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Barents cooperation between Finland, Sweden, Norway and Northwest Russia is organized on two levels. The Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) operates at government level and the Regional Council operates at regional level. Cooperation is done on many forms, the overall objective being sustainable development of the region. Barents cooperation brings a regional and practical point of view to the broader arctic cooperation and at the same time, a broader point of view to regional development activities.
The Barents cooperation area includes altogether 14 administrative regions in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. The member areas from Finland are Kainuu, Lapland, Northern Ostrobothnia and Northern Karelia. The four countries take turns at chairing the cooperation, each chairmanship lasting two years.
The government level cooperation (Barents Euroarctic Council, BEAC) is based on intergovernmental contracts. In addition to the countries located in the Barents region, also Iceland, Denmark and the European Union are part of the cooperation and participate the meetings.
The practical, interregional cooperation between the most northern parts of Finland, Sweden, Norway and Northwest Russia is performed within the Barents Regional Council (BRC), Regional Committee (RC) ja and in regional working groups (RWG).
The Regional Council of Kainuu is responsible for the operations of the regional working group on transport and logistics (RWGTL). The working group, that was authorized by the Barents Euroarctic Council comprises of representatives from each of the member areas. The working group functions in cooperation with, as well as leans on the Northern Dimension Partnership for Transportation and Logistics (NDPTL) and the Barents Euro-Arctic Transport Area (BEATA). The goals of cooperation include enhancing fluency of border traffic, developing air traffic connections and traffic corridors, the work covering all forms of traffic.
During 2016-2017, the chairmanship of Barents Regional Council (BRC) and the Regional Committee (RC) is in Kainuu. Chair of the BRC will be MP and Chairman of the Kainuu Regional Board, Mr. Timo Korhonen. His vice chair will be Member if the Kainuu Regional Board, Mr Raimo Piirainen. Chair of the RC will be Regional Mayor, Mr Pentti Malinen and his vice chair Planning Director Hannu Heikkinen.