Arctic regions position for post-2020

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Arctic Cooperation Project Awards and conference took place in Denmark, gathering about 100 attendees interested in a roadmap for cooperation.
21 September 2019 - ERNACT  project
Kirsti Mijnhijmer Head of NPA Secretariat announcing the winner projects.

Arctic Cooperation, coordinated by the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme, has organised another successful event at the North Atlantic House in Copenhagen (Denmark), on the 17th and 18th September 2019. The main objective of this cross-programme collaboration is to design a roadmap to develop cooperation opportunities between the five funding programmes participating.

Around 100 participants from 12 countries, representing national, regional and local public authorities gathered together in Copenhagen for the event. Members of the parliament, diplomats, as well as members of the EU Commission and research organisations also attended the Arctic Cooperation awards and conference. 

Arctic Area faces some common challenges that need a united response from ongoing funding programmes. Sparse population, long distances, low accessibility and low economic diversity are some of the examples that Arctic regions need to deal with. They are not only working together to overcome challenges, but also to benefit from common opportunities, such as cold climate, vast natural areas, abundance of natural resources, increased interest in Arctic and rich cultural heritage, among others.

According to Ms Kirsti Mijnhijmer Head of NPA Secretariat, a coordination is needed between the 5 funding programmes operating in the Northern and Arctic regions. They are already working in a roadmap for a better cooperation. They have developed a joint communication and promotional activities, workshops and Arctic themed events (Arctic Cooperation is an example) and they promote the clustering of projects from multiple programmes. By doing this, they will also achieve a better positioning for post-2020 period. 

Ms Kirsti Mijnhijmer explained that they can already see some benefits of working together. She mentioned clearer information for applicants, more informed project selection, better involvement of stakeholders and promotion of the results, more value and impact for money, more efficient programme management and more strategic approach to policy development.

Regarding the conference, Ms Päivi Ekdahl, from the Regional Council of Lapland, moderated all the sessions. Firstly, representatives of all programmes participating in Arctic Cooperation made a short presentation. Afterwards, Ambassador Jari Vilén, Senior Advisor in Arctic policy matters at European Commission, presented the EPSC policy paper on the future EU Arctic Policy. 

Three projects got the opportunity to present the work carried out and the results achieved: APP4SEA (NPA), Grab (Kolarctic) and Cleantech (Botnia-Atlantica). After their presentations, a panel discussion took place to exchange opinions about regional development in the Arctic. Speakers included: Mr Kaj Suomela, Regional Council of Ostrobothnia (Finland); Mr Rickard Carstedt, Regional Council of Västerbotten (Sweden); Mr Stuart Black, The Highland Council (Scotland); Ms Irene Dahl, Troms County Council (Norway) and Mr Ilya Ostapchuk, Murmansk Regional Government (Russia). All panellists agreed that "cooperation is the base for sustainable development".

A chat was organised for the afternoon session between Mr Bernhard Schausberger, INTERACT Point Vienna (Austria) and Dr Irene McMaster, European Policies Research Centre, University of Strathclyde (Scotland). Next, another two project presented their results: AIDA (Interreg Nord) and Kalitka (Karelia CBC).

The keynote speech was given by Mr Moray Gilland, from European Commission, DG Regio. He spoke about the future of Interreg. He mentioned that a fundamental rethinking is needed for the post-2020 period. "We need a single approach for the cooperation programmes". He stated that it is needed to increase the levels of ambition of the programmes and that Commission would like to see a better coordination between programmes operating in the same area. Mr Gilland added that Arctic Cooperation is a very good example of this kind of coordination.

During this event, ERNACT got the opportunity to exhibit Arctic Cluster project.

Arctic Awards
Arctic Cooperation also organised the third edition of the Arctic Awards to highlight good practice projects focused on topics of particular relevance to the Arctic area. 

On the one hand, Busk project became the Arctic Award Winner 2019 for the category 'Sustainable use of resources'. On the other hand, for the Arctic Award 2019 category 'Arctic Entrepreneurial Spirit', the winner was Our Stories projectThe awards aim to highlight innovative projects with a clear Arctic dimension, which are viewed as inspirational in their participating regions as well as being seen as creating real, measurable impacts on the ground, and being of direct benefit to Arctic communities.

About Arctic Cooperation
The Arctic Cooperation cross-programme collaboration is encouraged and mandated by the European Commission to provide input for establishing research and investment priorities in the European Arctic area. It is led by the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme also involving the following funding programmes: Interreg Botnia-Atlantica, Interreg Nord, Kolarctic CBC and Karelia CBC.
North Atlantic House in Copenhagen (Denmark).

Click here to email  Ianire Renobales at ERNACT for further information

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