Final report: Coherent Northern Dimension

In the article Towards improved coordination between the four councils of the North, in the previous issue, 2/2011, BarentSaga reported that the Barents Institute of the University of Tromsø and the University of Tampere had been assigned to analyze the coordination of work between the Barents Euro-Arctic Council, the Arctic Council, the Nordic Council of Ministers, and the Council of Baltic Sea States. One of the aims was to provide decision makers with recommendations for future actions. The report titled Coherent Northern Dimension is now published. It puts the policy priorities of the four regional councils in the light of the Northern Dimension objectives and will be most likely be one of many inputs providing basis for discussion for the forth coming years in shaping cooperation in the North.
One recommendation concerning the Barents Cooperation touches upon the many working groups:

“By having as many as 16 working groups, the BEAC risks watering down its work and accomplishments by overextending. The BEAC should rethink the number of its working groups and the system of how they are in principle situated on two levels, the national and regional. If in practice many of the groups are joint ones uniting the two levels, and if joint groups can indeed best serve the interests of both levels, there seems little rationale for having separate government and regional level administration.” (p. 34 in Coherent Northern Dimension)

BarentSaga wants to point out that working groups are launched as a response to potentials for improvement in various fields through cross-border cooperation identified by politicians and experts. In practical terms it means that over time working groups come and go. In fact the downsizing of the number of groups is currently taking place as the two Barents groups in the field of youth are merging this fall.

Read the report [pdf]
International Arctic, Barents and Northern cooperation


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