Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme organises the Annual Event

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The role of the youth in the NPA, the Green Transition and the future of the programme were discussed during two days in Bodø (Norway).
15 November 2022 - ERNACT  project
ERNACT has recently attended the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (NPA) 2021 - 2027 Annual Event and Lead Partners Seminar for the First Call Projects, which have taken place in Bodø (Norway), on the 9th and 10th of November.

As you are already aware, 2022 is the European Year of Youth to highlight the importance of youth to build a greener, more inclusive and digital future. Therefore, the NPA Joint Secretariat has embraced this EU wide initiative focusing this year's 'Youth in the NPA' conference on young people’s ideas and visions for a more prosperous and attractive Northern Periphery and Arctic area. The event brought the opportunity to recap on Interreg NPA's funding opportunities, listen what life is like as a young person in the Northern periphery, discuss what opportunities the Green Transition has brought to the Arctic and near-Arctic regions and, design a more digital, greener and inclusive NPA region through an open workshop.

The session commenced with w
elcome speeches from Mr Remi Solberg, Chair of the County Government, and Mr Ola Smeplass, Deputy Mayor of Bodø municipality. Afterwards, Ms Kari Anne Bøkestad Andreassen, Mayor of Nordland County, and Ms Biliana Sirakova, EU Youth Coordinator - European Commission, offered the welcome address to the attendees. The event continued with a presentation about what is Interreg NPA and how can young people benefit from the Programme. Ms Kirsti Mijnhijmer, Head of Secretariat, and Mr Christopher Parker, Programme Manager for Project Development Support, made a joint presentation about the Interreg NPA programme and its funding opportunities.

Young people took the floor. Addressing their experiences of living in remote areas and vision of prosperous and attractive communities in the future, five people share their thoughts: Mr Nils Ánda Baer, young Saami reindeer herder (Sweden); Ms Birita Petersen, Faroese National Union of Students (Faroe Islands); Ms Aisling Maloney, Student Activist (Ireland) and, Ms Kristine Flem Willassen and Ms Leah Myhre, UNG2024 Board Members (Norway).

The Green Shift
Aiming to turn climate and environmental challenges into opportunities, the 
Green Transition was brought into the spotlight to share new opportunities to remote areas in the Arctic and near-Arctic regions. 'How can small communities harness the opportunities arising from large-scale industries and build a sustainable future? What do young people have to say about future developments?' were some of que questions that arised during a roundtable that followed. Ms Kjersti Bjørnstad, State Secretary at Ministry of Local Government and Regional development (Norway), offered the opening remarks and, Ms Kari Anne Bøkestad Andreassen, Mayor of Nordland County (Norway), Ms Eimear Manning, Youth & Climate Justice Development Officer, National Youth Council of Ireland and, Mr Ari Pappinen, Professor at Faculty of Science and Forestry, University of Eastern Finland continued with the discussion.

During the afternoon, the future of the NPA was openly discussed by the attendants. 
Prof Ove Jacobsen (Norway) guided the participants in designing concrete steps how to move from vision to action. Finally, Mr Vegard Sem, Leader of Trøndelag Youth Council (Norway), Ms Aviaaja Helene Barlach Pregaard, Project Manager at UNICEF (Greenland), and Ms Esther Jónsdóttir, Member of the Icelandic Youth Environmentalist Association (Iceland), shared some examples of how municipalities and regions cooperate with young people, and what are the benefits of inclusive decision-making processes.
Lead Partners' Seminar
Last month, a new ERNACT Disruptive Innovation in Public Services project proposal has been approved for funding by Northern Periphery & Arctic ProgrammeINNOCAP or, 'Building public sector innovation capacity towards digital-driven NPA communities' project, aims to empower public sector organisations to lead the incorporation of disruptive innovations and digital technologies into public services development. 

If you were not able to attend, you can watch the event on YouTube.

Click here to email  Ianire Renobales at ERNACT for further information

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