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Finnish Chairmanship of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council

Finland's two-year Chairmanship of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) in 2013–2015 ended at the foreign ministerial session in Oulu on 14–15 October 2015.

During its Chairmanship, Finland continued to work on several of the themes started during the Norwegian BEAC Chairmanship to enhance sustainable development and the wellbeing of the people in the region.

The priorities of Finland's two-year Chairmanship were economic cooperation, transport and logistics, the environment and climate change, and youth cooperation.  Finland's other themes were tourism, cultural cooperation, health and social wellbeing, and emergency and rescue cooperation.

A successful term full of challenges

Despite the challenging international political situation, Finland conducted its BEAC Chairmanship in a constructive manner.

Concrete achievements during the two-year term included, among other things, a review of the financing of Barents cooperation, ensuring the financing of the Working Group of Indigenous Peoples, a survey of development needs in the Barents road network, and the implementation of Exercise Barents Rescue in Kittilä.

In addition, the Finnish Chairmanship laid an emphasis on the youth's opportunities of participation in building the future of the Barents Region.  Finland also tried to respond to the challenges of climate change by accelerating the implementation of the Barents Action Plan on Climate Change.

Close cooperation with different actors

Finland’s BEAC Chairmanship conducted close cooperation with the Governments of the BEAC countries, regional and local actors, civil society and, in particular, with representatives of the indigenous peoples in order to strengthen the common Barents identity. Finland promoted closer regional cooperation between the BEAC, the Arctic Council, the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and the Northern Dimension in order to increase synergy and efficiency.

Russia took over the BEAC Chairmanship after Finland. At the same time, the Kainuu region in Finland assumed the Chairmanship of the Barents Regional Council (BRC) after Arkhangelsk Oblast of Russia. 


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Updated 11/11/2015

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