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 funding is also used to support the implementation of the Government’s Russia policy.
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. Security political stability and sustainable development in the Baltic Sea region requires that the Nordic countries, Russia and the Baltic Sea countries strengthen their mutual cooperation.
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.
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.
Regional cooperation also offers an efficient forum for conducting practical cooperation with Russia, building on our own interests and in line with the EU sanctions and selective engagement with Russia. In the regional cooperation, environmental and climate matters are emphasised.
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.