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Euregio Karelia is an operational model and a cooperation area formed by the regions of Kainuu, North Karelia and Northern Ostrobothnia in Finland and the Republic of Karelia in Russia. Euregio Karelia was founded on 24th February 2000 as the foundation documents were signed by Regional Councils of Kainuu, North Karelia and Oulu and the foreign minister of the Republic of Karelia.
The operations of Euregio Karelia are based on the common needs and similar circumstances of the regions and the common will to improve the well-being of the inhabitants living in the region by means of cooperation.
Euregio Karelia is an operative model and a continuous process in which cooperation is made on a concrete level on both sides of the border in order to reach a common goal. Euregio Karelia aims, among other things, at influencing the decision making on the national level of it’s both member countries, as well as the position of cross-border cooperation in both foreign and regional policy of the European Union. Euregio Karelia also aims at strengthening and improving the reconciliation and coordination of political and financial programmes relevant to cross-border cooperation.
The Board and the Secretariat
Euregio Karelia’s highest decision-making body is the Board, that assembles once a year, at minimum. There are 12 members in the Board, 6 members from Finland and 6 from Russia. The representatives of the Board are the Executive Directors and leading political representatives from each of the Regional Councils of Finland and high-level governmental representatives from Republic of Karelia of the Russian Federation.
There are two chairmen in the Euregio Karelia Board at the same time, one representing the Finnish and one the Russian members. In addition, the representatives from the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy, both the Finnish and Russian Ministries for the Foreign Affairs, and the European Commission are allowed to attend the meetings of the Euregio Karelia Board.
The operational body of the Board is called the secretariat of Euregio Karelia. The secretariat consists of one representative from each participating Regional Council on the Finnish side and one person nominated by the Republic of Karelia on the Russian side. The secretariat prepares the agenda of the Board meetings and puts the board decisions in practice.
The Secretary-General and the Chairman of the Board come from the same area. In Finland the posts regularly rotate between regions.
For more detailed information you may visit the Euregio Karelia website at www.euregiokarelia.com/en or contact the representative of Euregio Karelia Secretariat in Kainuu, Regional Development Manager Paavo Keränen.