Four countries are cooperating within the Barents Euro-Arctic Council – Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia, 14 regions in total. The main decision-making body is the ministerial meeting that is held biennially. However, the hardest work is being carried out by 14 working groups that cover such areas as culture, economic cooperation, education, environmental issues, healthcare and others — Tomas Hallberg, Head, International Barents Secretariat.
We have a number of cooperation formats with the Barents Region. We have set up cross-border cooperation as well as cooperation between twin towns. One of our achievements is inclusion into the EU cross-border cooperation programme, which provides us with additional instruments — Pentti Malinen, Head, Regional Council of Kainuu of the Republic of Finland.
We have an example of creation of an information centre. It is an example of cooperation between Sweden and Karelia, in particular, the centre in Petrozavodsk — Magdalena Andersson, Governor of Västerbotten County of the Kingdom of Sweden.
From 2013 to 2015, Arkhangelsk Region headed the regional level of cooperation in BEAC, and I look back at this period as a time of productive meetings and trips — Igor Orlov, Governor of Arkhangelsk Region.
We work through around 200 projects a year, it is extensive cooperation that has no boundaries, and it is wonderful. We cooperate on culture, sports, medicine, issues of indigenous peoples, and business development — Lars Georg Fordal, Head, The Norwegian Barents Secretariat.