The Committee of the Regions urges the EU to cooperate with Northern Sparsely Populated Areas in environmental policy

In a report presented in February, the Committee of the Regions (CoR), urges their own members and the EU to take count of all kinds of societies when shaping climate policy. To cooperate with the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas (NSPA) is mentioned as particularly important in order to increase the understanding of extreme environmental challenges within small sparsely populated communities, according to CoR.

The Committee of the Regions is the EU's advisory organ for regional issues with members from all over the EU that are also responsible to create documents and reports regarding the EU policy within different areas. Within the frame of the work within the Committee of the Regions environmental committee, ENVE, the report "Towards sustainable neighborhoods and small communities- environmental policy under the municipal level" was presented on the 12 February 2020. 

In the report the Committee of the Regions gives political recommendations to increase the understanding about all kinds of communities, especially smaller ones and the importance of taking then into consideration when shaping environmental policy. Special consideration is needed for special territorial situations where environmental challenges are great, one of which being the Norther Sparsely Populates Areas (NSPA), that consisted of the 13 northernmost regions of Sweden, Norway and Finland. One reason for this is that it's necessary that small communities under municipal level feel that they are included to contribute and take responsibility within climate issues.

The cooperation with networks as the NSPA, Southern Sparsely Populated Areas (SSPA) and Euro Montana for mountainous areas, should be protected and further developed according the Committee of the Regions, when sparsely populated areas often are situated far away from the rest of society and have certain experiences and needs that are unique. These regions also face common challenges like extreme climate and long distances to markets which means challenges for obtaining ambitions within the climate policy of EU.

The Committee suggests for examples that mechanisms are put in place to take sub-municipal issues into account in the shaping of CoR: s opinions and that the EU's institutions are informed of them. CoR encourages their members to cooperative individually with smaller communities within their home areas and to raise experiences into discussion at the CoR. Locally led development (LLU) is given as an example of a tool to better mobilize smaller municipal communities in the work of long-term development and the Europe 2020-startegy's goal through being able to cooperate on support mechanism from the EU in a locally driven development work.

Find the report of Committee of the Regions here.

08 Maj 2020