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Launch of the Nordic-Baltic DigiHub: For a connected and digitally inclusive region

The Nordic and Baltic countries are among the most digitalised and innovative in the world. To leverage our competitive advantage, the ambition is for the region to continue its digital integration. Our vision for the Nordic-Baltic region is that it becomes the most integrated region in the world. To achieve this, collaboration on digital solutions is essential. Welcome to the Nordic-Baltic DigiHub: For a connected and digitally inclusive region! While many successful projects, use cases and trials are already taking place in the Nordic-Baltic region within digital development and integration, access to information is difficult to get and is scattered over several means of dissemination. “We identified a need to showcase more of what is being done when addressing these questions, in a common platform, to enable existing knowledge to be shared and to become more accessible. With these considerations in mind, the Nordic-Baltic Digital Hub was initiated”, says Nordregio researcher Ana de Jesus. The Nordic-Baltic DigiHub is a shared platform that showcases the projects “Digital inclusion in action” and “The Nordic-Baltic 5G monitoring tool” funded by The Nordic Council of Ministers and run by Nordregio. “The hub aims to promote collaboration, digital integration, and sustainable development in the region by sharing knowledge, tools, research, and facilitating exchanges among stakeholders. It focuses on addressing key questions related to emerging digital technologies, environmental impact, societal challenges, and aligning innovation with societal needs”, says Nordregio researcher Nicola Wendt-Lucas. The goal is to support a green, competitive, and socially sustainable digital transformation in the Nordic and Baltic countries, in line with their vision of becoming the most integrated and sustainable region in the world by 2030.

Hard to get. Easy to choose. Supporting sustainable living with the help of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel

Hard to get. Easy to choose. That is the tagline for the first cross-Nordic campaign of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel. Raising awareness of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel as a tool for Nordic consumers and businesses to make sustainable choices is an important part of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel project within the Sustainable Living programme, coordinated by Nordregio. The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is continuously raising the bar for companies applying to get the label – to ensure that the Nordic Swan Ecolabel is the strictest ecolabel in the Nordics. The Story of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel and the Nordic Council of Ministers It all started in the late 1980s. Somewhere amidst shoulder pads and hairspray, people became increasingly aware of the accelerating environmental destruction and its consequences. During the same period, the United Nations’ World Commission on Environment and Development (better known as the Brundtland Commission) released the report “Our Common Future” and introduced the concept of sustainable development. One of the conclusions was that the environment should not be an issue for experts only, but that everyone can contribute to reducing environmental impact. The Nordic Council of Ministers took this seriously. To enable consumers to make environmentally friendly choices, they initiated the official Nordic ecolabel inspired by their own logo: The green-and-white Swan Ecolabel was created and is now recognized by 95% of Nordic residents. New vision boosts collaboration for sustainable living Since then, the Council of Ministers and the Nordic Swan Ecolabel have collaborated at the Nordic and national levels, in various arenas and in different ways. When the Nordic Council of Ministers adopted a new vision in 2019, “to become the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030,” plans were born to further deepen their collaboration. Under the new vision, several exciting projects and programmes…
  • 2023 May

Western Balkan representatives will join Nordregio Forum in Iceland

As part the European Union’s support to the Western Balkans in their accession process, they have funded a Horizon Europe project titled GreenFORCE, which aims to foster excellence in scientific research. Nordregio is a proud partner of the project and looks forward to welcoming representatives from Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia to our annual forum in October where they can learn from the regional Nordic collaboration model. “The Nordic co-operation Programme for Regional Development and Planning is unique as it is set up to strengthen institutional capacities”, said Rolf Elmér, Director of Nordregio. The co-operation programme does this by enabling evidence-based learning and information sharing among researchers and civil servants from across the Nordic countries at national, regional, and local levels, as well as representatives from border committees. “Nordregio Forum is an opportunity for Western Balkan participants to learn about the benefits of informal arenas for knowledge exchange on policy-relevant topics around regional development and spatial planning,” explained Alberto Giacommeti, Nordregio Senior Research Advisor and project manager for GreenForce. “This is particularly relevant in a region were the formal channels are insufficient to address unsolved disputes.” Nordregio Forum is the annual meeting place for professionals and policymakers working with regional, rural and urban development in the Nordic countries. This year it will take place on 17 October in Reykjavik, Iceland.
  • 2023 May

