Centrum Balticum's 12th Baltic Sea Region Forum is held on 25 March 2019 at Turku School of Economics. The main theme of the forum is "Future Challenges of the Baltic Sea Region". The opening speech was given by Mayor Minna Arve.

Baltic Sea Region Forum: Future Challenges of the Baltic Sea Region

The theme is covered in three different panel discussions. The first panel focuses on tackling the challenges in the region with ministerial level participants. The two other panels highlight labour mobility and the development of circular economy in the Baltic Sea region.
The keynote speaker of the event is Mr Petteri Orpo, Finnish Minister of Finance.



In her opening speech Mayor Minna Arve stated that the City of Turku is very happy to host the Baltic Sea Region Forum:

- We want to be an active member of the community around the Baltic Sea as well as the whole of Europe. From my perspective as a mayor I can see that the role of cities as network-builders is growing rapidly and nation-state boundaries are getting ever more lower. I see this kind of bottom-up internationalization as a very positive thing – it breeds from the citizens and brings together actors from all levels: municipalities, regions, states as well as researchers, policy-makers, NGO’s and other stakeholders.

Labour mobility and circular economy are issues challenging countries all around Europe and beyond. Both mobility and circular economy are key building blocks when we are building a sustainable future based on sustainable growth. Both need high-level expertise, multinational partnerships and bold investments.

Several actors in Turku region have been active in these topics for many years.

Empower the people, offer them inspiration!

- I am a strong believer in the partnership of cities, states and for instance the European Union. In this time of populism and alternative facts, I am sure that the implementation of our policies on city-level can offer such accountability for our citizens that state or multinational level can never achieve. In cities the people can see where their money is used and can experience the success, or the failure, of our actions first hand, Minna Arve emphasizes.

Mayor Minna Arve stresses that without the support from citizens we will not succeed. She sends the forum participants a strong message:

- I urge you to let the citizens take part in the discussion. Empower the people, offer them inspiration! This can only be done close to the people and this is why partnerships are so important.