Nordic economic policy review 2023
This issue of Nordic Economic Policy Review explores the implications of new EU-wide climate policy in the Nordic countries. All of them have introduced more ambitious targets for abatement than the EU, but are the national targets and measures consistent with the EU’s new Fit for 55 package? If not, how should national policies be made consistent with EU policy? EU directives set targets for national climate policy, but member states are free to choose the means of achieving them. Are national measures to meet targets set by EU directives efficient? If not, how can they be made so? What are the costs and benefits of national climate policy aiming for more stringent targets than those under Fit for 55? We have put these questions to experts on the economics of climate policy in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
The owl has landed
The Icefjord Centre is a complicated building in an extreme climate. Pay a visit to the Icefjord Centre and its surroundings in the article “The owl has landed” by Kjell Nilsson and Leneisja Jungsberg, and learn more about the magnificent building in interaction with the spectacular, but at the same time vulnerable, nature that surrounds it. Nowhere in the world is climate change as significant as in Greenland. The municipality of Ilulissat has therefore inaugurated a new visitor center where you can study and experience climate change and its effects at close hand. At the same time, the building, designed by the Danish architect Dorthe Mandrup, is itself an outstanding example of the interplay between world-class architecture and a unique and magnificent natural landscape.
- 2023 January
- Other publications
- Nordic Region
- Arctic issues
Discussion paper on Digitalisation of Food Systems
The newly published Discussion paper on Digitalisation of Food Systems delves into one of the BioBaltic project focus areas, digitalisation in food systems. Part I provides a concept overview and relevance in Nordic and Baltic countries. Part II delves into the Vidzeme Region case-study in Latvia. We welcome comments and suggestions with any new perspectives! Digitalisation is the process of large-scale adoption of digital technologies and is one contemporary trend affecting all economic sectors and society at large. In food systems, digital technologies have been implemented for decades, but the so-called digital transformation and requirements for more sustainable practices in food value chains have added pressure on the need for a speedy and large-scale implementation of existing and new innovations. The discussion paper provides a conceptual framework of digitalisation in food systems, accompanied by a closer examination of the key issues at hand in Vidzeme region, a case study area in Latvia. The paper aims to gain a better understanding of the current state of and development opportunities of digitalisation, and the role of different forms of collaboration in this context. Furthermore, this paper is meant to spark discussion amongst partners, stakeholders, and a general audience about the technological, institutional and governance aspects that need to be addressed to be able to seize the opportunities of improving food systems via the application of digital tools.
Nordic economic policy review 2022
This issue of the Nordic economic policy review surveys the economic repercussions of the pandemic and the health and economic policies introduced to minimise its impact in the Nordic countries. Although national policies were broadly similar, they also differed in many respects. Given that some enjoyed greater success than others, comparing different policies and their effects may yield valuable lessons for the future. The Nordic countries weathered the COVID-19 pandemic relatively well compared to most other high-income countries, both in terms of public health and economic repercussions. Infection and excess mortality rates were comparatively low in the Nordic Region, except in Sweden, where they relied more on recommendations and guidelines than mandatory measures to contain the spread of the virus. The fall in GDP was also comparatively small and short-lived in all of the countries except Iceland, where tourism plays a more prominent role in the economy. In this review, we present a broad range of policy-relevant articles on a variety of issues. Two of the articles comparing economic policies and outcomes include countries from outside the Nordic Region. The article by Torben Andersen, Steinar Holden, and Seppo Honkapohja focuses on the macroeconomy. The one by Werner Eichhorst and Johannes Brunner focuses on the labour market.
