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Week Ahead

Europe’s northern sparsely populated areas

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iAbout Press releases

As part of our continuing efforts to bring you as much information about our region as possible we offer readers a press release service that allows private firms, public agencies, non-governmental organisations and other groups to submit relevant press releases on our website.

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Each week, The Arctic Journal gets our readers ready for the week ahead by profiling some of the events we expect to be reading about in the coming days. If you have an event you think ought to be profiled in a coming week, please contact us

Other topics for the week of March 13-19 include
- European Parliament votes on an Arctic policy
- Northern Sparsely Populated Areas
- Greenland constitutional commission
Sea ice annual maximum

European northern sparsely populated areas

Norrbotten, Västerbotten, Jamtland-Härjedalen, and Västernorrland
Finland: Lapland, Northern Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, North Karelia, Pohjois-Savo and South-Savo
Norway: Finnmark, Troms and Nordland

Constituent organisations
East & North Finland EU Office
North Sweden European Office
Mid Sweden European Office

North Norway European Office

Source: Northern Sparsely Populated Areas Network

Strictly speaking, Europe’s ‘northern sparsely populated areas’ are neither Arctic (they include parts of central Sweden) nor are they all within the EU (they include northern Norway&rsquos three counties).

That is not, however, the same as saying that the region – which also includes the four northern-most counties of Sweden and the seven northern-most and eastern regions of Finland – is not important for the EU as it takes an increasing interest in the Arctic.

For now, the regions define themselves as a network that was established, in 2004, in order to make the EU more aware of what they have to offer the EU, and to give their representatives more chance to influence EU policy.

SEE RELATED: Location is no object

The next step is to go from network to clearly defined region in Brussel's eyes. To do this, the NSPA has enlisted the help of the OECD, an intergovernmental think tank based in Paris. After releasing its preliminary findings in December, the OECD will present its final report on Monday. The preview says it will contain recommendations for what each of the individual regions, their national governments and the EU itself can do to spur development in the NSPA.

So far, access to the Arctic and eastern Russia have been two of the arguments for why this should be done. Natural resources are another.

Here’s to being able to think outside your borders.