New Secretary General Karen Ellemann visits Nordregio
“Just going up the stairs, gives a great impression – I love to see maps, how you visualise all the research projects that you do,“ says Karen Ellemann, new Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, on her first visit to Nordregio. Karen Ellemann started her new prime position on the 2 of January 2023. She has previously been Minister of Social Affairs and Minister of Nordic Co-operation in her native Denmark, and also a member of the Nordic Council. During her first 100 days as Secr. General, she aims to visit and familiarise herself with all Nordic institutions across the Nordic countries. “It is my first priority, to get to know the Nordic family, to listen, and get smarter. And strengthen the cooperation between us all,” Ellemann adds. Nordregio’s research spans a variety of topics within regional development, including timely issues such as green transition, rural service provision, competence mobility, and social inclusion. Karen Refsgaard, Research Director at Nordregio, presented the institute and its role in the Nordic Cooperation Programme for Regional Development, coordinating and conducting research for three thematic groups of policymakers within urban, rural and regional development. Senior Research Fellows Carlos Tapia, Nora Sánchez Gassen and Anna Lundgren then presented our current portfolio of green transition projects, all aiming for inclusion. See more information about the projects here: https://nordregio.org/research-topics/green-transition/# As final remarks, Karen Ellemann highlighted her ambition for the coming years: to create a stronger and more solution-oriented Nordic collaboration and succeed in communicating the results and impact of this work. “We need to focus on output, improve our Nordic storytelling, and remove the most harmful obstacles against the common Nordic labour market,” she concluded.
- 2023 January
- Nordic Region
Understanding migration drivers for policy development
Why do people migrate to Europe? What could we learn from analysing migration drivers to predict future migration patterns? How do the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and economic challenges affect the migration patterns to Europe? Last week, Nordregio hosted an online policy workshop on behalf of the Horizon 2020 project “Future Migration Scenarios for Europe”. Researchers from the FUME project presented the latest results from recently conducted studies on migration drivers and discussed the major implications on future migration policy development. Considering migration – future migrant’s perspective Karolina Sobczak-Szelc, a researcher at the Cracow University of Economics, presented a study that aims to understand the decision-making process related to internal and international migration. The interviews with potential migrants were conducted in Tunisia, Senegal, Iraq and Ukraine – countries representing various regions from which migrants usually come to Europe – Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe. Important to mention that the study was finalised before Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022. The study results show that the motivation to migrate differs between generations. “The aspiration to migrate abroad is higher among youth who recently moved from home to a larger city. Meanwhile, the parent generation who have settled in the city a long time ago, often wish that their children move abroad to seek better opportunities”, – Karolina Sobczak-Szelc comments. Researchers have also found a mismatch between aspirations and actual migration. They observed that legal migration is increasingly perceived as an unattainable dream rather than a feasible, planned project. This finding was especially relevant in Tunisia, Senegal and Iraq. While analysing Ukrainians‘ views on international migration in the pre-war times, researchers found little or almost no aspirations to migrate abroad. Instead, interviewees talked about their sentimental relations to the country and their wish and moral duty to contribute…
Nordregio recognised by yet another research council
The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working life, and Welfare, Forte, has accepted Nordregio as an official administrating organisation, opening up opportunities for collaboration between the two organisations. “To qualify Nordregio has proven not only that we can guarantee academic freedom but that we ensure the results are freely available. We are grateful to Forte for recognising Nordregio as a research institution with high standards, “ stated Rolf Elmér, Director of Nordregio. Forte funds research within three main fields: health, working life, and welfare. In health, the focus is on both public and individual health, and within the working life area, it includes studies on the labour market, work organisation and work-related health issues. Within welfare, Forte funds research on social policy and social insurance objectives, laws and institutions, and how they affect the welfare system. Nordregio conducts research in all these fields and a recent example includes a project that looks at the efficiency of digital interventions to counteract the loneliness of older people. We have also looked at how to integrate immigrants into the Nordic labor markets and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the development of digital health care and social care in the Nordics. This acceptance by Forte follows Nordregio’s acknowledgement as an official administration organisation by the Swedish Research Council last year.
- 2023 January
Longing for a cultural Christmas holiday? Going on a trip above the Arctic circle might be a good idea!
Are you late with your Christmas presents this year and wondering what to get? No time to knit your loved ones a personalized Christmas sweater? The answer to your panic could be a cultural experience. But where? Nordregio’s new map showing access to culture will guide you to the hidden gems in the Nordics! After several years of Covid restrictions with not much to do, we are eager to go out and about to experience some culture during the Christmas holiday. Nordregio has ranked the Nordic municipalities according to their accessibility to culture – in this case, a cinema or a museum. The map shows where the population, on average, has under 10 km to a cinema or a museum. This is considered to be “good” according to Nordic standards. In the Nordics, access to culture is not limited to big cities. The map highlights top-performing rural municipalities where people on average have less than 5 km to a cinema or a museum. So, what can we say about combining cultural experiences with rural cosiness? Well, going for a trip above the Arctic circle might be a good idea! The Norwegian municipality Berlevåg with the best overall ranking, can on average offer you a museum or cinema experience in less than 2.14 km from your home. So how come, what does Berlevåg do to be such a culture-friendly place? When zooming in on the town with 906 habitants, it becomes pretty evident that its cinematic history plays an important part… In 2001, the Norwegian film director Knut Erik Jensen made a documentary film about the men’s choir in the town, Berlevåg Mannsangsforening. The movie was called Heftig og begeistret, which means Cool and Crazy, and it became a big hit in the country. Apparently, the cinematic love is still going strong! The cool and crazy municipality of Berlevåg knows how…
- 2022 December
- Nordic Region
Locally produced energy: Solar energy on the rooftops in Nacka and a windmill park in Bornholm
The project Local ownership in transitions towards sustainable energy systems explores how local engagement can facilitate the transition towards green energy production. In this article, you can take a deep dive into two of the project’s cases: a housing cooperation in Nacka, Sweden, with an annual production of up to 500,000-540,000 kWh from solar panels, and an offshore windmill park in Bornholm, Denmark, with the aim to make the whole island self-sufficient on renewable energy. The project has conducted field research during 2022, and below, you can read about two of the cases: Igelbodaplatån in Nacka, Sweden, and Bornholms havvind in Bornholm, Denmark. Igelblodaplatån, Nacka The housing cooperative Brf Igelbodaplatån in Nacka, Sweden, was constructed in the late 1960s and consists of about 450 apartments. In the past decade, it has undergone a few energy projects, among others, an installation of solar panels on all six housing units’ rooftops in 2020. In total, it produces up to 500,000-540,000 kWh per year. Brf Igelbodaplatån is the 52nd-largest facilitation of solar energy production in all of Sweden. All households in the housing cooperatives jointly owns the housing cooperative which means that all residents together own the energy projects such as the solar panel production through their indirect ownership in their apartments. Bornholms Havvind On the Danish island of Bornholm, a group of local citizens has initiated a large-scale renewable energy project: Bornholms Havvind: 100% lokalt- og folkeejet – Bornholm Offshore Wind: 100% locally and citizen-owned. The goal is to establish a 100 MW offshore windmill park off the coast of Bornholm that will be 100% owned by local citizens, companies, and organizations. The aim is to make the island, with around 40.000 citizens, self-sufficient in renewable energy, where the projected increase of energy consumption in the years to come is taken into account. With…
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…