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 Sámi, 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):