Nordregio Strategy 2021-2024
The Nordregio Strategy 2021-2024 outlines our main mission and core research focus areas, which have been carefully aligned to address the key objectives and needs of policymakers and practitioners outlined within Nordic cooperation steering documents. In recent years, there has been a convergence of several global megatrends which are having a major impact on all aspects of the Nordic economy, society and environment. Climate change, migration, rapid demographic developments, digitalization and automation, increasing urban-rural divides, and growing socio-economic inequalities are some of the main threats facing the Nordic Region. Nordregio is focused on identifying practical Nordic policy solutions to help overcome these challenges and promote socio-economic growth and environmental sustainability across the Nordic Region. The Nordregio Strategy 2021-2024 has been written as a collaborative effort by our staff members in close cooperation with Nordregio’s Board of Directors, which represents the Nordic countries, Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland. The overarching goals that guide Nordregio’s research are outlined in the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Action Plan for Vision 2030, which is approved by the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation. The Action Plan defines the work to achieve the objectives of the Vision through a series of initiatives linked to the Vision’s three strategic priorities: a green Nordic Region, a competitive Nordic Region, and a socially sustainable Nordic Region. During the 2021-2024 period, Nordregio is committed to delivering high quality scientific, evidence-based research designed to provide policymakers and practitioners with sustainable policies to help overcome the main challenges faced by Nordic regions and municipalities. Our research will contribute substantially towards Nordic cooperation and synergies, while also showcasing Nordic policies, experience and competences internationally. The Board approved the Nordregio Strategy on the 15th of April 2021.
The Nordic Cooperation Programme for Regional Development and Planning 2017-2020
With this document, Nordregio provides a final status of the professional work for the activities across and within the Thematic Groups after four years and three months of the Nordic Cooperation Programme for Regional Development and Planning (NCP-RDP). In this final report, one will find an overview of the projects carried out by each TG, including a brief abstract of achieved results. Links to further details are provided for each of the projects.
- 2021 May
- Other publications
- Nordic Region
- Arctic issues
- Gender equality
- Green transition
- Labour market
- Maritime spatial planning
- Regional innovation
- Rural development
- Sustainable development
- Urban planning
A guide to collaborative mobility solutions in rural areas
Are you living in a rural area? Do you experience unfavourable mobility and accessibility conditions?Do you want to do something about the situation? If the answer is ‘yes’, then this manual is for you. It provides guidance on how grassroots actors and the public sector can work together to tackle mobility challenges in their rural areas. Working together in this way allows you to: gain a deeper understanding of residents’ needs; maximise and leverage the resources available to grassroots and public sector actors; and develop more creative, efficient and cost-effective mobility solutions that are well-used and sustainable in the long-term. Whether you are trying to initiate, coordinate or implement a collaborative mobility solution, this guide will help show you ways to do it. With decreasing and ageing populations in many rural parts of the Baltic Sea Region, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain public transport and other services that depend on mobility, such as care at home and home deliveries. This reduced accessibility of services impacts the quality of life of people living outside urban centres. The prospects for such regions seem grim at first sight. Adverse, self-reinforcing and interdependent processes (e.g. ageing populations, outward migration, unfavourable economic conditions, strained municipal budgets) are pulling many remote regions all over Europe into a self-perpetuating “circle of decline” that has a negative impact on the quality of life in rural areas. Looking more closely, however, there is ample hidden potential just waiting to be developed (in the form of existing social networks, resources and infrastructure), all within reach of local community actors and the public sector. The MAMBA project aims to meet this challenge by promoting sustainable “people-to-service” and “service-to-people” mobility solutions in rural areas. In practice, the MAMBA partners have worked together to improve the integration of existing mobility structures…
Mobility for all in rural areas – Inspiring solutions from MAMBA
This document presents the innovative mobility solutions developed and implemented within the MAMBA project. Each of them is different because they all take advantage of the opportunities and possibilities of the unique local context in the region. As a result, each measure has its own (hi)story, which is featured in this document. These experiences are presented in different styles, mirroring the different people who worked on the ground to promote better rural mobility and accessibility. In that sense, this document intentionally takes the reader on a journey to visit the various MAMBA solutions, where local guides share their experience, talk about the variety of challenges faced, introduce other members of their alliance and present the solutions they discovered. MAMBA stands for “Maximising Mobility and Accessibility of Services in Regions Affected by Demographic Change.” It is a European Interreg project that aims to improve the quality of life in rural areas in the Baltic Sea region through innovative mobility and accessibility solutions. At first glance, the prospects for such regions seem grim. Specific processes (e.g. ageing populations, out-migration, economic problems, strained public budgets, etc.) are pulling many remote regions all over Europe into a “circle of decline”; a self-perpetuating cycle (or circle) that has a negative impact on the quality of life in rural areas. Looking more closely, however, there is ample hidden potential just waiting to be developed in moving towards solutions. This includes strong social networks, creativity, commitment, resources, a collective sense of charity, and the various infrastructures possessed by local community members and/or the public sector. MAMBA showcases how small interventions can make a real, effective change and counteract this (vicious) circle.
