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5G applications in public services: What to envision for Nordic-Baltic cross-border collaboration?

As part of the 5G Techritory Forum in Riga on 29-30 November, the Nordic Council of Ministers for Digitalisation and Nordregio arranged a session dedicated to Nordic-Baltic collaboration on the 5G rollout. Nordregio researchers Ana de Jesus and Oskar Penje were there to present the 5G Nordic-Baltic Monitoring tool project and to gather the project reference group. The 5G Techritory Forum gathered over 2000 participants online and physically to meet leaders and policymakers to discuss the 5G ecosystem trends and co-create the industry’s future. The session “5G applications in public services: What to envision for Nordic-Baltic cross-border collaboration” was hosted by Stefan Eriksson, head of the Nordic Council of Minister’s office in Riga. Project manager Oskar Penje talked about the 5G ecosystem and trends in the Nordic-Baltic countries. This was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Heidi Himmanen (Chief Adviser, Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom), including Annika Svensson (Project Manager, Luleå University of Technology), Markku Niemi (Business Tampere), and Elīna Lidere (Latvijas Mobilais Telefons). Different perspectives were shared as Annika Svensson gave her views on 5G innovations in sparsely populated areas, Markku Niemi discussed 5G as a cornerstone for smart cities, and Elīna Lidere added to the debate on creating connected and data-driven cities using 5G technology. Some of the overarching questions addressed were: What can 5G offer to public services in the Nordic-Baltic countries? What are the benefits for society? What are the success factors in building partnerships and collaborations in 5G? What are the main barriers and limitations to further collaboration? The session is available here. Also, don’t miss the interview with Annika Svensson and Heidi Himmanen. There is a need to showcase more of what is being developed 5G has real benefits for society and solves real problems. It can empower more efficient and…

Nordregio’s position regarding the funding of research and research collaboration with Russia and Belarus

The Council of Nordic Ministers decided as of March 4, 2022, to immediately discontinue all collaborative efforts with Russia and Belarus. The Nordic Ministers for Cooperation stand united in this decision. This means that programs, projects, and activities in Russia and Belarus are discontinued until further notice. In light of the stance put forth by the Nordic Ministers for Cooperation, Nordregio issues a moratorium as regards the disbursal of project funds, the acceptance of applications, the execution of projects, and the entry into agreements and the like that involve Russian and Belarusian parties. The intention is to end all contacts and collaborative efforts with governmental and public institutions of Russian or Belarusian origin. “Intellectual and cultural engagement between individuals is an important prerequisite to creating cohesion and mutual understanding between countries. It is devastating that this war in this way will affect cooperation in academia, research and culture – fields that are meant to serve as tools for mitigating conflicts, building global understanding across borders and supporting people-to-people contacts. The Director reserves the right to decide whether specific contacts and collaborative efforts are appropriate on a case-by-case basis if the circumstances change in the future,” says Nordregio Director Rolf Elmér. Nordregio has been involved with four projects with one or several Russian counterparts: FemArc, Semper Arctic, WANO and Accelerating wood construction across Nordics and Russia. All of these projects have been halted.

Stories from cross-border areas during Covid-19

The trust between people in cross-border regions is not gone but has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and municipal and regional micro diplomatic relations play an important role in rebuilding this trust – a recently published report shows. The  “Covid-19 in Borderlands” (Covid-19 i gränslandet) report focuses on stories emerging from the Covid-19 crisis and the impact of border restrictions on communities along the Swedish-Norwegian border in Värmland (SE), Innlandet and Viken (NO).  “We should not forget that in border areas, the border is, by and large, invisible. People live, work and thrive across borders; it is a promise of opportunity for many. With the COVID-19 crisis, the border became an obstacle to living life as normal. This may affect the future dynamics of cross-border living. We need to recognise that even if Sweden and Norway are two different countries, the countries are highly intertwined,” says an author of the report Mari Wøien Meijer, Research Fellow at Nordregio. According to the researcher, existing collaborative constellations have continued during the pandemic and are an important element in building political and diplomatic resilience. “Covid-19 in Borderlands” was written on behalf of Region Värmland, supporting their report on Swedish-Norwegian relations.  Read the report here. (In Swedish)

