NEEBOR (The Network on Eastern External Border Regions) is a wide European initiative aimed at the collaboration of regions from European Union countries on its external borders. The 33 regions from 11 European Union member countries work together and elaborate joint actions for their common challenges. The network wants to practice efficient regional policy based on solidarity.
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The regions of northern Finland, Norway and Sweden have in common many characteristics such as sparse population, harsh climate and long distances. This part of Europe is also specifically affected by globalisation, energy-supply, climate change and demographic change. The region has a population density of only 4.9 inhabitants per km2, something that cannot be found in any other part of the European Union.
The Northern Dimension (ND) is an instrument of cooperation between four equal partners, the European Union, Russia, Norway and Iceland. Geographically, the ND covers North-West Russia, the Baltic Sea and the Arctic regions, including the Barents region. The Northern Dimension policies seek to support stability, wellbeing and sustainable development in the region by means of practical cooperation.
The relations between Kainuu and Russia
The history of cooperation between Kainuu and Russia is long. The most important time for development of the connections was the building of Kostomuksha during years 1974 – 1983. After that, the close cooperation has continued in different forms. The new cooperation memorandum between the Regional Council of Kainuu and the City of Kostomuksha was signed on 17th May 2018 in Kostomuksha.
The regional councils are the regions' key international actors and they are largely responsible for the EU's Structural Fund programmes and their implementation. Regional councils also have the key role in promoting the region's interests.