Maximising mobility and access to services in rural areas
Demographic change and limited public funding in remote rural areas threaten the accessibility of goods and social services in many countries in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). The MAMBA project aims to meet this challenge by promoting sustainable “people-to-service” and “service-to-people” solutions in rural areas. These guidelines seek to provide feasible policy recommendations for national, regional and local government bodies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and transport service providers. They offer insights into overcoming legal, financial and governance obstacles to rural transport solutions, and aim to improve and maximise both mobility and access to services in rural regions. They are based on what has been learned during the three-year project in the nine regions involved, which have tested pilot schemes and established mobility centres. The pilot actions were part of the MAMBA project co-funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme and included legislative, economic and social analyses. The main recommendations for maximising mobility and access to services in rural areas are: Develop long-term mobility planning tools Improve social inclusion and access to services Try out innovative solutions using smaller vehicles Support grassroots initiatives Combine trips to save resources Establish conditions that guarantee mobility Make mobility-related procurement easier inrural areas Take risks and come up with innovative solutions Go digital. MAMBAThis document is the official output O5.4 of MAMBA (Maximising Mobility and Accessibility of Services in Regions Affected by Demographic Change). MAMBA is a transnational cooperation project part-funded by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund under the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014–2020). The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union, the Managing Authority or the Joint Secretariat of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014–2020. About this guidance document:These guidelines are…
- 2020 September
- Other publications
- Regional innovation
- Rural development
BONUS BASMATI HANDBOOK: Process, Methods and Tools for Stakeholder Involvement in Maritime Spatial Planning
Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), as with any other type of planning, is not just about the plans and their content, but the process of making those plans. Incorporating expert knowledge and the perspectives of different sea users and interest groups through stakeholder involvement (SI) processes is a central element in the design and implementation of marine spatial plans (MSPs). This handbook explores some of the key issues relating to SI in MSP, including: How to think about involving stakeholders? How to understand their needs? Who to involve? When is the appropriate time to involve them? What methods and tools are needed? What are the drawbacks? And how can a process leader carry out an effective, transparent and fair process? This handbook provides practitioners with some practical answers to these questions by offering a framework for systematically thinking about SI in the MSP process. The ideas and approaches to SI outlined are based on first-hand experiences from planners in the Baltic Sea Region and cover the whole of the MSP policy cycle. Executive summaries The executive summaries outlining the conceptual framework, general principles, methodologies and future directions of the stakeholder engagement in MSP are available in six languages: Danish English Finnish German Latvian Swedish BONUS BASMATI project has received funding from BONUS (Art 185), funded jointly by the EU and Innovation Fund Denmark, Swedish Research Council Formas, Academy of Finland, Latvian Ministry of Education and Science, and Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (Germany).
The territorial future of the Baltic Sea Region – Insights for policy makers
This short report is aimed at informing policy makers, planners, regional stakeholders and researchers on how the project’s outcomes can be used in practice. The Baltic Sea Region covers a vast geographical area with the Baltic Sea being its focal point. Traditionally the sea has been connecting the region, being the main means of transportation and trade. The region has a long cooperation tradition, bringing together regional players to address common challenges. Shaping the future has been a long time concern for the Baltic Sea Region. VASAB, Visions and Strategies around the Baltic Sea States, intergovernmental cooperation of ten Baltic Sea states, supports territorial development and also has, already from 2009 developed a Long-Term Perspective for the region identifying regional assets, development trends and challenges that may affect the development of the Baltic Sea Region. Scenarios and in particular territorial scenarios can be a useful tool to further inform and support policymakers in preparing for and shaping the future. To better support and update its work, VASAB initiated the ESPON targeted analysis project ‘Territorial Scenarios for the Baltic Sea Region 2050’.
Ålands Utvärderarnas fördjupade årsrapport för 2018
Ålands landsbygdsutvecklingsprogram perioden 2014-2020 Utvärderingens syfte är att förbättra kvaliteten, effektiviteten och måluppfyllelsen för det åländska landsbygdsutvecklingsprogrammets 2014-2020 (Ålands landskapsregering, 2017) genomförande. Programmets målsättning är att bidra till en mer hållbar ekonomisk och smart utveckling som fokuserar på produktivitet och miljömässig hållbarhet och skall ge lönsamma och livskraftiga lantbruksföretag, ett aktivt lantbruk och en attraktiv landsbygd. Landsbygdsprogrammet för Åland omfattar totalt en budget uppgående till 58,5 miljoner euro, varav EU delfinansierar programmet med 20,7 miljoner euro.