Stronger institutions lead to higher Nordic trust

Strengthening institutions is crucial for mending Nordic trust and for building regional resilience in a post-pandemic world. This is the premise of a new academic article penned by Nordregio researchers. Alberto Giacometti, Mari Wøien Meijer and John Moodie, Nordregio researchers have worked together on a new academic article published in the Cross-Border Review Yearbook published by CESCI. The paper called “Trust: The social capital of border communities in the Nordic Region” looks into how the Covid 19 pandemic threatened the Nordic integration plans and the cooperation at large and how cross-border communities were heavily impacted. The researchers discuss the role of Nordic institutions and cross-border organizations in protecting the rights of citizens in border areas and introduce the concept of “adaptive institutionalization”. That could help establish a clear distribution of responsibilities across different levels of governance and thus help adapt cooperation to situations of potential future crisis. “We highlight the role of ‘trust’ as the ‘glue’ that keeps the Nordic collaboration in place, both among citizens and governance structures, which is pivotal for addressing future crises and global challenges,” says Alberto Giacometti, Nordregio Research Fellow. The 2021 edition of the yearbook is the eighth one and focuses on the riveting experience of life under the premises of a global and borderless pandemic. The “Cross-Border Review 2021” is intended primarily for the academic community, students of geography and political sciences and for all those who are curious about cross-border cooperation.

New Report: Nordic Cooperation amid pandemic travel restrictions

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a multi-level stress test for the Nordic Region. National pandemic measures have challenged the strong basis of open borders and free movement in Nordic cooperation. Nordregio Researchers Fellows, together with researchers from other institutions, have recently published a report ‘Nordic Cooperation amid pandemic travel restrictions’, drawing attention to the preparedness of the Nordic Region to jointly confront global crises at both national and local levels. The report explores strategies and travel restrictions adopted by four Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, and studies how the Nordic cooperation functioned in a crisis. At the local level, it examines the economic, labour market and social implications for three cross-border regions, Tornedalen (FI-SE border), Öresund (DK-SE border) and Svinesund (NO-SE border). While there is room for improvement in handling a crisis like the pandemic, the publication finds that there are diverging views on the desirability to have all-Nordic approaches to situations affecting national security. Measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus have taken a toll on society at large. However, the severe impacts observed in border areas have exposed the fragility of communities and businesses located along national borders to global crises.  “Although it is, unsurprising, and perhaps even expected, that each country was to adopt their own national strategy to the pandemic, rather than a joint one; what is most striking, is the blindness towards the social cost of inward-looking policies,” says Mari Wøien Meijer, Research Fellow at Nordregio. Border restrictions undermine all aspects of life and business in border communities. The disruption of people’s lives in border areas has been challenging, frustrating, and a wake-up call to the realities of those choosing a borderless life. Several themes emerge from the cases in these four Nordic countries, including trust, the impact of the measures and border closures,…

Why is Nordic co-operation struggling during the pandemic?

