Successful dialogue at the NSPA Forum
The NSPA Forum in Sundsvall gathered around 60 participants to discuss the aspects of the future cohesion policy and to adopt opinions on the legislative package of cohesion policy 2014-2020.
Mr. Kari Aalto of the North Finland EU Office, introduced the Forum by giving a brief outlook on the background and work of the NSPA network.
Keynote speaker Ms. Charlina Vitcheva, Head of Directorate H, DG Regio introduced by giving some comments on the NSPA draft position paper and further presented the commission's proposal of the cohesion policy 2014-2020.
"One of the reasons why it is a pleasure to discuss with the northern regions is that you are always well aware of what is going on in Brussels. " Ms. Vitcheva said.
On the draft position, Ms. Vitcheva appreciated the NSPA's positive reflections on concentration on the Europe 2020 strategy and on synergies of policies.
"Your draft position paper is of high quality, I look forward to the discussions today" Ms. Vitcheva said.
On the issue of the proposed extra allocation to the NSPA regions, which in the proposal is a decrease in comparison to the current period, Ms. Vitcheva referred to the current debate on the overall budget where Sweden and Finland are amongst the member states that are working for a decrease of the EU budget, making it difficult to argue for a higher allocation of funds to the NSPA.
Ms. Vitcheva mentioned the importance of the work of the NSPA regions at the level of the European Parliament and with the member states in the Council and that the way to do it is to put forward good examples and the effectiveness of the funds in the NSPA areas.
Dr. Benito Giordano, expert in regional development of ADE Consultancy, presented a study on the relevance and effectiveness of support to regions with specific geographical features, ordered by the European Commission. The study looks at mountainous, island and sparsely populated areas and at the challenges and policy approaches present in these areas.
The study shows commonalities between these regions; remoteness from markets, services or clusters, territorial small size in terms of populations or scattered communities. A couple of conclusions from the study are that geographical specificities do matter and that the demographic change is a common challenge for all of these regions.
"The Nordic cases of the study shows that they have turned the corner in terms of seeing these challenges as opportunities rather than as handicaps." Dr. Giordano said.
Ms. Anna Carlsson, Swedish ministry of enterprise, energy and industry, gave the Swedish national perspective on the legislative proposal of the commission. The negotiations are still on-going but the local and regional stakeholders will be involved in the process.
"We strongly support some parts of the proposal, for example the concentration in line with the Europe 2020-strategy" Ms. Carlsson said.
Mr. Arve Skjerpen, Norwegian ministry for local and regional development, presented the Norwegian perspective on the proposal regarding the structural funds and on the issue of state aid.
"The government supports the NSPA position paper fully" Mr. Skjerpen said.
Norway is following the negotiations closely, especially via our Nordic cooperation. We are fully in favour of the thematic concentration. The parliament has asked Norway to form an alternative writing to the provision stating that regions that are not members of the EU cannot take part as lead partner in territorial cooperation.
"The commission representatives working with territorial cooperation support Norway in this issue. I am very optimistic", Mr. Skjerpen said.
The participants of the NSPA Forum also received a greeting from the European Parliament in Strasbourg, from Mr. Jens Nilsson and Ms. Riikka Manner, members of the European Parliament. Their common message was that the NSPA should continue the active work since this is the time to act at the level of the European Parliament.
"Do not hesitate to contact us - we appreciate your work" Ms. Manner said.
Watch the greeting from Ms. Manner and Mr. Nilsson here.
The afternoon was dedicated to group discussions on the draft position paper of the NSPA. Including comments and reflections from the speakers and from the workshop discussions, the NSPA Forum adopted the NSPA position on the legislative package on cohesion policy 2014-2020. The next NSPA Forum will be held in Oulu, Finland.
02 April 2013
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.
20 March 2013
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.
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.
04 December 2012
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.
03 December 2012
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
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).
11 October 2012
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.
10 July 2012
The Northern Sparsely Populated Areas network invites you to a cocktail event, after the official NSPA seminar, on Tuesday 9 October at 17.00.
19 June 2012
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.
08 June 2012
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.
23 May 2012
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.
03 May 2012
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.
23 April 2012
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.
22 February 2012
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.
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.
23 January 2012
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.
18 October 2011
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.
30 September 2011
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.
07 July 2011
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.
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.
02 February 2011
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.
27 January 2011
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.
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.
19 October 2010
Read more about the workshop Northern Sparsely Populated Areas – Strong Specific and Promising on 5th October in Brussels.
17 September 2010
Welcome to the NSPA Open Days cocktail in Brussels on Tuesday 5 October at 16:30.
06 July 2010
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.
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.
27 April 2010
The network will arrange a workshop during this year's Open Days showcasing the added value that the NSPA region brings to Europe.
28 January 2010
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.
11 November 2009
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.
09 October 2009
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
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.
06 July 2009
Registration is now open for the Open Days workshops. The NSPA network together with Iceland are organising two workshops on Tuesday 6th October.
03 April 2009
NSPA together with Iceland will participate in this year’s Open Days.
27 February 2009
NSPA submits viewpoints for the Consultation on the Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion to European Commission DG Regional Policy.
31 December 2008
The NSPA network submits its comments on the Baltic Sea Strategy.