Integrating immigrants into the Nordic labour markets
Migration to the Nordic region increased strongly during the refugee crisis in 2015. On a per-capita basis, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden have taken in more asylum seekers than most other European countries. In the coming years, these refugees and subsequent newcomers have to be integrated into the Nordic labour markets, if asylum is granted. This will be an extremely challenging process. All Nordic countries are characterised by significant employment gaps between natives and foreign born, with particularly large gaps existing in Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Refugees in particular are more dependent on welfare support and less likely to be employed than natives. In recent years, an increasing number of studies have analysed measures to promote employment among migrants. Nonetheless, a systematic review of how different policies influence employment rates of refugees and other migrant groups in the Nordic countries has not been available previously. A new report produced by Nordregio for the Nordic Council of Ministers now gives an overview of existing measures to integrate immigrants into the Nordic labour market including policy recommendations and outlines of best practice. The following policy briefs are excerpts from the report Integrating Immigrants into the Nordic Labour Markets: Integrating Immigrants into the Nordic Labour Markets: An Overall Perspective, by Lars Calmfors and Nora Sánchez Gassen Active labour-market policies and newly arrived immigrants, by Pernilla Andersson Joona Immigration and social insurance design, by Bernt Bratsberg, Oddbjørn Raaum and Knut Røed Education policies for adolescent immigrants, by Anders Böhlmark Wage policies and the integration of immigrants, by Simon Ek and Per Skedinger How should the integration effort be organised?, by Vibeke Jakobsen and Torben Tranæs Policies promoting higher employment for non-Western immigrant women, by Jacob Nielsen Arendt and Marie Louise Schultz-Nielsen Education efforts and the integration of immigrants, by Tuomas Pekkarinen
Climate Policies in the Nordic Countries – Nordic Economic Policy Review 2019
The articles in the 2019 Nordic Economic Policy Review analyse how the Nordic countries best can contribute to international climate policy. The articles cover topics such as: How can the Nordics help raise the ambitions in the Paris Agreement? What is the effect of national policy on emissions regulated by the EU Emissions Trading System? Would it be cost-effective for the Nordic countries to pay for emission reductions elsewhere to a larger extent? What role should be played by subsidies to green technology? Should Norway put more emphasis on supply-side policies, that is, on limiting future extraction of oil and gas? Climate change has become a key concern for policy makers, business leaders and individuals all over the world. There exists a broad scientific consensus that the emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide (CO2), are responsible for global warming that, if not halted, could have unacceptable consequences, including catastrophic ones, in at least parts of the world. The main argument used by economists to motivate policy intervention against climate change is that emissions of greenhouse gases that drive global warming are an externality. The benefits of using fossil fuel accrue to the user, whereas the largely negative side effects are born by individuals spread over the globe and over very long time horizons. Since the externality extends across borders, a global collective-action problem arises with incentives for individual countries to free-ride on the climate policies by others. The volume contains five papers with associated comments which were originally presented at a conference in Stockholm on 24 October 2018.
White Paper on Nordic Sustainable Cities
Rapid urbanisation is one of today’s biggest global challenges. Nordic Sustainable Cities is a flagship project under the Nordic Prime Ministers’ initiative Nordic Solutions to Global Challenges that seeks to shed light on this challenge from a Nordic perspective. The White Paper on Nordic Sustainable Cities develops a narrative to describe the “Nordic Sustainable City”. It forms a basis for the knowledge sharing effort that will be carried out by Nordic Innovation, Nordregio’s sister institution under the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2018. This work aims to export Nordic stories as a means of branding the Nordic Region and contributing to global efforts towards urban sustainability. See also a case collection of 54 cases that exemplify a wide range of Nordic sustainable cities
Planning Systems and Legislation for Brownfield Development in the Central Baltic Countries
Brownfield redevelopment is an important topic in Europe, where many countries and cities are experiencing rapid urbanisation. It is predicted that by 2020 approximately 80 per cent of Europeans will be living in urban areas, which means that more land in and around urban areas will need to be developed for housing and other purposes. The aim of this brochure is to enable experiences of brownfield redevelopment to be exchanged between the Central Baltic countries (Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Sweden) by providing knowledge about the conditions for brownfield redevelopment in each country. The brochure presents the planning systems and principal legislation and policies related to brownfield redevelopment. It specifically highlights the aforementioned key challenges of cooperation between actors and the remediation of contaminated land, and looks at how domestic legislation and policies promote or hinder meeting those challenges. This brochure is published as part of the Baltic Urban Lab project, which involves four partner cities (Riga, Tallinn, Turku and Norrköping) developing and testing new integrated planning and partnership models for brownfield redevelopment. The partners are aiming to find ways to tackle the various challenges brought about by the development of sites that are often privately owned or have fragmented ownership structures and where the soil is often severely contaminated and thereby requires significant resources for remediation. The planning reviews in the brochure are drafted by Nordregio with valuable expert input from, in particular, the city partners and the associated partner, the Swedish National Board for Housing, Building and Planning.
