Employ your expertise on the Baltic Sea region

Interreg Baltic Sea Region is an EU funding programme that facilitates transnational cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region. It has been offering funding for transnational projects since 1997. At the moment it is one of the financing mechanisms of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). The Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020 “supports integrated territorial development and cooperation for a more innovative, better accessible and sustainable Baltic Sea region”. Recently, 35 projects contributing to the priorities of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020 – capacity for innovation, efficient management of natural resources and sustainable transport – were approved by the programme. Altogether, EUR 90 million were allocated to these projects. The projects are hosted by authorities from local, regional and national levels, research and training institutions, sectoral agencies and associations, NGOs and enterprises from around the Baltic Sea. The list of the projects can be found on the project webpage of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region.

The Interreg Baltic Sea Region funding is mainly directed at public authorities, research and training institutions, NGOs, sectoral agencies and associations, and enterprises. How could you, as an expert on the Baltic Sea region, possibly benefit from this funding opportunity in future? That is something worth thinking about – good ideas will always fly.

The Arctic is the new Baltic? Expertise on both is needed!

These utmost Arctic weather conditions that we are experiencing at the moment raised a couple of thoughts about the Arctic.

The Arctic is becoming an integrated part of the global economy. Many positive visions regarding the economic prospects of Arctic resources and sea routes are linked to this globalization. In addition to the coastal states, the economic security and welfare of the local populations and indigenous peoples are expected to benefit. At the same time, attention towards the Arctic raises concern over the sustainability and ethics of Arctic energy exploration and its linkages to exacerbating climate change.

The ambassador of Finland to Norway Erik Lundberg wrote about the Norwegian interest for the Arctic, and the call for Finnish know-how (in Finnish, see Pulloposti 3/2016). True, as Finland possesses one of the northernmost areas in the world with a permanent population, there no doubt is different kind of expertise regarding life in northern conditions. Northern know-how is very much needed now that the Arctic ‘hype’ is here and everyone wants to have its piece of the ‘Arctic cake’. For us, this know-how perhaps does not appear as anything exotic, but as part of our everyday practice. The needed know-how is not only technical or economic in character – also know-how on e.g. the political, social and cultural conditions of life in the northern areas is very much needed. In this context, we can take advantage of our good experience from regional cooperation within the Baltic Sea region rather than reinvent the wheel. By being an expert on the Baltic Sea region, you’re halfway to becoming an expert on the Arctic, too.

P.S. Freezing over? Check the tips on how to survive winter in Finland and enjoy it!