Welcome to the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas

The regions of northern Finland, Norway and Sweden have many common circumstances such as sparse population, harsh climate and long distances.  This part of Europe is also specifically affected by globalisation, energy-supply, climate change and demographic change. The region has a population density of only 4.9 inhabitants per km2, something that cannot be found in any other part of the European Union.

The NSPA network represents close collaboration between the four northernmost counties of Sweden (Norrbotten, Västerbotten, Jämtland, Västernorrland), the seven northernmost and eastern regions of Finland (Lapland, Northern Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, North Karelia, Pohjois-Savo and Etelä-Savo) and North Norway (Finnmark, Troms and Nordland).

These 14 regions from three countries share common circumstances and objectives and are working together to raise awareness of the NSPA in the EU institutions, to influence EU policy and to provide a platform for best practise.

For more information please contact one of our four EU-offices in Brussels or email us on info@nspa-network.eu.

News

  • The NSPA stresses that meeting Europe 2020 targets requires consideration of regional specificities

    25 November 2014

    The Northern Sparsely Populated Area (NSPA) has submitted a response to the European Commission’s public consultation on the Europe 2020 strategy for the continued work towards a sustainable growth in the EU.

  • Transport infrastructure in the European Arctic - seminar in Brussels

    24 November 2014

    Transport infrastructure in the European Arctic - seminar in Brussels

    On the 19th of November, the NSPA in cooperation with MEPs Jens Nilsson and Henna Virkkunen hosted the seminar “Transport Infrastructure in the European Arctic”. The seminar was held in the European Parliament.

  • The Arctic on the agenda during NSPA’s forum in Bodø

    10 November 2014

    On the 4th and 5th of November, the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas held its yearly forum in Bodø. Politicians and other actors from the northern regions of Sweden, Finland and Norway got together to discuss Arctic issues.

  • Smart growth a theme on NSPA side event during Open Days 2014

    13 October 2014

    Smart growth  a theme on NSPA side event during Open Days 2014

    The NSPA network organised an Open Days side event under the name: "Northern Sparsely Populated Areas heading for smart growth - Europe 2020 and beyond" on Tuesday October 7th in Brussels. During the event important interest promotion issues and EU-policies concerning the northern areas were discussed and presentations on various themes were given by the network's four EU offices.

  • Invitation to the NSPA Forum 2014

    07 October 2014

    The NSPA Network in cooperation with Nordland fylkeskommune, cordially invites you to the NSPA Forum 2014, 4-5 November in Bodø.

  • Invitation: NSPA Transport Seminar, 19th of November

    30 September 2014

    We are pleased to welcome you to the next NSPA Transport Seminar the 19th of November in Brussels.

  • Invitation - NSPA Open Days Side Event

    08 September 2014

    The NSPA network welcomes you to the NSPA OPEN DAYS side event, Tuesday 7th of October.

  • The NSPA welcomes the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities

    09 June 2014

    The NSPA welcomes the European Commission's European Innovation Partnership Smart Cities and Communities initiative and stresses the importance of the rapid roll-out of Smart City applications and integrated solutions for energy, built environment, transport and horizontal ICT solutions. The NSPA regions and their cities are involved in various Smart City-type actions...

  • S3 Workshop: Smart Specialisation in Sparsely Populated Regions, Rovaniemi , 17-18 of June

    08 May 2014

    S3 Workshop: Smart Specialisation in Sparsely Populated Regions, Rovaniemi , 17-18 of June

    The 17-18 June 2014 the Smart Specialisation Platform (S3P) together with the region of Lapland will arrange a workshop in Rovaniemi, Finland, on the topic of Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (S3) in Sparsely Populated Regions. Registration is now available.

  • The future work of the NSPA network - minutes from NSPA forum workshops now available

    18 March 2014

    The future work of the NSPA network - minutes from NSPA forum workshops now available

    During the NSPA forum in Umeå in October 2013 participants engaged in workshops to discuss the future work of the NSPA. Notes from the workshops are now available and will be used as a basis for strategic discussions on the ongoing and future activities of the NSPA network.

  • The future of the NSPA dicussed at the NSPA Forum in Umeå, 24-25th of October

    29 October 2013

    The future of the NSPA dicussed at the NSPA Forum in Umeå, 24-25th of October

    Around 100 participants from the NSPA gathered in Umeå on the 24-25th of October for the NSPA Forum. The focus of the discussions were on the future of the NSPA network, how and by what measures can the NSPA network take the next step in its cooperation? Key note speakers included representatives from DG REGIO of the European Commission, European Parliament, authors of the Nordregio study on the NSPA, the OECD, as well as regional representatives from theNSPA.

