Both the Barents Regional Council and Committee held their meetings Luleå, Sweden, on the 8th of November. In addition to the policy-making, the members of the council and the committee visited Luleå data centre.
Financing of the Barents youth cooperation has been on the agenda since the council meeting in May 2016. Barents Regional Youth Council (BRYC) suggested the regions make an annual financial contribution of 5 000 euros for the youth council’s work. The council adopted the suggestion to fund BRYC for the next two years. They also adopted Barents Regional Youth Programme, which sets the themes and guidelines for the regional youth cooperation until 2020.
North Carelia has been interested in the membership of the council since 2008, and the application was discussed once more in Luleå. Now all the Barents regions agree on accepting North Carelian application and North Carelian application is accepted. North Carelia is very pleased by the council's decision and is looking eagerly forward to participating in the Barents cooperation as an official member; they have attended the meetings with observer status for the last 8 years.
The chair region, Kainuu, will organize a Barents Cooperation Forum in Helsinki on December the 8th. The forum will provide a platform for learning about Barents project funding, networking and learning about different spheres of Barents cooperation and how they are financed. All actors are welcome: policy-makers, administrational officials, NGO’s, businesses and educational institutions, for example. The registration is open until December the 2nd.
Kainuu University of Applied Sciences has also conducted a survey for Barents actors on how they view the cooperation and project possibilities in the region. The results of the survey have been analyzed, and the actors are hoping for project-oriented events, more information on the financing possibilities and inclusion of in-kind contributions in the funding programmes.
Text and photo: Sunna Kokkonen, IBS