Insights on Covid-19 impacts from the perspectives of cross-border communities During Covid-19, free movement of people and services, and trade across borders has been drastically disrupted. Despite existing co-operation agreements, the Nordic countries took uncoordinated actions to protect themselves. Border closures have heavily affected lives in border communities. How could Nordic co-operation recover after the pandemic by integrating the resilience approach and focusing on cross-border communities? Nordregio – Nordic Institute for Regional Development – launches a report that gives an overview of the situation in Nordic border communities following border closures. Results point to the need for a quick recovery and re-engagement in the Nordic Vision 2030, which states that the Nordic Region is to be the most sustainable and integrated region in the world. Fragility of border communities and Nordic co-operation Since the introduction of the Nordic Passport Union in 1954, long before the establishment of the Schengen Area, Nordic citizens could travel without passports and reside freely in any Nordic country. Virtually borderless societies established strong connections with neighbouring countries. This allowed people to easily access goods, services and larger labour markets across Nordic countries. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries took unilateral actions to protect themselves, moving away from the Nordic Vision. Since then, border closures inflicted significant social, economic and political impact on the border regions: ‘Hard‘ borders re-emerged and border guards were deployed to stop border crossings. Border closures separated families and friends, and disrupted access to work, education and basic services. The closed Svinesund bridge connecting Sweden and Norway and a fence erected in the middle of Victoria Square between Haparanda and Tornio (Sweden-Finland) created a shock reaction in the communities which haven‘t experienced anything like it since World War II. Great economic losses resulted from a sudden absence of border shoppers…


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Open call for picture submission

Help Nordregio to visualise life in the Nordic cross-border areas during COVID-19 Do you live in a Nordic cross-border area? Or have you visited any of these areas before or during the pandemic? Maybe you took a bunch of pictures there? The cross-border communities are facing many challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic and closed borders. Life is not the same any more – many have had to change their daily life and work routines. Nordregio researchers are working on several projects in relation to this situation and you will hear about them very soon. To complement the studies and raise awareness about the current challenges, we would like to ask you to contribute with pictures from Nordic cross-border regions. Guidelines for submission: The submitted picture is made by the person who is submitting; One person can submit up to 5 pictures; The pictures are taken in cross-border areas in the Nordics; The caption describes the location, time and situation portrayed; If people are portrayed in the picture, and their face is recognizable, their signed consent to publish a picture should be provided; If people in the picture are under 18 years old, the parents’ signed consent to publish the picture should be provided; The pictures size is min 1 MB – max 16 MB; The picture formats are jpg, jpeg, png. Share your pictures by the 5th of March! The pictures will be used to illustrate Nordregio’s scientific publications and communications material related to the studies. The submissions are not subsidized but a clear reference to the author will be made. If you have any questions or concerns, please, contact

Nordregio is hiring: Head of GIS Department

Nordregio is inviting applications for a senior position as Head of GIS Department. Working at Nordregio means an opportunity to become part of a truly international research environment with a focus on sustainable regional development in the Nordic region and beyond. It offers significant career development potential in terms of enhancing your competences through applied and policy relevant research, achieving an international network of contacts, as well as getting extensive experience in team and project management. You will also get rich opportunities to collaborate with regional and municipal stakeholders in the Nordic countries. Nordregio is currently seeking a new Head of GIS Department with: Expertise in GIS, geo-data, quantitative analysis, and applied research in the field of regional development. Experience in leading a team and managing projects as well as a successful track record in grant applications. Knowledge in geographies and socio-economic trends in the Nordic Region and beyond. A drive for working in teams and in an international applied research environment. Eagerness to present and disseminate results to different stakeholder groups, both orally and in written format. Competences and qualifications As Head of GIS Department, you both lead and manage the GIS-team by planning and organising tasks and activities, communicate with each team member and contribute to their development. You are also a project manager with responsibilities to attract, initiate and lead externally funded research and innovation projects. The geographic scope of your field of interest includes a European and international perspective and expert knowledge in at least one of the Nordic countries. We appreciate abilities in external networking and in communication with stakeholders. Internally we appreciate analytical and creative skills, complemented by abilities to both cooperate and work on your own. For this position, you have at least 6 years of relevant work experience and an extensive network…

