NSPA Forum 2023 in Joensuu - registration open

We wish to welcome you to the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas (NSPA) Forum of 2023 in Joensuu, North Karelia, Finland. This year, the Forum will focus on giving an update on EU cohesion policy, the ongoing OECD study and the effects of security policy and infrastructure plans in the NSPA area. In addition, we will host a workshop on the future of NSPA.


Date: 14th of December 2023

Conference location: Sokos Hotel Kimmel, Itäranta 1. Conference room Marjala 2-3

Stay location: Sokos Hotel Kimmel

Conference fee: 100€ per person (an invoice will be sent as part of the confirmation email).

Registration: Please register here.

As the conference space has maximum capacity, a confirmation email will follow after registration.

Pre-conference reception: Sokos Hotel Kimmel, 13th December starting at 20.00.

Preliminary programme for the 14th of December:

8.30-9.00 Registration 

9.00-9.20 Opening words (Markus Hirvonen, Mayor of North Karelia and Päivi Ekdahl, Chair of NSPA Steering Committee)

9.20-10.30 OECD Study and Cohesion Policy Updates: Stefano Barbieri, OECD, Kari Aalto, East and North Finland EU Office and Mikael Janson, North Sweden European Office

10.30-12.00 Panel discussion: Effects of geopolitical situation, security policy and infrastructure plans in the NSPA area

Moderator Kari Aalto, East and North Finland EU Office

Lotta Rönström, North Sweden European Office and Janni Ekrem, North Norway European Office will set the scene on what is going on in NSPA regions when it comes to transport & logistics, financing and regional development in the new geopolitical realities and NATO expansion.

Panelists Mika Riipi, County Governor of Lapland, Jonas Andersson, Chairman of the Regional Development Board of Region Jämtland Härjedalen and Svein Magnar Øien Eggesvik, Chair of the County Council, Nordland County: will give Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian regional perspectives on the topics.

12.00-13.00 Lunch  

13.00-15.00 Future of NSPA Workshop

15.00-15.15 Coffee break

15.15-16.00 Wrap-up of the Forum 

16.00 Closing and welcome from the next Forum host

Hotel information:

Sokos Hotel Kimmel (50 rooms) can be booked until 27.11.2023 with code BNSPA in www.sokoshotels.fi or directly via email: kimmel.joensuu@sokoshotels.fi

Room prices (breakfast included): 



139€/2 persons/day 

Bigger Superior – rooms +20€ 


The easiest way for international guest to travel to Joensuu is by plane to Joensuu Airport. Transportation to the city center is possible by public bus or taxi. 

The plane via Helsinki arrives to Joensuu at 17.45 in the evening of 13th of December. On the 14th of December after the conference, the plane departures at 18.05 in the evening. Flight details: https://www.finnair.com/fi-en

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact:

Kari Aalto, kari.aalto@eastnorth.fi

Veera Ylipieti, veera.ylipieti@eastnorth.fi

24 Okt 2023