Exploring the Nordic electric aviation horizon

Nordic countries have ambitious plans and commitments to promote sustainable flight solutions by introducing electric aircraft for short-haul domestic and cross-border flights. How far is it becoming a reality? What infrastructure, policies, interests and concerns are a help or hindrance? Join the discussion about the Nordic electric aviation development, inspired by three newly conducted Nordregio studies in collaboration with Nordic Energy Research and the University of Akureyri. Which Nordic routes will be the first to go electric?  Earlier this year, Nordregio published an accessibility study that identified over 200 potential electric aviation routes in the Nordics. This would significantly cut travel time compared to those going by both car or public transportation and yet be a more sustainable mobility solution. However, the feasibility of introducing the necessary infrastructure crucially depends on energy demands and availability.  What stands in the way of electric aviation in the Nordics? The Nordic countries are known for their low population density, breathtaking geography with fjords, lakes, and mountains, and a strong focus on sustainable energy. However, each country’s context varies.  Take Finland, for example. Electric aviation could improve connections to remote areas and improve regional competitiveness and tourism, yet substantial investments will be needed. Norway could reduce the environmental impact of travels connected to medical care, family and recreation. In Iceland, support for electric aviation is strong, both for environmental reasons and to further regional development. At the same time, an important concern is electrical safety. “It is exciting how soon electric aviation could become a reality in domestic flights in the Nordic countries. For instance, Icelandair has stated that the 30-seat electric airplane, developed by Heart Aerospace, could be used on all domestic routes, and it is estimated that it will be used for passenger transport in 2028,” says Sæunn Gísladóttir, Researcher at the University of Akureyri Research…

Gender Equality in the Blue Economy

Captain Sigríður Ólafsdóttir Twenty years ago several studies in Iceland revealed that women‘s access to decision making on natural resource extraction related to fishery management was inequal disfavoring women. No women were involved in the transformation of the fishery management system by being appointed to committees of officials engaged in the work or implementation. In spite of a long history of marine female experts, their role was not visible or officially decisive. The fishery sector is an occupational world where males have reigned. Across the circumpolar Arctic there is a long tradition for the perception that it is difficult to find decisive women to engage in public committees for the sector, and that very few women are shareholders within the fishery sector, not as quotaholders nor as owners of companies, if they were present it was primarily through pension funds (Sloan 2004, Karlsdóttir, 2004). Gender presence in public bodies related to fisheries and aquaculture in Iceland, 2004 Examples of governmental bodies Total number of female staff Thereof, female Researchers, experts Total number of male staff Thereof, male Researchers, experts Ministry of Fisheries 11 0 10 1 The Marine research.Inst. 42 4 84 5 Icelandic fisheries lab. 34 5 20 2  Directorate of fisheries 20 0 74 1 Ministry of Agriculture 14 0 10 1 Directorate of freshw. fisheries – – 2-5 1 Inst.of freshwater fisheries 5 2 13 7 Processed from various public sources combined with interviews 1 August 2004 (Karlsdóttir, 2004). However, we are now in 2023 – things might have changed. Administrative changes have also happened in the meantime. Examples of governmental bodies Total number of female staff Thereof, female Researchers, experts Total number of male staff Thereof, male Researchers, experts Ministry of food 27 9 29 13 Marine and Freshwater research.Inst.* 63 41 112 45  Directorate…

Nordic-Baltic exchange on wood construction: results from study-trip to Latvia  

In late April 2023, the BSRWood project, funded by the Swedish Institute, brought together a diverse group of participants from the Baltic countries, Sweden, and Finland in Latvia. The purpose was to learn from Latvia’s experience with wood construction and exchange learnings from across the pond. The study tour was organized with the assistance of Antra Viļuma from Riga Technical University and Kristaps Ceplis, the Executive Director of the Latvian Wood Construction Cluster (LKBK). The program combined presentations, site visits, lively discussions and, of course, some time to explore the exquisite night life of Riga.  Presentations and site visits: showcasing Latvia’s wood architecture and industry Presentations focused on Latvia’s wood architecture and industry and presented highlights of recent projects, most notably the circular reconstruction projects pushed by Riga municipality and the library in Ogre designed after a participatory process to meet the interests of the users such as young families while incorporating several smart sustainable solutions. Presentations also dealt with developments in fire safety regulations Estonia and fire safe design in Latvia, the upcoming policy push in Lithuania for increased used of wood in publicly procured buildings, and a more overarching presentation of systems innovation in a case study of Sweden’s and Finland’s wood construction development.   During the study visit, participants had the opportunity to explore the Forest and Wood Product Development and Research Institute in Jelgava. We learned about the various lab tests and educational programs in place to develop skills in wood building. The group also visited the ZAZA Timber factory and the impressive 87-meter wooden pedestrian bridge in Tērvete’s Nature Park, which also collects data on how wood adapts to changing weather conditions and vibrations. The following day, the group traveled north to Cēsis, a town renowned for its rich history in wood architecture and industry. Cēsis…