  • Participants in the Open Days 2013 got a taste of the NSPA cooperation

    10 October 2013

    Participants in the Open Days 2013 got a taste of the NSPA cooperation

    On the 8th of October, the NSPA network invited participants from the NSPA regions, in the Open Days in Brussels, to a short seminar and networking cocktail to discuss the upcoming programming period, in the light of the NSPA cooperation. The event attracted around 90 participants.

  • Invitation: Meet your NSPA colleagues and get a taste of the NSPA cooperation

    05 September 2013

    Invitation: Meet your NSPA colleagues and get a taste of the NSPA cooperation

    The NSPA network invites you to a networking reception starting with a short seminar, on the 8th of October, during the Open Days - European week of Regions and Cities 2013.

  • NSPA Forum & Europaforum Northern Sweden, 24-25th of October in Umeå, Sweden

    12 July 2013

    We are pleased to welcome you to the back-to-back conferences of the next NSPA forum and the Europaforum Northern Sweden, taking place on the 23-25th of October in Umeå, Sweden.

  • Smart specialisation in focus at the NSPA Forum, Oulu

    29 May 2013

    Smart specialisation in focus at the NSPA Forum, Oulu

    Around 70 participants joined the discussions on future priorities and smart specialisation in our northern sparsely populated areas at the NSPA Forum in sunny Oulu on the 21-22 of May. Amongst the participants were representatives from the European Commission, the Finnish Parliament and from local and regional stakeholders in the NSPA.

  • NSPA Forum, 21-22 May 2013, Oulu

    02 April 2013

    NSPA Forum, 21-22 May 2013, Oulu

    The NSPA network cordially invites you to the next NSPA Forum, 21-22 May, 2013 in Oulu, North Finland. The Oulu Forum will focus on the role of the NSPA in the implementation of the different EU initiatives during the 2014-2020 programming period. Invitation and registration is now available.

  • Successful seminar on Transport Policy in the North

    20 March 2013

    Successful seminar on Transport Policy in the North

    On the 7th of March, the NSPA network organized a seminar on Transport Policy in the North at the Swedish Permanent Representation to the EU. With speakers from the European Commission, the permanent representations of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia and the head of secretariat for the Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics (NDPTL), the seminar attracted around 80 participants.

  • Transport Policy in the North

    25 January 2013

    The Northern Sparsely Populated Areas-network (NSPA) cordially invites you to the seminar “Transport Policy in the North” with keynote speakers from the governments of Finland, Norway, Sweden and Russia, the European Commission and the Secretariat for the Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics (NDPTL). Invitation and program is now available.

  • Seminar in the European Parliament on EU Cohesion Policy in the NSPA

    04 December 2012

    Seminar in the European Parliament on EU Cohesion Policy in the NSPA

    The NSPA seminar, on the 29th of November in the European Parliament, hosted by Swedish MEP Jens Nilsson and Finnish MEP Riikka Manner attracted more than 70 participants to get new thoughts on the value of EU Cohesion Policy in the NSPA. Invited speakers discussed the role of territorial cooperation and the importance of smart specialization to realize regional development potential. Participants also had the chance to hear about lessons learned from the NSPA experience and good examples from regions with different specificities.

  • The NSPA view on the EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework negotiations

    03 December 2012

    The NSPA view on the EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework negotiations

    NSPA representatives from Finland, Sweden and Norway met with the European Commission Directorate-General of Regional and Urban Policy, on the 28th of November, to discuss and give their position on the on-going negotiations on the EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework.

  • Cohesion policy as a tool for Smart Growth and an attractive region - Europe 2020 and the NSPA, 29th of November, 2012

    21 November 2012

    Cohesion policy as a tool for Smart Growth and an attractive region - Europe 2020 and the NSPA, 29th of November, 2012

    Welcome to a seminar on the value of EU Cohesion Policy in the NSPA. Invited speakers will discuss the role of territorial cooperation and the importance of smart specialisation to realise regional development potential. Looking at what lessons that can be learnt from the NSPA experience this seminar aims to provide good examples for other European regions with different specificities. Hosted by Swedish MEP Jens Nilsson (S&D) and Finnish MEP Riikka Manner (ALDE).

  • The NSPA attracted nearly 200 participants to Open Days seminar

    11 October 2012

    The NSPA attracted nearly 200 participants to Open Days seminar

    The NSPA seminar during the Open Days 2012 attracted more than 150 participants, amongst others several representatives from the European Commission and the European Parliament. Focusing on regional east-west cross border cooperation in the northernmost part of Europe, one of the conclusions of the seminar debate was the crucial importance of working across borders in the High North.

