News and Updates

News and Updates 2019

Västerbotten is pleased to chair the Barents Regional Council 2019–2021

13.12.2019

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The Barents region has a strong potential based on vast natural resources, high-quality education and research, rich cultures and a long tradition of cooperation. During the past 26 years, the region has developed a unique people-to-people cooperation, and it has become one of Europe’s most important regions with regard to natural resources.

The Barents Regional Council has become an effective and relevant regional cooperation mechanism. Together we have managed to create an area of mutual trust and stability in Northern Europe. The Barents cooperation is unique, with stakeholders at national, regional and local levels, including societies of indigenous peoples. Västerbotten bases its Chairmanship on close cooperation with national, regional and local actors. We will work closely with the Norwegian Chairmanship of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council as well as with stakeholders at all levels to achieve the best possible results.

The Barents regions share a significant number of similarities, most notably the climate, sparse population, long distances, urbanization, vast natural resources and a high exposure to the consequences of the ongoing climate change. These characteristics both impose challenges and provide possibilities for our cooperation.

The strength of the Barents cooperation lies in the people of the region. That is why the regional level is so important. Cross-border people-to-people cooperation is the foundation of the Barents cooperation and Västerbotten will enhance people-to-people contacts, especially among the younger generation. The youth is the future of the Barents region. Keeping youth in our region is a common challenge. Gender equality contributes to regional prosperity and development. These are questions that we will pay extra attention to during the next two years.

The interactions in our northern regions and between our countries have persisted for centuries. The current challenge of climate change is making such interactions and cooperation more necessary than ever. We must ensure that all economic activities take into consideration the environmental impact and the interests of the people living in the region, including the indigenous peoples.

The Barents cooperation is a long-lasting stable cooperation and Västerbotten will keep on working in that spirit. We have two interesting and intensive years ahead of us and we are looking forward to that.

Read more about Västerbotten's BRC chairmanship priorities here.


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