“I am extremely pleased to see Kiruna with my own eyes today. Here, Europe can learn how to deal with natural resources” says Danuta Hübner, Chair of the Committee on Regional Development of the European Parliament at the Conference on Cohesion Policy and Territorial Development, that is being held in Kiruna today and tomorrow.
Danuta Hübner held a presentation on territorial cohesion and how to release the potential of regions at the meeting earlier today.
“In Kiruna we can learn how to find a balance between the need of using natural resources and at the same time preserve the city. Kiruna can serve as a role model for similar situations. In addition, here we can see how to find a balance for public and private partnership, a process that Europe can look at and learn from” she says.
Danuta Hübner refers to a statement made at the conference by Håkan Spett, whom is County Governor’s Special Adviser at Norrbotten County Administrative Board, saying that it never gets completely dark in Kiruna due to its position north of the polar circle.
“I like the debate of whether it is dark or light here. It has to do with different perceptions. To see more light than darkness is a sign of optimism, she says.
Regarding demography, which is another subject of the meeting, Danuta Hübner points out the importance of discussing how to make young people live in places with an aging population.
“What to do to attract young people is an essential discussion in many places in Europe. Here in Kiruna, there are opportunities for young people. In cohesion policy we need to support attractiveness of regions. The future depends to the young no matter what we say. The future belongs to the coming generations and we are responsible for making regions in Europe attractive for them.”