  • OPEN DAYS 2012: Meet your NSPA colleagues

    10 July 2012

    OPEN DAYS 2012: Meet your NSPA colleagues

    The Northern Sparsely Populated Areas network invites you to a cocktail event, after the official NSPA seminar, on Tuesday 9 October at 17.00.

  • OPEN DAYS 2012: NSPA - the heart of European east-west cross-border cooperation

    19 June 2012

    OPEN DAYS 2012: NSPA - the heart of European east-west cross-border cooperation

    The Northern Sparsely Populated Areas (NSPA) network cordially invites you to the OPEN DAYS 2012 seminar. The seminar will focus on the role of NSPA in regional east-west cross-border cooperation and its contribution to create added value for the whole of Europe.

  • NSPA challenges and opportunities discussed in the European Parliament

    08 June 2012

    NSPA challenges and opportunities discussed in the European Parliament

    Tuesday, 5th June, the NSPA network organized a breakfast meeting in the European Parliament on how EU cohesion policy can realize the enormous potential and help overcome the obstacles faced in the NSPA. The meeting was hosted by Finnish MEP Riikka Manner (ALDE) and Swedish MEP Jens Nilsson (S&D) and attracted around 30 participants.

  • NSPA breakfast meeting, 5th June 2012, European Parliament

    23 May 2012

    NSPA breakfast meeting, 5th June 2012, European Parliament

    We are pleased to welcome you to a breakfast in the European Parliament highlighting the potential and obstacles faced by the Northern Sparsely POpulated Areas. Swedish MEP Jens Nilsson (S&D) and Finnish MEP Riikka Manner (ALDE) will lead a discussion on how EU cohesion policy can realize the enormous potential and overcome the obstacles faced by EUrope's far north.

  • Transport and Raw Material in the NSPA on the agenda in the European Parliament

    03 May 2012

    Transport and Raw Material in the NSPA on the agenda in the European Parliament

    On the 24th April the NSPA and the Bothnian Corridor Group organized a seminar in the European Parliament about raw materials and transport in the northernmost parts of Europe. Hosting the seminar were MEPs Marita Ulvskog and Liisa Jaakonsaari and with keynote speakers from the European Commission, representatives from the NSPA and from the raw material industry, the seminar attracted around 50 participants.

  • Successful dialogue at the NSPA Forum

    23 April 2012

    Successful dialogue at the NSPA Forum

    The NSPA Forum in Sundsvall gathered around 60 participants to discuss the future cohesion policy and to adopt the NSPA position paper on the legislative package of cohesion policy 2014-2020.

  • Raw material and Transport in the High North

    22 February 2012

    Raw material and Transport in the High North

    On the 24th of April the NSPA and the Bothnian Corridor Group are arranging a seminar in the European Parliament on the increasing importance of the supply of raw materials and transport from the high north for the sustainable growth of the European economy.

  • NSPA Forum, 18-19 April, Sundsvall

    13 February 2012

    The NSPA network cordially invites you to the 4th NSPA Forum on the 18-19 April 2012 in Sundsvall. The Sundsvall forum will focus on the thematic concentration of the next EU funding period and the opportunities that it brings to the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas.

  • NSPA continues dialogue on sustained investments in the high north of Europe

    23 January 2012

    NSPA continues dialogue on sustained investments in the high north of Europe

    On the 8th December, the NSPA network met with director general Dirk Ahner, European Commission, to discuss and clarify what the proposals of the regulations on cohesion policy post 2013 signifies for our regions.

  • Open Days 2011: Demographic change in the NSPA

    18 October 2011

    Open Days 2011: Demographic change in the NSPA

    The NSPA seminar and reception on 11th of October 2011, attracted up to 130 registered participants from the NSPA regions. The NSPA seminar focused on demographic change from a young perspective and three young politicians from the three countries of the NSPA gave their view on the topic.

  • More than 80 stakeholders assembled for NSPA Forum in Kuopio

    30 September 2011

    More than 80 stakeholders assembled for NSPA Forum in Kuopio

    NSPA Forum in Kuopio on the 22 September assembled more than 80 stakeholders to discuss the next EU funding period and the opportunities of the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas.

  • Open Days 2011: Meet your NSPA colleagues

    07 July 2011

    Open Days 2011: Meet your NSPA colleagues

    The NSPA network invites you to a short seminar and networking reception on Tuesday 11 October at 18.00. The short seminar will focus on the demographic change and how the NSPA regions can attract more young people. After the seminar a networking reception will follow.

