and value the benefits of the coopration. Alone we are island in the outscirts of our countries, together we are the centre of the Baltic Sea with the population more than 260 000 people.

We have many challenges in our way, one of them is to make our citizens more happy with the living environment of islands. Our strategy states: WORKING TOGETHER TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE. The B7 islands can offer an attractive living environment with a sustainable development. Connecting their people, professionals and businesses across borders, the B7 cooperation has contributed to put the islands more in control of their own destiny.

As a President of the B7, I wish you and our network a successful year of working.

 

The e-book “Green possibilities, Successful green examples from the B7 Baltic islands”

 

 IGP0163The e-book “Green possibilities, Successful green examples from the B7 Baltic islands” is now to be found under the Åland Chairmanship 2013 documents. The Åland Chairman- ship would like to thank everyone that made the publication possible and hopes that is will inspire to even more green projects in the future.

 

 

  

 

 

Meet Art of Åland 2013

The artists were invited to Åland during the 23th – 31th May 2013 to craft and install site specific art in Ålands Andelsslakteri.   Meet Art of 2013 was a site specific art exhibition located in an abandoned slaughterhouse in Gölby and cooperation between artists from seven islands in the Baltic Sea. The invited artist were Lene Degett from Bornholm, Ellen Kock & Stefan Walkowiak from Rügen, Richard Kuusk from Saaremaa, Helle Kvamme Öland, Berit Ångman Svedjemo from Gotland, Valev & Kalli Sein from Hiiumaa, Anna Holmström, Mia Englund and Annukka Turakka from Åland. The group has had earlier exhibitions together on Rügen and Gotland. A vernissage for the exhibition has held 30th of May and the exhibition was open until the 16th of August.

lunchThe artists and their assistants build networks and took part in culture and nature on the Åland Islands. The group had lunch by the slaughterhouse and dinner was prepared together at the boarding-house. The 28th of May the group made a day trip to get to know the host island a bit. The day included a guided tour at the castle in Kastelholm as well as a lunch at Smakbyn sponsored by B7. The day continued with a visit in the artist Juha Pykäläinen´s studio and a tour to Bomarsund. Because of the art museum on Åland being closed for reconstructions during the summer it felt important to be able to show modern art someplace else in Gölby in the centre of main land Åland. Another goal was to show possibilities with the abandon slaughterhouse and maybe attract new actors to use it. With good publicity we managed to attract the local population and tourists to a different art exhibition. The number of visitors was 271 and many pieces of good art were created. The response from both artist and the public has been positive.  

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The goal is to continue the cooperation between the islands and an exhibition was planned for Bornholm 2014. Minna Öberg who was the project leader on Åland 2013 was there 22th – 25th of August to look at possible locations for a common exhibition. However with Bornholm leaving from 2014 we’re hoping for a Meet Art project to take place on Hiiumaa instead.

 

The B7 Day

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Five islands participated and help with the B7 Day during a few sunny days in Mariehamn on the Åland Islands. The event took place in the Maritime Quarter, a living marine centre boat-building activity and other traditional handicrafts, during a well-visited annual event called the Sea Days. We offered local products from our islands and informed visitors about our islands and our organisation.

Our group was in high spirits and the flow of visitors was good during the whole day. People where obviously interested in our cooperation but most popular was without a doubt, the treasure hunt for our youngest visitors.

We ended the stay on the Åland with a visit to the Meat art exhibition, which was organised by People-to-People. The Åland Chairmanship would like to thank 1174838 615790948455051 824617263 neveryone who came and made the day possible, and we hope you were happy with the arrangement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good luck, Arne!

PtP WG mit Rad 2012For eight years we have worked together with Arne Grau-Amnér in the PtP workgroup of B7.

During this time we organised youth projects, culture events, cooking classes or B7 Days that their participants will surely remember with great pleasure. Due to your engagement lots of youngsters and adults did experience interesting meetings with people from the other Baltic Sea islands. No matter whether they understand sooner or later, a good and very important job for all those people has been done.

Good luck for you, Arne, with your new job. We have loved to work together with you - even if we had to cycle - and, maybe, we can cooperate in future projects.

 

David Hunt retires from B7

In 2000, David has been hired to support the B7 as a project facilitator.

In the past 12 years David has helped the B7 in everyday organizational work, has supported Board and Steering Committee work, has shown commitment for the implementation of the EU Baltic Sea Strategy and the cooperation with other Baltic Sea organizations.

His next - non-B7 - project will be a tourism project with an emphasis on his Pyttegården tourist apartments. We wish success and loads of tourists from the B7 islands and around the world!

Thank you, David, and good luck with the challenges ahead.

B7 Åland Secretariat

B7 welcomes the 2013 Åland Chairmanship year.

Jessica Josefsson has been appointed to manage the B7 Secretariat for this year.

She is a student studying anthropology at Stockholm University. (Which is why she is not available Mondays and Fridays).

B7 wishes Jessica all the best and hopes she can use her experiences with B7 in the development of her career. (Or maybe she is doing a secreat anthropological study of the B7)

Hiiumaa LEADER LAG on study tour to Gotland

1209 Hiuumaa GotlandThis year, from 15-21 of September, Hiiumaa LEADER LAG took a study tour to Gotland, to one of the most interesting places of Sweden. The aim was to learn about LEADER experience and see sucess projects in situ. There were 23 members of the LAG, manager and bus driver (who is also the member of Hiiumaa LAG) in the team who went to a long journey that included altogether nine ferry crossings during seven days of the trip.

(see http://www.kogu.hiiumaa.ee/?lang=english&page=news for more articles and info from LAG Hiiumaa)

Ulla signs agreement: CoR - Baltic Sea Organisations

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Ulla Pettersson signing the co-operation agreement between the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and B7, BSSSC, UBC, EuroRegion Baltic

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