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
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.