Administrative Manual for the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC)
The administration of the BEAC between the meetings of the Foreign Ministers every second year is run by the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) with administrative and organizational support by the International Barents Secretariat. The following Manual for administrative matters regarding the Barents co-operation was adopted by the CSO on June 17, 2008 , and it is replacing the Manual of October 2, 2003.
1. Organizational matters
a. Members and Observers
Members of the BEAC are: Denmark , Finland , Iceland , Norway , Russia , Sweden and the European Commission.
The Observers of the BEAC are: Canada , France , Germany , Italy , Japan , Netherlands , Poland , United Kingdom and the United States of America .
The following counties or their equivalents are members of the Barents Regional Council:
In Finland: Kainuu, Lapland and Oulu Region
In Norway: Finnmark, Nordland and Troms
In Russia: Arkhangelsk, Karelia, Komi, Murmansk and Nenets.
In Sweden: Norrbotten and Västerbotten.
b. Rotation of Chairs
The BEAC Chairmanship rotates every two years between the Ministers of foreign affairs of Finland , Norway , Russia and Sweden . The principle of the BEAC and the BRC should be that the same country should not hold the Chairs at both national/federal and regional levels at the same time. In order to avoid double chairmanship the rotation can be switched.
c. Types of Permanent and Temporary Groups under the BEAC CSO.
There should be two types of subsidiary bodies under the CSO:
BEAC Working Groups are appointed on a permanent basis and given their mandate by the CSO. The Working Groups report to the CSO.
BEAC Task Forces could be established for specific issues or actions to be undertaken during a limited period of time. Task Forces could be established by the CSO or by a Working Group.
d. The International Barents Secretariat (IBS) in Kirkenes , Norway
The International Barents Secretariat for the Cooperation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region was established November 15, 2007 , with the aim to make the Barents cooperation more coherent and efficient. The IBS shall provide administrative and organizational support to the BEAC and the BRC Chairmanships and to their subsidiary bodies in accordance with the “Terms of Reference for an International Barents Secretariat”. The organization and administration of the IBS is explained in further detail in the “Financial and Staff Rules of the International Barents Secretariat”.
2. Administrative matters
a. Annual progress reports
The chair of each subsidiary body prepares an annual progress report during January each year and transmits it to the CSO Chair by January 31. Recommended size of the report is 5 pages. The reports should describe work done during the past calendar year and work planned for the new calendar year. The CSO Chair circulates the reports through the IBS to all CSO representatives for comments and the reports are discussed by the CSO at its winter meeting (February/March).
b. Reports on subsidiary bodies
The CSO Chair with the assistance of the IBS prepares and distributes one-page reports on the work of each of the subsidiary bodies two weeks in advance of each CSO meeting.
c. Systematic document numbers
Each CSO, subsidiary body and IBS document, which is sent out by its Chair should have a document number (ex. Doc.BEAC.CSO.2008.1.Add2).
3. Information Policy, Public Relations and Data Management
a. Information strategy
The aim of the information policy of the BEAC and BRC with the support of the IBS is to provide the public, media and other bodies with the information on the ongoing activity and events in the Barents region, increase the visibility of the Barents cooperation and increase public awareness of the significance of the BEAC and BRC as the main tools of such cooperation.
b. Use of the websites www.beac.st and www.barentsinfo.org or any other websites or databases
The main aim of the BEAC websites is twofold:
- To provide general information on the Barents Region and to serve as the “public face” of the cooperation including presentations of the Barents related programs, projects and contact information with links to other relevant websites.
- To serve as a joint information point for the BEAC and BRC cooperation including documents, archives and publications. On beac.st website should be published agendas for upcoming BEAC meetings, the CSO Chair’s reports on the work of the subsidiary bodies to the CSO, annual progress reports and plans for a new calendar year of subsidiary bodies after their approval by the CSO.
The responsibility and costs for running the websites lies with the IBS. The tasks of the IBS in the area of information may be out-sourced to a contractor chosen by CSO in consultation with the RC.
The presentation of the Chair itself should be made available on its national website (e.g. Foreign Ministry site) with a link to the BEAC website.
www.beac.st also hosts documents such as minutes of the CSO meetings for internal use of the working bodies. These documents are made available upon authorization.
a. Financing of Participation in Scheduled Meetings of the CSO and its Subsidiary Bodies.
The main principle is that the country chairing the meeting, or if agreed the country hosting the meeting, will provide visa support and bear the costs directly connected to holding the meeting. The participants will cover the expenses for travel and stay and of their respective delegations.
- Travel costs – covered by the participant.
- Accommodation – covered by the participant.
- Meeting costs – covered by the chair.
- Meals – covered by the country chairing the meeting if working luncheon/dinner, otherwise not.
Interpretation – the country chairing the meeting decides on the needs for interpretation and covers such expenses. If the Chair does not find interpretation necessary but one of the participants would like to use interpretation, that participant is responsible for arranging interpretation at his/her own expense.
Local transports (e.g. to and from the airport and the meeting venue) – is covered by the country chairing the meeting if so stated in the meeting invitation. Otherwise not.
b. Joint financing of joint action plans/action programmes
It is the responsibility of each CSO subsidiary body to clarify financial implications, including division of costs, before adopting action plans or programmes. If such financial issues cannot be solved within a subsidiary body they may be raised with the CSO for consultations.