  • NSPA Forum, 22 September in Kuopio

    16 May 2011

    The NSPA Forum in Kuopio focuses on the next EU funding period and the opportunities that it brings to the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas. Attendees are actors from the EU institutions and the NSPA region.

  • Continued investment in the high north crucial for Europe

    02 February 2011

    Continued investment in the high north crucial for Europe

    Today political representatives from the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas in Finland, Sweden and Norway met with the European Commission to highlight the importance of continued investment in the regions.

  • Successful gathering in Tromsø

    27 January 2011

    Successful gathering in Tromsø

    Over 70 stakeholders from the three countries gathered in beautiful Tromsö on 18-19 January to exchange views and agree on the NSPA response to the 5th Cohesion Report.

  • NSPA Forum, 18-19th January 2011, Tromsø

    29 October 2010

    The forum aims to agree a joint political position for the NSPA-region concerning the 5th Cohesion Report. Attendees will be actors from the EU institutions and the NSPA region.

  • OPEN DAYS 2010: Workshop report

    19 October 2010

    OPEN DAYS 2010: Workshop report

    Read more about the workshop Northern Sparsely Populated Areas – Strong Specific and Promising on 5th October in Brussels.

  • OPEN DAYS 2010: Meet your NSPA-colleagues!

    17 September 2010

    OPEN DAYS 2010: Meet your NSPA-colleagues!

    Welcome to the NSPA Open Days cocktail in Brussels on Tuesday 5 October at 16:30.

  • OPEN DAYS 2010: Register for the NSPA workshop

    06 July 2010

    OPEN DAYS 2010: Register for the NSPA workshop

    We hope you would like to participate in our event and learn more how the experience and resources from the North can contribute to a prosperous and sustainable Europe.

  • Dialogue meeting with Intergroup 174

    12 May 2010

    The European Union’s future policy on territorial cohesion was on the agenda when the "Intergroup Mountain, Island and Sparsely Populated Regions" on Tuesday 4th May invited to a dialogue meeting in the European Parliament. The NSPA was invited to present how the NSPA positions itself for the future EU regional policy. Mr. Stein Ovesen, director of North Norway European Office, reports from the meeting.

  • OPEN DAYS 2010: Northern Sparsely Populated Areas - strong, specific and promising

    27 April 2010

    OPEN DAYS 2010: Northern Sparsely Populated Areas - strong, specific and promising

    The network will arrange a workshop during this year's Open Days showcasing the added value that the NSPA region brings to Europe.

  • NSPAs unique cooperation praised by DG Regio

    28 January 2010

    NSPAs unique cooperation praised by DG Regio

    A political delegation from northern Finland, Norway and Sweden has presented its political position on the future cohesion policy to Mr Dirk Ahner, Director General at DG Regional Policy, European Commission.

  • NSPA Forum 15 December in Kiruna

    11 November 2009

    NSPA Forum 15 December in Kiruna

    This first ever forum for the NSPA region aims to agree a joint political position for the NSPA-region concerning the future cohesion policy for 2014 onwards.

  • Barents cooperation and energy efficiency in focus at NSPA seminar

    09 October 2009

    Barents cooperation and energy efficiency in focus at NSPA seminar

    The two seminars organised by the NSPA at Open days both had a good turnout and made way for many discussions and networking opportunities. See the event report and presentations.

  • Strong, specific and promising - NSPA publish report as basis for joint position for the future of the region

    21 September 2009

    Strong, specific and promising - NSPA publish report as basis for joint position for the future of the region

    The report Northern Sparsely Populated Areas Foresight 2020, produced by Nordregio and commissioned by the NSPA network, has now been published. The dialogue continues in the region to create a joint position using the report as a basis.

  • Register for Open Days workshops

    06 July 2009

    Register for Open Days workshops

    Registration is now open for the Open Days workshops. The NSPA network together with Iceland are organising two workshops on Tuesday 6th October.

  • NSPA and Iceland at Open Days

    03 April 2009

    NSPA and Iceland at Open Days

    NSPA together with Iceland will participate in this year’s Open Days.

  • Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion

    27 February 2009

    NSPA submits viewpoints for the Consultation on the Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion to European Commission DG Regional Policy.

  • Comments on the Baltic Sea Strategy

    31 December 2008

    Comments on the Baltic Sea Strategy

    The NSPA network submits its comments on the Baltic Sea Strategy.

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