- 2017 April
- Other publications
- Baltic Sea Region
- Urban planning
The Sámi are the only designated indigenous people in the European Union. They retain their own languages and traditions as well as their resource-based livelihoods based on i.e. reindeer herding. Through a series of maps, this paper presents different aspects of the Sámi and Sápmi, like: Traditional living areas, the current and official status of the Sámi and Sámi languages, demographic change in Sápmi and natural resources in Sápmi. Download the folder in other languages: Finnish Norwegian Saami
Public Investment and Procurement for Greener Buildings
One of the main deliverables of the RE-GREEN project is now available for reading. The handbook “Public Investment and Procurement for Greener Buildings – a handbook for European decision-makers” can be downloaded here. This handbook is a concise and easy-to-use reference document, providing practical guidance based on the knowledge and experiences developed within the RE-GREEN project. Its focus is on four integrated themes highlighted during the course of our three year work: green public procurement; green buildings; sustainable urban systems; and green governance. The handbook presents information in an interactive way; offering different pathways to explore public investment in green building.
Aspects of strategic climate work in Nordic municipalities
Nordic countries are working to mitigate and adapt to climate change at all levels. Counteracting and coping with climate change is a guiding principle for a wide range of Nordic initiatives. Local authorities are key actors in delivering the EU2020 and national climate targets. This is especially true in the Nordic countries where the responsibilities of the municipalities are quite broad, e.g. in energy production, land use, waste management and procurement. Also for this reason, Nordic municipalities play a key role in the creation of a sustainable and climate-friendly Nordic region. This study gives a general view over local climate work in Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The study is part of the NordLead project, aiming at recognising the success factors and needs for support in Nordic local climate change work. The project is led by Union of the Baltic Cities – Commission on Environment, and is partly funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. Other partners in the project are Nordregio and associations of local authorities in respective countries.
Regional Innovations: an introduction to concepts, practices and politics
Innovations is a policy buzz word and used more or less daily within the political debate. Innovations are regarded as fundamental for achieving economic, social and ecological sustainability. This booklet is an introduction guide to the concept, practices and politics of innovations with focus on its relevance for regional development. Innovations are expected to generate new firms and employment opportunities, increased competitiveness, and contribute growth, in Sweden and elsewhere. They are also perceived as crucial for handling climate change, resource scarcity and demographical challenges such as an ageing population and increased migration in Europe. But what is an innovation? How and where are innovations created? And how can regional innovation polices be formulated and implemented in a globalizing world? These are some of the key questions of this booklet, which also highlights concepts such as eco-innovation, social innovations, and smart specialisation. An open and inclusive definition innovations are currently being emphasised as for example in the recently published Swedish Innovation Strategy. Innovations are created by people and generates new values. An innovation can be anything from new technical products or service processes to a significantly improved business models or new forms of organisational and institutional arrangements. This conceptualisation of innovations creates opportunities and challenges policy making. Amongst other things, it implies that regions need position themselves in relation to other regions nationally and internationally, and simultaneously develop context specific innovation strategies and priorities. The booklet offers an introduction to current discourse on innovation by reviewing a selection of essential policy documents from leading international and national organisations such as OECD, EU and Swedish national authorities. It does not offer a new theory on innovation or suggestions on how to innovation policies should be formulated, but it provides an conceptual overview, practical thematic and regional examples on innovations and innovation policies.