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Stockholm launch unveils latest edition of acclaimed Nordic Economic Policy Review

“The Nordic Economic Policy Review is one of the most prominent publications in our part of the world and in this field,” said Niklas Wykman, Swedish Minister of Financial Markets at the launch of the 2023 edition of this flagship report. The event, which took place on 8 May in Stockholm, brought together policymakers, experts, and academics to discuss the implications of EU versus national climate policies in the Nordic countries. In his opening remarks, Wykman highlighted the importance of dialogue and research in shaping effective climate policies. “For policymakers, it is extremely important to have dialogues about and reports to read on timely issues like this one. This event is also a platform for academia, and policymakers and politicians to come together to have discussions and debate,” he said. The report explores the effects of the EU’s ambitious Fit for 55 package on the region’s climate goals and economic policies. It examines the national climate targets and measures of Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, which have all set more ambitious abatement goals than the EU. The authors address key questions such as the consistency and efficiency of these national targets with the Fit for 55 package. Svante Mandell, a report author from the Swedish National Institute of Economic Research, emphasised the need for a reevaluation of Swedish national targets. He argued that by increasing trade in emission allowances with other EU member states, Sweden could achieve significant cost reductions without compromising the climate goals. Mandell stated, “Sweden has long been striving to act as a forerunner in climate policy, but now the EU is catching up.” During the discussion, Jytte Guteland, a Member of the Swedish Parliament, highlighted the importance of implementing the policies outlined in the Fit for 55 package, rather than debating its validity. Guteland said, “That…
  • 2023 May

Are we approaching a Swedish housing slump? Nordregio researcher Anna Granath Hansson featured in several major media on the topic

Senior Research Fellow Anna Granath Hansson and her research on the increasingly strained Swedish housing market gains much attention in Swedish media. Granath Hansson has been featured in the paper Dagens Nyheter, the TV news program Nyhetsmorgon and radio P1. Entering the housing market in Swedish larger towns is difficult, and often requires years on rental housing waiting lists or large enough savings and income to buy a home. In the future, those who do not have a home will find it even more difficult to enter the market. This says Anna Granath Hansson in an interview in Dagens Nyheter, warning about a Swedish housing slump. (DN: Forskaren varnar för bostadssmäll: Fler kommer att bo i misär). There has been a long economic boom where people have taken large mortgages while the rental market has not been opened up sufficiently. Those who would otherwise end up on the street have been taken care of as far as possible, but the middle group, those who work and manage their social contract, have not been cared for. Low-income groups that cannot afford to buy or keep a home and do not get access to rental housing will face an even tougher situation as competition increases. According to Granath Hansson, it is probable that more people will live in misery in Sweden due to the existing housing shortage. Housing construction has for many years been seen as the major remedy against the Swedish housing shortage. Now, rising interest rates and other negative external factors are sharply reducing the number of construction starts. This calls for a more comprehensive approach to housing policy and Granath Hansson encourages policymakers to consider the needs of lower and mid-income groups in housing policies. Granath Hansson was also interviewed on the popular morning tv show Nyhetsmorgon, talking about…
  • 2023 May

TANGO-W towards Vision 2050

TANGO-W is an innovative applied research project that is taking on the challenges of climate change through Urban Transformative Capacities. Recently, TANGO-W’s research and city partners gathered in Norrtälje, Sweden for a two-day event that included workshops, panel discussions, and planning sessions. From evaluating cities’ potential for sustainability to exploring new business pathways for commercial exploitation – TANGO-W is an applied research project that uses the concept of Urban Transformative Capacities (UTC) to evaluate cities’ potential for sustainability. With a focus on the intersection of food, energy, and water systems, the project aims to help cities tackle climate change challenges and encourage sustainable urban development.  Day 1: intervention planning The first day was dedicated to a series of intervention planning exercises for each of the project’s Urban Living Labs (ULLs). These role-playing exercises enabled the city representatives to reconsider how each stakeholder in their ULL works together and reframe how they might understand these stakeholders in relation to one another and to the project objectives. Partners also heard from Björn Oliviusson, an aquaponics expert and stakeholder in Norrtälje’s ULL who currently owns a greenhouse that produces bananas and other tropical fruits in Sweden. Day 2: evaluation and discussions On the following day, research and city partners conducted a one-year evaluation followed by a discussion on the temporal architectures of the ULLs among each of the national partner groups (Austria, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden). The day continued with a discussion on business plans and potential pathways for commercial exploitation from the ULLs — a topic that will be further taken up in the coming year. Finally, researchers and city partners heard from delegates of other EN-UTC projects (SUNEX and WASTE FEW ULL) along with a stakeholder from Stockholm’s ULL, Daniel Bergqvist. The SUNEX project is working on understanding the supply and…
  • 2023 May

