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Cooperation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region

Cooperation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region was launched in 1993 on two levels: intergovernmental (Barents Euro-Arctic Council, BEAC), and interregional (Barents Regional Council, BRC), with sustainable development as the overall objective. The region was an area of military confrontation during the Cold War. The underlying premise was that close cooperation secures poltical long-term stability and reduces possible tensions. This objective has already been successfully achieved. The Barents cooperation has fostered a new sense of unity and closer contact among the people of the region which is an excellent basis for further progress.

Cooperation in governmental and regional level

The members of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council are Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the European Commission. The chair of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council rotates between Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden. Russia holds the chairmanship for the period 2015-2017.

Thirteen counties or similar sub-national entities form the Barents Regional Council (BRC).  Kainuu, Finland, is the chair of the BRC for the period 2015-2017.

The representatives of the three indigenous peoples, the S├ími, the Nenets and the Vepsians, cooperate in the Working Group of Indigenous Peoples (WGIP). It has an advisory role in both the BEAC and the BRC which means that their participation is welcome in all Barents Working Groups, that the WGIP Chair is a member of the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) and the Barents Regional Committee, and that they are always represented at the BEAC Ministerial Sessions and the Barents Regional Council meetings. As of a CSO decision in February, 2011, all three indigenous peoples of the Barents Region can participate individually in the CSO, without a formal invitation.   

Where appropriate, there is also coordination with the relevant activities of the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Council of Baltic Sea States, the Arctic Council, and the Northern Dimension. 

The Barents cooperation in a few pages (updated October 2013):

Children and Youth at Risk cooperation programme

The Children and Youth at Risk cooperation programme, adopted by and owned by the Joint Working Group on Health and related Social Issues, has their own section on the Barents Cooperation web page.

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"CLIMATE JOURNEY" PHOTO EXHIBITION

During two missions, in 2007 and 2012, Swedish journalist Tom Juslin traveled through the Nordic countries to find out how climate change affects people, animals and nature - "Climate Journey" opens the planned series of exhibitions in in Kirkenes

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