Stronger cross-border cooperation after the pandemic

Cross-border activities came dramatically to a halt in the spring of 2020 as a result of measures adopted to limit the spread of the Coronavirus. The ability to work, socialise, do business and use services across borders is an integral part of daily life in border communities all across the Nordic countries and Europe. Since the pandemic hit, border communities have faced extraordinary challenges as national borders were suddenly closed and various other restrictions were put in place. These obstacles were at the centre of attention at an online event “Strengthening cross-border communities: Lessons from Covid-19” organised by Nordregio together with the Bothnian Arc and Svinesund cross-border committees on the 12th November 2020. By Páll Tómas Finnsson, Communications consultant at Finnsson & Co Increased awareness of the value of cross-border cooperation “In times of crisis, it’s always possible to find opportunities,” said Martin Guillermo Ramírez, Secretary General of the Association of European Border Regions. He gave a European perspective on the challenges facing border regions, not only because of the pandemic but also in light of political developments such as Brexit and the increasing nationalism throughout Europe. In his talk, Ramírez emphasised that the current challenges should be regarded as an opportunity to further boost cross-border collaboration in the future. “Many of the nation states in Europe decided to close their borders to contain the pandemic, but in some cases, they were reopened less than 24 hours later because of the high level of interaction in the border areas,” he explained. According to Ramírez, the situation has brought the importance of integrated border communities higher up on both the national and European agendas. “This represents an important turn of events, considering that we started the year with the announcement that there would be a budget reduction for cross-border cooperation in…

How do Sámi youth experience their education and job opportunities?

Sami language competence is a sought-after skill in the regional labour markets. Sami-related occupations can be found in traditional occupations such as reindeer husbandry and Sami handicrafts, but also in tourism and in creative industries. But are there enough Sami teachers? And how do Sami education institutions meet the labour market demands and opportunities? Nordregio has published a report on Sámi youth perceptions in English and Northern Sami as a part of the work of The Nordic Thematic Group on Sustainable Rural Development 2017-2020. The report is available both in English and Northern Sámi, see the links below. Nordregio hosted a webinar in early June based on the findings of this report together with Sami youth representatives Juhán Niila Stålka, board member of the youth association Sáminuorra, and Arla Magga, the Sami Parliament in Finland, author of a report on cross-border education and the coordinator of an ongoing project on remote Sami language education. In case you missed it, the recording is available here:

Webinar 9 June: Sami Youth – Access to education and labour markets

Sami language competence is a sought-after skill in the regional labour markets. Sami-related occupations can be found in traditional occupations such as reindeer husbandry and Sami handicrafts, but also in tourism and in creative industries. But are there enough Sami teachers? And how do Sami education institutions meet the labour market demands and opportunities? A new report from Nordregio investigates these questions and the results are discussed in a webinar 9 June at 3pm (CET) together with Sami youth representatives Juhán Niila Stålka, board member of the youth association Sáminuorra, and Arla Magga, the Sami Parliament in Finland, author of a report on cross-border education and the coordinator of an ongoing project on remote Sami language education. “We didn’t really learn anything about our own culture in school. I started learning about it at university. Now that I have the language, there is so much I can do, for example translations, interpretation, write education material. (…) I have a friend who teaches Sami language remotely while living abroad. Modern technology makes this possible.” (Youth, F, FI) Linnea Löfving from Nordregio together with Lise Smed Olsen from Oxford Research will present the results of the study which was commissioned by The Nordic Thematic Group on Sustainable Rural Development 2017-2020. The report will be available at the group’s website, see, as well as sent to all webinar participants middle of June. A link to the event will be sent to all participants a day before, but registration is needed here:

