The Joint Working Group on Culture

Cross-border regional cooperation in the field of culture is an integral part of the Barents cooperation. The development of cultural life serves the social and economic development in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region.

The aim of the Joint Working Group on Culture (JWGC) is to strengthen cultural identitiesmulticultural dialogue and cultural ties between the Barents countries and the regions. In addition to the regional cultural administrations, the JWGC has representation from the Finnish, Norwegian, Russian and Swedish ministries responsible for culture and from the Working Group of Indigenous Peoples.

Photo 2019-10-10 fm.jpeg
JWGC in Umeå, October 2019

The latest Strategy of Cultural Cooperation "Creative Barents" (2019-2023) takes into account wide possibilities to enhance cultural policy dialogue and practical cooperation. The overall mission is to promote the role of culture in meeting the overall objective of the Barents Programme on social and economic growth trough a knowledge driven economy and the sustainable development of the region's natural and human resources. Thematic priorities and objectives of the Barents cultural cooperation are culture and sustainable development; cultural exchange, intercultural dialogue and diversity; conditions for and access to creativity; cultural and creative industries, innovation and tourism; and cooperation.

JWGC established Barents Scholarship for Cultural Cooperation in 2016. The first Scholarhip Award Ceremony was held in Arkhangelsk, Russia, in 2017. The second one was held in October 2019 in Umeå, Sweden. More information here.


Previous programmes:

Cultural Cooperation in the Barents Region (2014-2018)

New Horizons in the Barents Region (2011-2013)

New Winds in the Barents Region (2008-2010)

Voices in the Barents Region (2003-2006)


Video of JWGC meeting in Vadsø, April 2019



Mr. Sverre Miøen (co-chair) 
Senior adviser
Ministry of Culture 
Tel: +47 22248013 

Mr. Charles Petterson
Deputy Head, Department of Culture, Cultural Heritage and Environment
Finnmark County Council
Tel: +47 78 96 31 07

Ms. Nina Merete Austad
Finnmark County Council
Tel: +47 78 96 30 38

Ms. Stine Qvigstad Jenvin
Director of Culture, environment and public health
Nordland County Council
Tel: +47 +4775650722

Ellen Østgård
Director of Culture
Troms County Council
Tel: +47 77788224, +47 91324339


Ms. Helena Aaltonen
Regional Development Specialist
Regional Council of Kainuu
Tel: +358 447100854 

Ms. Maija Lummepuro
Counsellor for Cultural Affairs
Ministry of Education and Culture

Tel: +358 295330198, +358 400800218

Mr. Tomi Aho
Special Advisor
Arts Promotion Centre, Lapland 
Tel: +358 295330850

Ms. Auli  Suorsa
Regional planner
Council of Oulu Region
Tel: +358 503868443

Ms. Ulla Lassila
Special Advisor
Art Promotion Centre, Oulu
Tel: +358 295330860

Ms. Hanna Susitaival
Special Advisor
Arts Promotion Centre, Joensuu
Tel: +358 295330910


Ms. Olga Andonieva
Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation
Tel: +7 495 6294394

Ms. Maria Sergienko
Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation
Tel: +7 9099 974155

Ms. Veronika Yanichek
Minister of Culture of the Arkhangelsk Region
Tel: +7 8182 286369, +7 921 2980366

Mr. Alexandr Batigin
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Karelia
Tel: +7 8142 785507

Mr. Sergey Emelyanov
Minister of Culture, Tourism and Archiving of the Republic of Komi 
Tel: +7 8212 255480

Mr. Sergey Ershov 
Chairman of the Committee on Culture and Arts of the Murmansk Region
Tel: +7 8152 486319


Mr. Joakim Sandberg (co-chair) 
Head of Cultural Affairs 
Region Västerbotten 
Tel: +46 73 807 5790 

Mr. Manochehr Endalib
Ministry of Culture

Ms. Kristina Nilsson
Head of Culture
Region Norrbotten
Tel: +46 705730881

Ms. Pia Brinkfeldt  
Region Västerbotten 
Tel: +46 705165745 

Representative of Indigenous Peoples Working Group (WGIP)

Ms. Alexandra Fomina
Member of the Working Group on Indigenous Peoples 
Tel: +7 9116717621




Project funding in Barents

The IBS has gathered information for all Barents relevant funding sources - more information below!

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Internship at the IBS

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