Nordregio published a new NATO map

One of Nordregio’s most viewed maps is the one showing NATO and non-NATO membership in Europe in 2015. The map has been updated to the year 2023, showing the newest NATO member countries Montenegro, North Macedonia and Finland. Finland is the newest NATO member when it became the organisation’s 31st Ally on the 4th of April this year. Since 2015 when Nordregio published a map showing NATO and non-NATO membership in Europe, Montenegro joined in 2017 and North Macedonia in 2020.
  • 2023 April

Introducing PREMIUM_EU: A new project to prevent brain drain in Europe

Can research and AI-generated policies counter migration trends that tend to harm vulnerable regions? A new project kicks-off an ambitious attempt to find out. People are no longer bound to their birthplaces and are instead choosing to move to other parts of the world in search of better opportunities. In Europe, this has led to a phenomenon known as brain drain, where highly skilled workers leave their home regions in search of better jobs and quality of life. This has left behind areas of Europe that are struggling to maintain their population and attract new talent. PREMIUM_EU is a project that seeks to enlighten and find alternative ways to turn this imbalance around. Why study migration’s effect on remote regions? Migration is a contentious issue in many parts of Europe, and policies that are seen as too favorable to migrants often face opposition from local communities. Shifts in labour sectors, housing shortages, integration tensions. These are some of many concerns receiving countries have about migrant flows. On the other hand, many remote regions face the opposite reality. People are moving and no migrants are arriving to replace them. When highly skilled workers migrate out of a region this can have negative impacts on the economy and social fabric of the region. Loss of talent and expertise combined with an aging population leaves communities in crisis. PREMIUM_EU is built on the premise that spatial mobility, or the ability of people to move freely between different regions, can offer new opportunities to both sending and receiving regions. Europe’s population would shrink dramatically without migration. This project seeks to identify the positive effects of migration that are often overlooked. What is PREMIUM_EU? The lengthy acronym outlines the goal concisely: “Policy REcommendations to Maximise the beneficial Impact of Unexplored Mobilities in and beyond the…

Why is it so hard to switch to healthier diets?

We need to eat healthier and more sustainably – we know that. But why is it so hard to change behaviour? This was the topic when nearly 150 professionals gathered for a Nordic workshop to discuss and brainstorm ideas for effective measures to facilitate change, focusing on possible policies that can be implemented to improve food choices and dietary habits. The interest in the workshop “Behaviour change for sustainable food consumption” was huge and nearly 150 people from all over the Nordics gathered both physically and online to learn and discuss behaviour change in diets. For one afternoon, the participants could dive into the theme in the company of several speakers: Michael Minter (CONCITO’s Food Program), Therese Lindahl (Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics), Pierre Chandon (European Institute for Business Administration), Minna Kaljonen (Finnish Environment Institute), Alexander Dubois (Formas) and Rasmus Lillelund Lovring and Jeppe Deleuran Kristensen (Aarhus municipality). Less meat and more plant-based meal options We are facing several sustainability challenges. Four out of nine planetary boundaries are already crossed: biodiversity, biochemical flows, land use and climate change. In the future, we must feed more people on less land. The single most important transformation is shifting diets. This was highlighted by Michael Minter from the think tank CONCITO. The key elements in the food transition are eating less meat and dairy, eating more vegetables and fruits and introducing new plant-based products. The key drivers in the shift are research, education, opinion-building, retail, the food industry and agriculture. When shifting to more sustainable and healthy diets, we must also focus on a just transition. Minna Kaljonen from the Finnish Environment Institute highlighted that the broad societal changes needed will have significant social, economic and cultural effects. Some changes might seem unfair to the farmers and the consumers. “The societal discussion space…