Results from Pan Baltic Scope: towards coherent maritime spatial plans

The final chords of the Baltic maritime symphony have been played in Gothenburg on 10-12 December. The Pan Baltic Scope project partners from 12 planning authorities and organizations presented their outcome of the activities, collaboration and the progress of the national maritime spatial plans. The 2014 European Union Directive on MSP emphasizes the need for coherent maritime spatial planning and aligned plans between independent states. To achieve this, the Pan Baltic Scope project brought together eight MSP planning authorities and three regional organisations in the Baltic Sea Region as part of the consortium. The project team was led by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwaM), the lead partner in the predecessor Baltic SCOPE project. Yet again, the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) has been a trailblazer in the promotion and development of pioneering collaborative MSP activities. Nordregio was in charge of two activities: Drawing out the major lessons learned from the project activities and providing recommendations on how to bring better maritime spatial plans in the Baltic Sea Region. The final report includes factsheets that summarize tasks, achievements, enablers and challenges of different activities of the project. Developing of the land-sea interaction concept and exploring the potential of its application in MSP practices in the Baltic Sea region. The final report showcases stories, insights and lessons from countries at different stages of the MSP process, and to present challenges and enablers for effective LSI in a range of cross-border contexts, particularly encompassing the Gulf of Bothnia, Riga Bay and Germany. Publications The reports Nordregio was in charge of as well as all other reports will be available in print and as electronic versions. Lessons Learned in Cross-border Maritime Spatial Planning Experiences Lessons, stories and ideas on how to integrate Land-Sea Interactions into MSP Project Recommendations Scoping report Reactions…

Smart Specialisation in Sparsely Populated European Arctic Regions

A new report focusing on the ways Smart Specialisation (S3) has been applied in the Nordics, with a focus on European Arctic regions, has been published. The task has been carried on by a team of researchers from Nordregio and was commissioned by the European Commission Joint Research Centre and the JRC S3 Platform Team in Seville, Spain. The research analyses the specific context of the Arctic regions, with a focus on the influence smart specialization has had on the attempts to address Arctic challenges. The examples analysed by the Nordregio research team, headed by Senior Research Fellow Jukka Teräs and assisted by Laura Fagerlund and Viktor Salenius, underlined the importance of collaborative effort, presenting a number of good practice cases, where local, cross-regional and cross-border collaboration has helped new projects and initiatives emerge. An important factor emphasized by the study cases and presented in the report is the idea that smart specialisation is able to put in motion regional and local actors. The Arctic regions have proved to be pioneers in applying the S3 approach successfully, by working together and coming up with collective investment solutions. The cases discussed in the report demonstrate that working together and collaborating on joint opportunities is the pathway to establishing and developing long-term smart specialization solutions in the particular area of the European Arctic. The report can be found here.

Changing Ruralities – Nordregio Forum 2018

Rural development in a changing regional landscape was the headline for this year’s Nordregio Forum that brought some 130 participants from the entire Nordic-Baltic region together in Lund for an exciting two days of presentations and discussions. Nordregio Forum 2018 was held within the framework of the Nordic Thematic Group on Rural Development, one of the three working groups under the Nordic Council of Ministers for Regional Affairs. The Changing Ruralities conference was moderated by Norwegian-Italian Brit Pellegrino Riccardi ,whose declared aim was to challenge the images of regional development in a changing world for Forum participants.  International cooperation The opening speech was held by Director Johan Krafft from the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise, representing the Swedish chairmanship of the Nordic Council of Ministers, who stated that in times where international governance is threatened, Nordic co-operation is more important than ever and that both European cohesion policy and Nordic cooperation require knowledge sharing so we can grow together and strengthen our global as well as local and regional development. He was followed by Director of Regional Development for Region Skåne, Ulrika Geeraedts, who exemplified his remarks by showing a promotional video for Greater Copenhagen, the perfect example or good cross-border cooperation. She furthermore underlined, that when it comes to regional development, urban and rural development supplement each other, it is not a zero sum game, but a question of cross fertilization. Voices from the field A recurring topic throughout the Forum was the need to listen more to people who actually live in the rural regions to get their perspective on the planning and development needs. Bjørn Egil Flø from NIBIO delivered a very critical discourse on what he saw as the carnivalization of rural life, reduced to a recreational zone for creative project makers from the city and neoliberal…

