Exploring the Northern Dimension

ND newsflash

Publications from the first year of NDI Think Tank Action

The NDI Think Tank Action conducts research on thematic areas jointly agreed with the ND partnerships. The themes for the first…

Increased NDEP grant for wastewater treatment in Gatchina, Russia

The second phase of a comprehensive wastewater treatment investment programme in Gatchina, Russia took a major leap forward today when a grant agreement worth EUR 500,000 was signed between the local waterworks Gatchina Vodokanal and the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP). The grant is intended to facilitate investments related to modernisation of the plant’s biological treatment lines and the improvement of phosphorus and nitrogen removal.
“Considering the local commitment and all the investments and improvements which have been carried out so far, I think it is fair to say that Gatchina is a symbol of success that will serve as a good example for other cities in the region,” said Jaakko Henttonen, Adviser to the EBRD.

Read more about the programme on NEFCO website.

New programme for Nordic-Russian co-operation in place

The application process for a new public co-operation programme between the Nordic Region and Russia will open on 3 October. The programme forms part of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ latest efforts with regard to co-operation with Russia, as adopted by the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation at the start of the year. On Tuesday, a budget of DKK 6 million for 2016 was set aside for a co-operation programme which aims to increase stability, security, and development in the region.

Read more about the programme and application process on Norden website.

Nordic-Russian Cooperation Program 2016 results announced

The Nordic-Russian Cooperation Programme in Education and Research supports joint cooperation projects between higher education and research institutions in Russia and the Nordic Countries.  In its meeting on June 20, 2016, the joint Nordic-Russian Working Group granted support to 14 higher education projects.

Among the 14 funded projects there are several Northern Dimension Institute network members - congratulations!

Please see the full list of funded projects from Programme website.

BEAC Transport Ministerial and the Steering Committee of the Barents Euro-Arctic Transport Area convened

The BEAC Ministerial Meeting took place in Arhangelsk, Russia on June 20th. The gathered participants from transport authorities from Norway, Finland, Sweden, European Commission, regional administrations - members of the Barents Regional Council, International Barents Secretariat, Council of the Baltic Sea States, as well as various stakeholders in the transport sector, and academics.

Read more: http://www.ndptl.org/activities-and-news/-/view/1221


ND Forum exploring the potential in the Arctic

The seventh Northern Dimension Forum focused on discussing the challenges and business opportunities in the Arctic region. The need for international cooperation and sustainable development in the Arctic was highlighted throughout the discussions. The ND Forum – organized by the Northern Dimension Business Council (NDBC) and the Association of European Businesses (AEB) – was held on 7 April 2016 in St. Petersburg with over 200 delegates attending the event.

International conference: “Lend-lease and Arctic Convoys: from Regional Cooperation Towards Global Coalition”, August 30, Arkhangelsk, Russia


August 30, 2016
Northern Arctic Federal University
Arkhangelsk, Russia

Northern Arctic Federal University located in Arkhangelsk, North-West Russia, is happy to announce the forthcoming celebrations dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Allied Arctic Convoy DERVISH. The celebrations will be held on 29 August - 1 September 2016 in Arkhangelsk and offer a diverse programme of ceremonial, public and cultural events.

We are pleased to invite you to participate in the International Conference “Lend-Lease and Arctic Convoys: From Regional Cooperation Towards Global Coalition” to be hosted by the Northern Arctic Federal University on August 30, 2016 alongside the extended programme on the regional level that you are also welcome to enjoy.

The Conference will be attended by officials, diplomatic missions, federal and regional authorities, veterans, researchers, students, general public, and media.

Conference Concept and Relevance

The joint economic potential of the Allied coalition became one of the most important sources for the victory in the World War II. The mechanism of Lend-Lease allowed the Allies to make efficient and prompt use of this potential, and continued to influence the world affairs even after the War’s conclusion, laying foundations for the concept of collaboration pool as well as several key international economic, political and cultural organizations. The Lend-Lease concept thus became one of the main global consolidating factors during and after the War. Today we can learn a lot from this joint experience in order to apply it for the development of effective solutions to combat international terrorism, global disasters, epidemics and other modern challenges calling for consolidation of efforts on the part of the international community.

One could hardly overestimate the role of the Northern Convoys as the shortest and most important route for strategic cargo supply to the USSR. The collaboration experience of the navy of 40 nations in the Arctic remains unparalleled and calls for further investigation.

Topics To Be Addressed

Within the framework of the Conference the following topics are offered for discussion:

  • The strategy of the Allied coalition during World War II;
  • The role of the Lend-Lease policy;
  • The political and historical context of the Northern Convoys history;
  • The convoy operation management;
  • The contribution of different nations in the convoy operations;
  • The importance of the northern route for the victory.

For further information, please contact Svetlana Pirogova, Head of NArFU International Communications Unit, at s.pirogova(at)narfu.ru. 

Northern Dimension Day 2016

The second Northern Dimension Day will be held back-to-back with the 7th Strategy Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR), scheduled for November 8th-9th, 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden.

