Six members of Baltic Islands Network gathered to Hiiumaa to celebrate the 25th Annual Conference and thematic Conference on Maritime Tourism on 26th and 27th of November 2014. Because of the heavy fog in Visby, Stockholm, Tallinn and Kärdla, the delegates from Gotland arrived with one day delay. Hence, the Annual Conference on Wednesday, on the 26th, turned out to be a seminar discussing the future of the cooperation. The participants were prominent: in addition to the Governors and Mayors of islands, former members of B7 were present: Knud Andresen from Bornholm, and Anu Vares, Tarmo Pikner and Toomas Kasemaa from Saaremaa. The common position was, that cooperation must be changed to less bureaucratic, dealing with concrete projects like B7 youth games and art project, but remaining as working body for islands contacts.
On Thursday, when Gotland, with proxy from Öland, finally arrived, the Steering Committee confirmed the decision to remain as B7. Wille Valve, the Foreign Minister of Åland said: "The political commitment is important. We cannot solve problems like marine pollution alone; the voice of all islands is needed".
Steering Committee also agreed that the label of B7 is very well known in Europe, there is no need to change it.
Next B7 Chair Island for two years to come is Saaremaa, the President of B7 is Kaido Kaasik.
See the tourist conference presentations and photos at NGO West-Estonia Tourism homepage.