Nordregio presented during EU seminar on the green transition

The Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union hosted a seminar on the 23rd of March, focusing on skills for the green transition for a competitive Europe. Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio Timothy Heleniak was invited to present at the session. The event gathered 150 participants involved in various aspects of education, adult learning, life-long learning, and skills for the green transition from all over Europe. Mats Persson, the Swedish Minister of Education, opened the seminar and highlighted the changing and growing needs in the labour market to achieve Europe’s green transition. “The green transition can only succeed if the European Union has the qualified labour that is needed. Between 2015 and 2021, the labour shortage in sectors considered key for the green transition doubled. This year, The European Year of Skills aims to strengthen competencies and skills needed for the green transition.” Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, focused on the opportunities arising from the green transition. “The green transition could create up to 1 million additional jobs in the EU by 2030. But for that, the right policies need to be in place.” There is a skill gap within the EU, with around 800 000 trained workers needed for the battery section. There is also a demand for experts in renewable energy. “We need to act upon these skills shortages. Our ambitious target is that 60 per cent of adults should participate in training by 2030.” Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio Timothy Heleniak gave a presentation in a session titled ‘Supplying scarcely populated areas with competencies needed for sustainable growth and development’, based on his fieldwork last year in Norrbotten, Sweden, and the green transition there.

Explore the Nordic Region’s borders from the 16th century until today

Today, on Nordic Day, we celebrate Nordic cooperation, which includes Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden as well as the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland. This year marks 61 years since cooperation was made official through the Helsinki Agreement – popularly called the Nordic constitution. The cooperation was created in the years after the Second World War, among other things with the aim that the Nordic countries should together create security and preserve democracy and peace. The collaboration has grown over the years and today handles many political areas, with the aim that the Nordic Region will be the world’s most sustainable and integrated region by 2030. This year, Nordic Day is held in the shadow of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, a war that has significant consequences for the whole world, not least for the Nordics. War and peace have always formed the borders of the Nordic region. In our new interactive map tool, you can explore the changing borders and political landscapes of the Nordic Region from the 16th century up to today. From Thule, the Kalmar Union and Sámi – to today’s Nordic Region. Over the past 500 years, the region we know today has been known under many names. Now you have the chance to gain a deeper understanding of our region. Let Nordregio guide you on a journey through time with our interactive map service. Start exploring today to discover the rich and complex history of the Nordic Region.
  • 2023 March

Which electric aviation routes would be most beneficial in the Nordics?

Nordregio launched the accessibility study that identifies over 200 routes in the Nordics in which electric aviation would shorten the travel time by at least 1,5 times, compared to the same route by car or public transport! A Norwegian fisherman Bjørn has just returned to Tromsø after his winter fishing in Andenes. It was supposed to take around 7 hours by car to bring the Atlantic cod home, but since the winter conditions were not the best, it took him much longer than expected. If there were an electric plane route connecting Andenes and Tromsø, the travel time and distance would shorten significantly (from nearly 500km to around 100km), and the environmental impact of such a trip would be reduced. The Nordic region shares many similar accessibility challenges for remote and rural regions. The geographical characteristics of some of these areas, such as large bodies of water, vast forest areas, long coastal lines, mountain ranges and fjords mean that they would experience a significant reduction in travel time using airplanes compared to other modes of transport, such as car, bus or train. About the project This accessibility study is a part of the project “Electric Aviation and the Effect on Nordic Regions”, which aims to investigate how regions and local areas in the Nordic area will be affected by the implementation of electric aviation. The study analyses effects on the local communities, labour market, environment and climate, and the need for developing infrastructure and policies.

Co-creating rural futures in Europe

The SHERPA annual conference was organised in Montpellier, France, at the end of January and focused on co-creating rural futures. It is the last year of the project, and one challenge for the researchers is to capture and utilise the huge amount of knowledge and good suggestions produced at the local level. SHERPA (Sustainable Hub to Engage into Rural Policies with Actors) is a four-year project (2019-2023) with 17 partners funded by the Horizon 2020 programme. The unique thing about the SHERPA project is how it works with the local stakeholders, generates policy-relevant research together at the local level, and delivers information to the EU level. Nordregio is a partner in the SHERPA project and steers the work of several of these Multi-Stakeholder Platforms (MAPs). The MAPs have identified local threats and challenges to living and working in ways that will enable transitions towards climate neutrality and opportunities that could be created and pursued. At the moment, Nordregio is working with MAPs in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Estonia, which are all in the process of preparing their position papers on how to empower rural areas in multi-level governance processes. Each MAP chooses an area of relevance for their region that highlights main issues and suggestions for solutions. Senior Research Fellow Leneisja Jungsberg and Research Fellow Hilma Salonen are part of the Nordregio SHERPA team. During the conference, Jungsberg and Salonen learnt that the MAPs had similar experiences of the most pressing rural issues now, despite huge geographic, political and social differences. “The SHERPA project is facing a challenge that all research projects and institutions can relate to. How to capture and utilise the huge amount of knowledge and good suggestions that we have produced at the local level? New, more systemic approaches would be needed to reach this aim and…

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: 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.  

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…