This article gives you an overview of the Nordic thematic working groups set up under the Nordic Co-operation Programme for Regional Development and Planning 2017–2020.
Three Nordic thematic groups have been established for the current programme period, covering the following areas:
- Sustainable rural development
- Innovative and resilient regions
- Sustainable cities and urban development
The groups have been set up by the Nordic Committee of Senior Officials for Regional Policies (EK-R), under the Nordic Council of Ministers for Sustainable Growth. The members are representatives of relevant ministries, national authorities, regional administrations and cross-border committees. Nordregio, the Nordic Council of Ministers’ international research centre for regional development and planning, acts as secretariat for the three groups.
The purpose of the thematic groups is to implement the co-operation programme and bring together relevant and interested stakeholders at the national and regional level in the Nordic countries. It will also contribute to the exchange of knowledge and experience between regional policy stakeholders, promote Nordic perspectives in the area of policy and highlight the importance of regional policy issues for sustainable development and growth.
Thematic Group 1: Sustainable Rural Development
In the Nordic Region, there are increasing regional imbalances between urban and rural areas in terms of population change, economic development, access to services and social outcomes. The Thematic Group on Sustainable Rural Development 2017–2020 explores development paths and policies that support or mitigate these changes.
The group focuses on three main goals:
- Supporting the development of policies and new solutions to the challenges facing the Nordic countries with regard to sustainable rural development
- Contributing to ongoing knowledge development by identifying specific examples, statistics and policy-relevant conclusions
- Identifying organisational and structural aspects of the implementation of regional policy, in order to enhance understanding of how multi-level governance affects the implementation of policies and initiatives in the focus area.
The work of the Nordic Thematic Group for Sustainable Rural Development 2017–2020 is organised around four major themes: demographic challenges; social innovation; the competences and skills necessary to boost economic growth; and strengthening cross-border co-operation.
The group’s activities build on the work of the Nordic Working Group on Demography and Welfare 2013–2016 and the Nordic Working Group for Sustainable Regional Development in the Arctic 2013–2016.
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