Exploring the Northern Dimension

Health and economic development are tightly interlinked

The health and social well-being of the populations of the Baltic Sea region have significant effects on the economy and related progress. The main impacts include a direct effect on the fiscal positions of the governments of the region and indirect effects through education, labor markets, and social stability. Investments in public health, including actions to limit tobacco consumption, reduce non-communicable diseases, and improve mental health, have high returns in the countries of the Baltic Sea region.

These conclusions have been drawn in the new report “The Importance of Health and Social well-being for the Economy and Other Policy Areas” that was commissioned and published by the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) Secretariat.

How to communicate effectively in CCI projects

Communicating projects in cultural and creative industries is complex. The Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) and Have Communications have published a manual to assist CCI project managers in project communication. The manual gives advice in the navigation through an increasingly complex media landscape; in picking and shaping the right stories; and in laying out a fruitful path towards as far-reaching and relevant communication as possible of each given project.

Communicating CCI projects – A Manual

How to facilitate the integration of creative and cultural industries and tourism?

The development of creative and cultural industries (CCI) and cultural tourism has been identified as the strategic focus of the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC). This includes also the facilitation of cross-sectorial spill-overs and innovation in CCI, as well as usage of CCI innovation in furthering tourism.  In order to build up the knowledge base on the prevailing situation and support the future developments, the NDPC has commissioned a study on the topic. The study will be carried out with an aim to learn more about developments in CCI and its cross-sector spillovers with tourism, taking into account innovative case studies and best practices, as well as policy developments. The information will be utilized to develop recommendations for effective and sustainable integration of CCI and tourism sector. The study is carried out by PROMAN – a leading international consulting company specialised in development cooperation – with the funding from the European Commission.

How to use the NDI to boost growth in the Northern Dimension area?

In the current times of economic and political instabilities, it is of utmost importance to seek economic growth to tackle environmental challenges, solve societal problems and provide help and assistance to those in need. Economic growth is not in contrast with the goals of combatting climate change. Rather, arguments for “degrowth” would only weaken societies’ capacity to provide sustainable solutions to the environmental challenges.

Taking the multifaceted nature of vicious environmental challenges, including their social, political and economic dimensions, there is increasing need for the use of research-based knowledge in policymaking. This is where the Northern Dimension Institute could provide more insight and tools for the common good.
The NDI could play a bigger role in boosting growth in various ways.

First, as the vicious environmental problems are characterized by several uncertainties, the NDI has a valuable a role as the provider of trustworthy, neutral and research-based knowledge for the use of private and public sector decision makers. There is increasing need for neutral, objective knowledge in the world, in contrast to fake news and hidden agendas.

Second, the NDI is useful in finding existing knowledge and feeding it to the decision makers. In fact, the world is packed with knowledge, but it is not easily available, or not served in a user friendly, applicable format.

Third, there is also need for new knowledge and targeted research. For example, we do not yet know enough of the sources of black carbon emissions, or the potential benefits of hydrogen as a fuel in the ND area. The NDI operates as a platform to fill identified information gaps.

Fourth, in the world characterized by instability and insecurity, we need more optimism in decision making and forecasting the future. Here, the NDI could play a bigger role in bringing to the fore success stories of economically and socially sustainable solutions to environmental challenges in the ND area. It has been proven that even small actions of modernization can have considerable environmental impacts at the local level.

Fifth, in addition to identifying success stories, the NDI could boost growth by analyzing the scalability of the invented solutions. Several technical and digital solutions, as well as social design innovations, could be more generally applied to boost growth in the ND area or even widely.

Sixth, there is growth potential to be derived from a more effective cooperation among the ND Partnerships. There are several synergies that can be exploited to provide savings and to generate larger societal impact. It is easy to imagine such synergies to be found e.g. among environmental and health-related activities. The NDI could be more effectively used in building bridges between ND Partnerships by identifying synergies and overlaps.

Finally, critical building blocks of sustainable growth are coherent societies with active social dialogue in decision-making. The NDI has already an established role as the platform for dialogue between the providers and end users of knowledge in the academia, Partnerhips, public sphere, business community and civil society. This role could be more effectively used. Here, also NDI’s access and ability to involve young academics and students in public discourse, is vital for the sustainable and legitimate future.

Here is the wish list, what about the funding?

Prof. Riitta Kosonen, NDI Lead Coordinator

KosonenRiitta 03

Improving the environment with committed stakeholders

The Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP) has been highly successful in co-financing projects to improve wastewater treatment in North West Russia. As a result of NDEP’s 14 year cooperation with St Petersburg Vodokanal, the city is now treating 98.4% of its wastewater. NDEP grants of EUR 40 million, combined with loans of EUR 220 million from the EBRD, EIB, NIB and NEFCO have helped to leverage investments worth over EUR 860 million. Since 2011, all major wastewater treatment plants in St Petersburg have been treating wastewater in full compliance with HELCOM recommendations. NDEP has financed similar investments also in other cities in Russia to protect the fragile ecology of the Baltic and Barents Seas area.

Innovative approaches to combining cultural tourism and creative industries

“Cultural tourism is rising in Russia and we need recommendations to find synergies between cultural and creative industries and tourism”, stated NDPC Senior adviser Ilze Gailite-Holmberg in her opening words for the Creative Industries roundtable discussion at the 7th Northern Dimension Forum.  The roundtable focused on the interaction and cross-overs of CCIs and cultural tourism, and provided examples of innovative approaches to combining them.

Innovative e-Health solutions providing better care at lower cost

Electronic health record and telemedice services have already become essential parts of health care. In the treatment of chronic diseases, eHealth solutions can also be utilised to provide better and more patient centred health care at a lower cost. To achieve this, the user’s needs and competences need to be in focus in the development of eHealth services.

Integration Potential of Logistics in the Global Economy

NDI coordinator St. Petersburg State University of Economics (UNECON) organized a conference "Integration potential of Logistics in the global economy" on 25 September 2014. The Conference brought together researchers, business and policy makers to discuss issues ranging from logistics corridor developments to the need of integrated solutions to increase the efficiency of logistics in Russia. The impacts of the current trade restrictions on supply chains were in focus.

Internship Opportunity at the NDPHS Secretariat

The Northern Dimension Partnership on Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) Secretariat has announced an internship programme position. Applications are invited from university graduates with interest in health and social well-being policies and co-operation in the Northern Dimension area, who want to gain hands-on experience in a dynamic work environment. Complete applications must arrive at the NDPHS Secretariat no later than 01 December 2014.

Click here to download the internship announcement and the application form.

For more information, visit NDPHS website.

Interregional Cooperation in the Changed Reality and Interaction within Civil Society

The European Union is active in various regional cooperation formats involving politicians, officials, civil society and people-to-people contacts. 

One of them is the Northern Dimension (ND), a joint policy between EU, Norway, Iceland and Russia. It offers a platform for policy dialogue and practical, result-oriented cooperation through four partnerships in environment, transport, health and culture covering geographical area from the Baltic to Barents Seas. In line with the principle of co-financing, the EU has allocated close to €100m in support of the ND in previous years. For 2014-20 financial support comes from ENI Regional East Programme. The ND considerably contributed to improving the environmental situation of Baltic and Barents Seas. It addressed people’s health, transport and logistics and creative and culture industry policy.

This website generates, gathers and disseminates knowledge and information on the Northern Dimension. The website is maintained by the Northern Dimension Institute (NDI), which is an open network community of universities and research institutes.

If you wish to contribute to the website, please contact our team!

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow us

Website development and maintenance is co-funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the European Commission.

  • EU
  • Ministry For Foreign Affairs