State of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels

Nordregio has been included as part of the official program at the European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels, October 8-11. The event gathers key stakeholders from all walks of life within the regional sector in Europe, including key EU actors and fellow European research centers. State of the Nordic Region is a flagship publication of Nordregio and the last edition from February 2018 has now been downloaded nearly 11.000 times. The publication keeps attracting attention, most recently with two articles in Greenlandic media in August in connection with a presentation in Nuuk by Nordregio Academic Director Karen Refsgård. An event centered on State of the Nordic Region has now also been accepted as part of the official programme of the European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels. Activities at European Week of Regions and Cities The event, entitled Fact-based macroregional co-operation for better decision making will present results from State of the Nordic Region showing key socioeconomic features of the Nordic countries to a key European audience. But more importantly, it will also address the issue of macroregional and cross-border co-operation as well as the value of this type of fact-based collaboration. It will take place on October 11, from 11.00-12.30 at the Square in central Brussels. There are already more than 50 persons signed up, but a few places remain. Sign up here. In addition, Nordregio Senior Research Fellow Jukka Teräs will deliver a key note speech at an event on October 9, held by the Brussels based network for Northern Sparsely Populated Areas in the Scottish House. And Nordregio Research Fellow Leneisja Jungsberg will participate in the annual high-level Master Class hosted by the EU Committee of Regions and the Regional Studies Association.

The PanBaltic Scope project lifted its anchor

A new maritime spatial planning project – PanBaltic Scope – took off on 27-28 February on its two-year-long journey across the Baltic Sea to discover new tools and methods of how to improve and facilitate certain aspects of maritime spatial planning including ecosystem-based approach, land-sea interaction and green infrastructure. PanBaltic SCOPE project partners The efforts of Baltic SCOPE continue in the Pan Baltic Scope project, an even broader partnership aiming at achieving coherent national maritime spatial planning in the region while simultaneously building lasting macro-region mechanisms for cross-border MSP cooperation. To kick off the project and plan our next manoeuvres, MSP planning authorities from Sweden, Åland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Denmark, Poland and Germany in addition to VASAB, HELCOM, SYKE and Nordregio met each other last week in the Nordregio headquarter in Stockholm. New partners from Finland and Åland have joined us to widen the scope. New areas of Finnish-Åland-Swedish waters will be covered. Nordregio leads a WP on Land-Sea Interaction including two case studies as well as the Lessons Learned activity to provide feedback on progress in all activities. Our GIS team will get engaged and contribute with exquisite knowledge on Territorial Monitoring and to an activity on economic and social analysis. Active contribution will also come from communications. Overall assistance and support of project and planning activities and synchronisation of all work will be provided through the so-called planning forum. Through activity and work package lead and active engagement in many project activities, Nordregio will contribute to 6 overarching priorities: – Support the work of competent authorities and/or inter-ministerial bodies in charge of developing and implementing maritime spatial plans – Use a scenario-based method which should allow identifying and evaluating future potential uses, needs and maritime spatial development options. Such work should feed the establishment of maritime spatial plans…

Pioneering work for sustainable use and development of the Baltic Sea – The Baltic SCOPE project presents its results

Nordregio has been part of an intensive 2-year pioneering project on transboundary Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in the Baltic Sea: the Baltic SCOPE. The project ended in March 2017 and all final publications are now available online. The Baltic Sea is among the busiest seas in the world. Its ecosystem is unique and faces serious challenges. While improving the environmental status is a key priority, conflicts between economic sectors need to be addressed, especially with the introduction of new activities, such as offshore energy production. Finding synergies between sectors – including energy, environment, fisheries and shipping – could facilitate economic activities while ensuring a sustainable use of the maritime space and resources. MSP is a tool aiming at balancing sectorial interests and achieve sustainable use of marine resources. Baltic SCOPE is unique – it was the first project to bring together the national authorities responsible for MSP to collaborate in transboundary MSP, with the aim of addressing cross-border as well as pan-Baltic issues and identifying joint solutions. Moreover, the wider aim was to closely align the resulting national maritime spatial plans to achieve a more sustainable use of the common resources and be well prepare for future developments within the marine space. Baltic SCOPE has been successful in forging stronger links between participating authorities and sectors. It increased stakeholder knowledge and understanding of important sector interests and national approaches to MSP. New tools have been developed to identify and address conflicts and synergies between marine uses across countries. The exchange of information and data was necessary to identify important cross-border and cross-sector issues and to find concrete planning solutions as well as to develop practical tools to be used during the planning processes, such as the ecosystems based approach checklist toolbox and the AIS Explorer. Baltic SCOPE has also highlighted…

