ND Newsflash No. 2/2015 (May)
The Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) is looking for experienced professional to fill the following vacant post: Accountant. Complete applications must arrive at the NDPHS Secretariat no later than 17 June 2015. More information at NDPHS's website.
The role of cultural and creative industries (CCI) in fostering innovation and regional development was the focus of attention in the Creative Industries round table of the 6th ND Forum.
In the photo: Kenneth Agerholm (ARTLAB Denmark), Elizaveta Kiseleva (MosART), Ilze Gailite Holmberg (NDPC) and Silja Suntola (Creative Industries Finland) discussing during the creative industries round table. Photo: AEB.
The vocational training and education roundtable of the 6th ND Forum focused on discussing the challenges of the Russian educational system from the business perspective. Both Russian and foreign companies are facing severe problems in finding skilled employees. Higher education has become “too popular” while vocational education is often considered an inferior option by the youngsters. In addition, the existing vocational education system does not provide the kind of training and professionals that the industries would need. The Russian educational system could e.g. take advice from the German system where vocational education is conducted in tight cooperation with companies.
Photo: Moderators Maxim Kiselev and Susanne Doenitz discussing with Veronika Chernysheva during the thematic round table ‘Vocational Education and Training’. Photo: AEB.
The Finnish VR Group is engaged in diverse and persevering collaboration with the Russian Railways (RZD). The common track gauge allows smooth rail transport between our two countries. The good and confidential relations between the railway companies promote business on both sides at all times.
The Allegro train started operations from Helsinki to St. Petersburg in 2010. It led to considerably faster passenger traffic between the countries. Allegro takes passengers from city centre to city centre in just 3.5 hours. Meanwhile, the Tolstoi night train operating between Helsinki and Moscow got new rolling stock last summer. The better-equipped cars, the upgraded train restaurant, and personal service are helping put night train travel on a new upward track.
The European Spatial Development Perspective aims at achieving a balanced and sustainable territorial development, in particular by strengthening economic and social cohesion. Urbanization, the use of non-renewable resources and the accumulation of wastes create economic, social and environmental problems. Societies need to adapt cross-cutting sustainable solutions to overcome the limitations provided by the scarcity of resources and the challenges of climate change.
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.
Russian and European educational experts gathered in Arkhangelsk in April to share the best practices they have achieved in promoting the education sector and participating in the EU programs. The agenda of the international workshop “Internationalization as the Way towards University Excellence” hosted by M.V. Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU) included also network cooperation between European North-based universities.
ND Forum emphasized the interaction of business, authorities and civil society during harsh economic times
The sixth Northern Dimension Forum was devoted to interregional cross-border cooperation in the changed reality characterised by political tensions and sluggish economic development. The key message from the Forum participants was that maintaining dialogue and cooperation is essential in this situation.