News and Updates

News and Updates 2021

New Head of the International Barents Secretariat


On 18th of January Mr. Markus Karlsen took up his post as the new Head of the International Barents Secretariat. He succeeds Mr. Tomas Hallberg who completed his term.


“I am very happy to be taking up this important post serving the vital co-operation that takes place in this key region that consists of the European part of the Arctic”. A geographical area that covers in size France, Spain, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands combined and includes thirteen northernmost regions from Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Russian Federation.   

Building upon the valuable work done by my predecessors, I believe that my long time experience from international co-operation both on national and regional level can contribute to provide an even stronger support to the national and regional chairmanships as well as the working groups, which are the core of the Barents Cooperation.

Karlsen has over 25 years of international experience, working in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in its field missions and the secretariat, serving 56 member states.  He comes from the position as Head of International Relations at Finnmark County Administration (currently Troms and Finnmark County Administration) and has served as the county’s representative in the regional arm of the Barents Co-operation.


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