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.
In these times of tension between Russia and Western Europe there is a real success story: the Northern Dimension cooperation. It is an equal Partnership between Russia, European Union, Norway and Iceland, concentrating on projects of common interest in four fields: environment, health, transport and logistics, and culture. For each field there is a Partnership with own specific structures. On the political level, the Foreign Ministers´ biannual meetings are the top decision making body for the Northern Dimension. The Ministerial meeting held two years ago under the chairmanship of Lady Ashton was attended by 14 Foreign Ministers.
European Environment Agency (EEA) has published a report on the European environment. The report provides a comprehensive assessment of the European environment’s state, trends and prospects, and places it in a global context.
Link to the report: The European environment — state and outlook 2015 report (SOER2015)
Finland’s two-year Chairmanship of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) started in late 2013 and has now reached the half-way mark. BEAC is a forum for intergovernmental and interregional cooperation in the Barents Region. As the chair, Finland strives to strengthen the exchange of information and dialogue between the different regional fora. The atmosphere in the Council has been constructive and progress has been made in many issues such as the development of Barents Transport Plan and regional climate strategies.
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.
Meeting in Brussels on 25 November EU Ministers of Culture agreed on a new Work Plan for Culture, setting out the priorities for European cooperation in cultural policy-making for 2015-2018. The Work Plan addresses key challenges faced by cultural organisations and small and medium sized enterprises in the creative sector at national and EU level in the context of globalisation and digitisation.
Common Border Crossings Points Management between Schengen Area and Russia / Belarus (2011)
Lot 1: Studies and Technical assistance in all sectors
The Study Report fulfils the requirements of the Terms of Reference (TOR) to provide a description and in depth analysis of current border control practices at Border Crossing Points (BCPs) between the Schengen Area (EU Member States and Norway) and both Russia and Belarus (as members of the Customs Union – CU – with Kazakhstan).
Cargo Traffic on the Helsinki-Tallinn Route (2011)
Sundberg, Pekka; Posti, Antti; Tapaninen, Ulla
University of Turku, Centre for Maritime Studies
The twin-city model has found to increase economical activity and well-being. The similar economical, social and cultural background of Finland and Estonia as well as the EU integration give good preconditions to create a twin-city of Helsinki and Tallinn.
Definition of the Core Transport Network in the Northern Dimension area (2012)
Draft Final Report
Beneficiary: Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics (NDPTL)
Project managed by the Delegation of the European Union to Russia
Based on planning policies in the different NDPTL countries, the overall objective of this study is to outline and suggest to the NDPTL the Core Transport Network as an extension of the TEN-T Core Network in the neighbourhood countries, in particular Russia and Belorussia.
Drivers of Demand in Cargo and Passenger Traffic between Penta Ports (2012)
Lappalainen, Anssi; Helminen, Reima; Yliskylä-Peuralahti
University of Turku, Centre for Maritime Studies
Maritime transport moves around 6 billion tonnes of freight every year. The freight consists of liquid bulks (45%), dry bulks (23%) and general cargo (32%).
Logistics of North-West Russia and Rail Baltica: Standpoints of Private Sector (2013)
Scientific and Expertise Publications Research Reports 3
Karamysheva, Marina; Henttu, Ville; Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
Lappeenranta University of Technology
The main aims of the present report are to describe the current state of railway transport in Russia, and to gather standpoints of Russian private transportation logistics sector towards the development of new railway connection called Rail Baltica Growth Corridor, connecting North-West Russia with Germany through the Baltic States and Poland.
Cross-border logistics between EU and Russia (2013)
The flow of goods between Murmansk-Finland-Sweden with focus on the logistical interfaces in a supply chain
Luleå University of Technology
The study provides a mapping and description of the flow of goods by road transportation across the two northernmost border crossings of Finland towards Russia, and a unique overall view is presented of the cross-boundary logistics in this region.
The Baltic Sea Hub and Spokes
Partners: Ports of Gothenburg Sweden, Århus, Denmark and Tallinn, Estonia
The Baltic Sea Hub and Spokes project is a project co-funded by the TEN-T Motorways of the Sea programme that creates the necessary framework for an integrated maritime transport system.
Lead Partner: University of Eastern Finland, Karelian Institute, Finland
EUBorderscapes (2012-16) is an interdisciplinary research project that brings together leading research environments from the social sciences and the humanities to increase our understanding of the changing nature of borders and bordering in Europe.
Easy Way Programme
EasyWay is an efficient platform that allows the European mobility stakeholders to achieve a coordinated and combined deployment of these pan-European services.
Lead Partner: Region Blekinge, Sweden
Priority Area (PA) Transport in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region calls for coordination of national transport policies and actions to ensure a harmonised transnational development of the transport system.
Russia’s involvement to the Northern Europe through the Northern Dimension(2009)
Vytautas Magnus University
The main aim of this Master’s thesis is to understand the EU’s ambition of involving Russia in Northern Europe and creating regional interdependence through the ND in a wider sense and the tasks were the following tasks to achieve this aim: