Projects that strengthen cooperation in the Baltic Sea, Barents Sea and the Arctic regions
Measures aimed to strengthen cooperation in the Arctic and Baltic regions are recorded in the Government Programme under the heading Globally influential Finland. The appropriations allocated for cooperation in the Baltic Sea, Barents and Arctic regions under the Foreign Ministry’s main title of expenditure are used to support the practical implementation of Finland’s policy objectives in this area.
The importance of the Arctic region has grown due to climate change, increasing level of economic activity, new transport connections, and the region's growing geopolitical significance. The partner countries must strengthen their mutual cooperation to safeguard stability in security policy and ensure sustainable development in the Baltic Sea region. Unlike before, cooperation with Russia has now been suspended for the most part following Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which is a violation of international law.
The benefits of regional cooperation for Finland and its neighbouring areas include improved security and wellbeing, better state of the environment, lower level of harmful atmospheric emissions, as well as better health and improved business opportunities for people. Emphasis in the regional cooperation is on environmental and climate matters.
The key mechanisms of cooperation are the regional councils (the Arctic Council, the Barents Euro-Arctic Council and the Council of the Baltic Sea States) and the Northern Dimension partnerships. Finland's participation in the multilateral regional cooperation is guided by the goals set in Finland’s strategy on Arctic policy, the EU policy for the Arctic, Finland’s Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, and the objectives of the Northern Dimension policy.
The general principles guiding the use of funding for cooperation in the Baltic Sea, Barents and Arctic regions are set out in the policy on funding for cooperation in the Baltic Sea, Barents and Arctic regions in 2020–2023. Through the national instrument, it is also possible to contribute to the channelling of EU funding and funding from international sources to projects that are important for Finland. The provisions of the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts are observed in the use of the appropriation. The contracts are granted by the ministries. The appropriation is not used for awarding discretionary government grants.
The appropriations allocated for cooperation in the Baltic Sea, Barents and Arctic regions are administered by the Foreign Ministry’s Unit for Russia.