The following short report was sent out to the Regional Development Unit of the Regional Municipality of Bornholm from Board Member Henrik Eybye Nielsen:
"B7 has held its first meeting under the Åland Chairmanship 2013 here on Bornholm, where besides visiting and briefing about the Bright Green Island, discussed the future of B7 cooperation (www.b7.org).
The discussion on the future of B7 was based on the fact that virtually all of the 7 islands have financial problems combined with a lack of human resources, so that the word FOCUS was the starting point for a fruitful discussion, first at official level and later with our politicians on how and in what form B7 should continue.
B7 must continue to exist, in a leaner and more focused version. It set up a task force officials from each of the 7 islands. Over the spring they should prepare a proposal for a consolidated strategy paper "B7 version 2.0" for subsequent final political decision / confirmation in the fall at the annual meeting of the Åland Islands. The strategy work will be based on a SWOT analysis wsupported by a review of the tasks, procedures, technology, and stakeholders in the continued cooperation.
The contours of a future B7 will probably look like this: Two meetings a year, thematically oriented, with a primary focus on the knowledge and experience of the topics of "island and eye level". This means that the other two and the current pillars of cooperation lobbying and projects will be more in the background while the two existing working groups on environment and culture / youth will probably survive after 2013.
It was a constructive meeting. There is much history and "memory lane" in B7 cooperation including from the undersigned, who has been with B7 for a lifetime, but to retain its legitimacy it must either shut down or be revitalized. It is the last we are trying now.
So in the future we will hopefully get a more vital B7 with output and outcome that can defend both membership fees and administrative resources used.
Finally, it was big thank you to David Hunt for his many yearsworking with B7."