Cooperation programme 2017-2020 – New Thematic Group work has begun

On Wednesday 1 February representatives from ministries, cross-border organisations and Nordregio met for the official kick-off for the new Nordic Thematic Groups for Regional Development & Planning. Over 60 people participated in this initial meeting at Nordregio where the objectives and aims of the groups were presented along with the new themes. The programme period is four years and the thematic groups are expected to develop projects throughout the full period. The thematic groups, which are three, build upon the work of the Nordic Working Groups which were running from 2013 till the end of 2016. These new thematic groups are larger than the previous groups when it comes to the number of members in each group The new groups have the following themes: Sustainable Rural Development Innovative and Resilient Regions Sustainable Cities and Urban Development Each group also has to consider these horizontal themes in their work: Children and youth Economic, social and environmental sustainability Equality Integration Arctic Administrative reforms Tourism (new) The kick-off started with a communal meeting for all participants and continued with workshops where participants were asked to come up with project themes that they would like to focus on over the next two years. The deadline for the first plans is 15 March. A programme website will be set up shortly after that with more information about each group. More information about the cooperation programme can be found here.

January 25-26: Final Baltic SCOPE meetings

Time has come for the final meetings for the Baltic SCOPE project, this time in Gothenburg. The project, led by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management has been running since March 2015. The main goal of the project is to come up with common solutions of the cross-border maritime planning leading to greater alignment of national plans. To achieve the goal, two MSP cases have been performed, where the first encompasses the Baltic Sea’s southwest area, which affects Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Poland, and the other comprises the marine area between Estonia, Latvia, and Sweden. Both case studies have focused on how shipping traffic, energy production, fishing, and environment function in these areas and how they can compromise. The final reports will be published in March 2017. Read more about the final meeting here. Visit the Baltic Scope website here.

Nov 8-9: Strategy Forum of the EUSBSR

The 7th Strategy Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) will be hosted by the Swedish Government together with the Nordic Council of Ministers and in close cooperation with the European Commission. The Strategy Forum will be held on 8-9 November 2016 at the Brewery Conference Centre in Stockholm, Sweden. Nordregio takes an active part in the Strategy Forum with hosted sessions on both days. Read below for more information. Saving and using the Sea? – Connecting decision makers and actors through Maritime Spatial Planning is the name of a seminar Nordregio organises together with the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management and VASAB (Vision and Strategies around the Baltic). Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) provides an opportunity to achieve and balance the three main objectives of the EUSBSR. It is a cross-cutting mechanism boosting cooperation between actors on all governance levels. Transboundary MSP provides the means for addressing issues on a macro-regional scale. However, early findings from the Baltic SCOPE project indicate that the level of interest and involvement of decision makers and stakeholders at regional and local levels of governance needs to increase in order to achieve and balance the EUSBSR objectives across the region. Baltic SCOPE is part of a chain of projects on MSP in the BSR with a distinct contribution – it successfully brought national authorities together for the 1st time and thus to moves the MSP train further. The project created stronger links between the planning authorities taking part in the project and has strengthened a pan-Baltic approach to MSP. One of the next steps in MSP, and key to increase its legitimacy, is the mobilization of political decision makers. How should decision makers be included in MSP? How to save the sea while using it more effectively? To elaborate…