The NSPA network hosted a networking event consisted of a short seminar that aimed at discussing the Growth from the North report in the context of the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas.
On Monday the 12th of October, the NSPA network hosted a networking event which gathered around 70 participants at the Mid-Sweden European Office. The event consisted of a short seminar that aimed at discussing the Growth from the North report in the context of the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas. Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish stakeholders were invited to discuss how the European Arctic can achieve sustainable growth.
The report, published earlier this year, and is a co-production of an expert group set up by the Prime Ministers of Norway, Sweden and Finland in April 2014. An abstract of the report states the following:
Norway, Sweden and Finland share common economic, environmental and social interests in the Scandinavian Arctic. This report defines four drivers of growth and offers four instruments for the Governments of Norway, Sweden and Finland to use to secure sustainable economic growth in the North.
Four drivers: 1) LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) and renewables, 2) greener mining solutions, 3) increased tourism, and 4) ice and cold climate solutions.
Four instruments: 1) one regulatory framework, 2) one pool of talent and labour, 3) one long term transport and infrastructure plan, and 4) one voice in Arctic matters.
Unfortunately, the key note speaker of the event, Anne Husebekk from the University of Tromsø, who was one of the invited authors of the report, was not able to come to Brussels due to bad weather conditions in Norway. However, Mats-Rune Bergström from County Administrative Board of Västerbotten, took her place and highlighted the main messages of the report to the audience. In addition, the seminar participants got a presentation of the NSPA network by the director of the East and North Finland EU office, Kari Aalto.
Aalto highlighted that the NSPA network is a key arctic player in Europe, comprising of 14 regions representing the Arctic Europe, working together on common interests as well as challenges. He further pointed out that the Growth from the North report clearly demonstrates that the NSPA member states take the Arctic issue very seriously.
In addition, he highlighted that the key for the Arctic states of Europe is to identify the European Arctic, acknowledging the role of the people living in the Arctic, and recognizing the commonalities in our regions in order to find out what we can do to add growth and value in the various NSPA regions.
All the heads of the NSPA regional representation offices in Brussels were present and contributed to the discussion. They all agreed on the fact that it is important that the northern regions speak with one voice in the European Union.
You can read the full report here.