The Barents Regional Council unites 14 member counties and a representative of the indigenous peoples in the northernmost parts of Finland, Norway and Sweden and north-west Russia.
At the same time as the BEAC was established in 1993 by the signing of the Kirkenes Declaration, the regional representatives, together with the indigenous peoples signed a co-operation protocol that established the Regional Council for the Barents Euro-Arctic Region with the same objectives as the BEAC - to support and promote co-operation and development in the Barents Region. The protocol determines the structure and the general aims of the regional co-operation.
The Barents Region includes the following counties or their equivalents:
Indigenous Peoples in the Barents Region:
- in Finland: Kainuu, Lapland, Oulu Region and North Karelia.
- in Norway: Finnmark, Nordland and Troms
- in Russia: Arkhangelsk Region, Karelia, Komi, Murmansk Region and Nenets.
- in Sweden: Norrbotten and Västerbotten
- members of the Barents Regional Council
- Sami (in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia)
- Nenets (in Russia)
- Veps (in Russia)
The Barents Regional Council in Umeå, October 2019
The establishment of a forum for the interregional Barents cooperation is an acknowledgement of the importance of local knowledge, the ability to identify the most urgent common priorities and the capacity to carry out cross-border projects and cooperate on implementation of common programmes.
Initially, the Barents Region consisted of seven member counties, but already in April 1993 the Republic of Karelia in Russia joined the co-operation. An increasing interest in the benefits of regional co-operation and the potentials of the northern regions followed. The Barents Region gradually expanded and with the accession of the Russian Republic of Komi on 1 January 2002 and North Karelia in Finland on 8 November 2016, the Region now comprises 14 member counties, approximately 1.75 mn sq. km and nearly 5.3 million inhabitants.
The Chairmanship of the Barents Regional Council rotates biennially between its 14 member counties. The Regional Council convenes twice a year. The Regional Council’s meetings are prepared by the Regional Committee which consists of civil servants from the member county administrations.
Finnmark, Norway, took over the Chairmanship from Kainuu, Finland, in October 2017 and was holding it until October 2019. Read Finnmark's Chairmanship Priorities here. The current chair for the period 2019-2021 is Västerbotten, Sweden.
The Barents Programme is the framework for co-operation where the priority areas of work are identified.
The Barents Programme 2014-2018, as printable version in English - and as brochure in English and Russian. The programme was adopted by the Regional Council on 2 June 2013.
The Barents Program for 2019-2023 was adopted on 24 May 2018.
The Communication Strategy for Barents Regional Cooperation was adopted in May 2016 and it sets the guidelines for communication within Barents Regional Council, Barents Regional Committee and regional working groups. The communication strategy is updated on regular basis.
Working groups deepen co-operation. In order to deepen and concretise the co-operation the Regional Council has established Working Groups in priority areas of work. There are at present three regional thematic working groups on environment, investment and economic co-operation as well as transport and logistics. Together with the Working Group on Indigenous Peoples which has an advisory role to both the Regional Council and to the BEAC, and six joint BEAC/BRC working groups (culture; health and related social issues; education and research; energy: tourism; youth) there are altogether ten Working Groups reporting to the Barents Regional Council.
Chair of the Regional Council:
Västerbotten County, Sweden
Members of the Barents Regional Council:
Regional Government of Murmansk
Lenina Pr. 75
183006 Murmansk, Russia
Tel: +7 8152486201
Regional Government of Arkhangelsk
Troitskiy Pr. 49
163004 Arkhangelsk, Russia
Regional Government of Karelia
Lenina Pr. 19
Petrozavodsk, 185028 Republic of Karelia, Russia
Regional Government of Komi
Kommunisticheskaya st. 9
Syktyvkar, 167000 Komi Republic, Russia
Tel: +7 8212285117
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Regional Government of NAO
Smidovicha Ul. 20
Naryan-Mar, 166000 Nenetskiy, Russia
Tel: +7 8185343087
Regional Council of Norrbotten
97186 Luleå, Sweden
Tel: +46 0102255000
Tarjei Jensen Bech
Finnmark County Council
Fylketshuset, Postboks 701
9815 Vadsø, Norge
Tel: +47 942 07 878
Regional Council of Troms
9007 Tromsø, Norway
Tel: +47 77788008
Regional Council of Nordland
Prinsens gate 100
8048 Bodø, Norway
Tel: +47 90877477
Regional Council of Oulu
FIN-90100 Oulu, Finland
Tel: +358 400389152
Regional Council of Kainuu
87100 Kajaani, Finland
Tel: +358 505122238
Regional Council of North Karelia
Pielisjoen linna, Siltakatu 2
FI-80100 Joensuu, Finland
Tel: +358 405469649
Regional Council of Lapland
96101 Rovaniemi, Finland
Tel: +358 4476742 00
Working Group on Indigenous Peoples (WGIP):
Domna Khomiuuk, Sami Russia
Tel: +7 9211546822