Nordic Council, EU and Russia meet to tackle development issues in the Arctic and Barents region

Feb 17, 2011 Original article here

The Nordic and Baltic countries meet February 22 with Russia and the EU, as well as representatives from the Arctic and Barents regions, to tackle issues such as the pollution of the Baltic Sea, improvement of the Northern Axis transportation corridor linking Europe and Asia, as well as energy policy and other matters of common concern.

Politicians from the Nordic and Baltic region as well as the Arctic and Barents area meet with representatives from the Russian Duma and the European Parliament for the second Northern Dimension Parliamentary Forum on February 22-23.

The Forum will take place in Tromsø, Norway and is hosted by the Norwegian Parliament.

Politicians present include representatives of the Saami population and the indigenous peoples of the Arctic region.

The Northern Dimension Partnership includes four pillars: environmental issues, health and social issues, transport and culture.

Negotiations will take place in all four areas, resulting in policy recommendations for the relevant national governments of all the parties involved.

The first Northern Dimension Parliamentary Forum was hosted by the European Parliament in 2009. The Forum has been instituted to improve cooperation and development in Northern Europe and the Arctic.

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EU, Russia, Norway and Iceland embark on closer cultural partnership

(Nordic Council News, 18 May 2010) — The EU member states, Russia, Norway and Iceland are to work more closely together on cultural issues after the joint International Forum for the establishment of new tools for cultural co-operation in Northern Europe. High-level officials from the countries will sign a Memorandum of Understanding in Saint Petersburg, 20-21 May. The Forum in St. Petersburg brings together individuals involved in the cultural sphere, creative enterprises, cultural institutions and officials from 11 countries to look at ways of boosting the creative economy in the area covered by the Northern Dimension. All of the European countries are currently discussing how to adopt these concepts and develop the potential for a creative economy, a growth sector capable of creating jobs and prosperity but which lacks funding and investment tools. The Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) is a new initiative for Northern Europe scheduled to be up and running in 2011. Its main objective is to facilitate access to funding for long-term projects and for enterprises capable of generating jobs and becoming self-sustainable. The NDPC will complement existing national and international organisations and institutions working on cultural co-operation and exchange, providing an extra platform to facilitate and promote dialogue and the exchange of best practices in the cultural sphere.