We cordially invite You to the second Northern Dimension Day to hear and discuss the future visions in the Northern Dimension cooperation.

Can we turn the Arctic into a black carbon free area? Will the automatization of transport improve the connectivity of the region? How can we more effectively fight against the increasing antimicrobial resistance of bacteria? What is the role of creative industries in improving the region’s innovativeness? These and other future trends shaping the development and cooperation in the ND area in 2030 will be discussed by a group of insightful panelists representing the four ND Partnerships and the ND Business council.

Time: 7 November 2016 at 16:00-18:00 Venue: Festlokal Camarillo, Kungstensgatan 22, 113 57 Stockholm, Sweden (map).


15.30 Registration and refreshments 16.00 Opening of the event Riitta Kosonen, Director, Center for Markets in Transition (CEMAT), Aalto University School of Business, lead coordinator of the Northern Dimension Institute (NDI) 16.10 Panel discussion moderated by Monika Zamachowska, Polish journalist and moderator specialized in European affairs. Future visions discussed by:

Jaakko Henttonen, Adviser, Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership Marek Maciejowski, Director, Northern Dimension Partnership on Health and Social Wellbeing Oddgeir Danielsen, Director, Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics Ilze Gailite-Holmberg, Senior Adviser, Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture Pavel Isayev, Adviser to General Director, Severstal & Northern Dimension Business Council

Q&A 17.30 Mingling & Tapas buffet

Please register by 31 October using this link. The seminar participation is free of charge, but prior registration is required as seats are limited.

If you have any problems with the registration, kindly contact us: cemat(a)aalto.fi.

Please follow also our Twitter account for info about the ND Day: www.twitter.com/ND_Institute

NDI banner webropol

Publication: Environmental Impact Assessment in the Arctic, A Guide to Best Practice

In a new book "Environmental Impact Assessment in the Arctic, A Guide to Best Practice" Timo Koivurova and Pamela Lesser succinctly synthesise primary data gathered from interviews with local communities, indigenous peoples, NGOs, government officials and businesses in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Greenland, Iceland, Canada, Russia and the USA. Considering all stakeholder perspectives, they present the regulatory processes of all eight Arctic countries and also provide helpful flowcharts that depict the process graphically for each country. Measuring these practices against the 1997 Guidelines for Environmental Impact Assessment in the Arctic, the only Arctic environmental impact assessment guidance document that has been officially approved by the ministers of all eight Arctic countries, this book identifies key areas where adherence to best practice is high, such as stakeholder outreach and development, as well as those areas that fall short.

Northern (Arctic) Federal University hosted BEAC Joint Working Group on Education and Research meeting

Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU) hosted a meeting of the BEAC Joint Working Group on Education and Research (JWGER) in April 2016. The group unites 15 universities and research institutions from the northern territories of Russia, Norway, Finland and Sweden, aimed at solving crucial problems of scientific and educational cooperation expansion in the Barents Region. NArFU has been co-chairing the group since 2011.

The meeting's agenda included an overview of universities' international activities, presentation of JWGER group's work results in 2016, and discussion of the Barents universities’ role in the implementation of the Russian BEAC Chairmanship objectives.

In addition, it was decided to prolong NArFU’s chairmanship for the next two years. Marina Kalinina, Rector’s Adviser on International Cooperation, shall continue her work as the JWGER Chair.

For further information, please visit the NArFU's website.

International Conference «The perspectives of socio-economic development of border regions», June 9-10, Petrozavodsk, Russia

Date: June 9-10, 2016
Place: Petrozavodsk, Russia
Registration deadline:  May 25th, 2016.

Institute of Economics of Karelian Research Centre of Russian Academy of Sciences invites you to take part in the International Conference «The perspectives of socio-economic development of border regions». 
The conference offers the opportunities to discuss the following issues: 
  • Priorities and problems of border regions in the new geopolitical conditions and an escalation of international tension;
  • The economic security of border regions;
  • Social and economic differentiation of border regions;
  • New institutions of economic cooperation between border regions;
  • Features of regional policy in relation of border regions;
  • Import substitution as a factor of development of border regions;
  • Cross-border cooperation and modernization of the economy;
  • Investment climate and foreign investment in border regions;
  • Migration in border regions;
  • The practice of cross-border cooperation at the municipal level. 

Please find the Conference newsletter here, and the registration form here

NDI Co-coordinator NArFU actively involved in Barents cooperation

The Commission of Senior Officials of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) met in Arkhangelsk, Russia, on 22 March 2016 with the participation of representatives of the European Union and ministries of foreign affairs of the Russian Federation, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland. The meeting was held within the frames of the Russian Federation chairmanship in the Barents Euro-Arctic Council.

Open call: Co-operation programme in higher education and research between the Nordic council of Ministers and Russia

The Nordic Council of Ministers (NMR) has allocated DKK 14 million to the programme of co-operation with Russia in higher education and research in 2016 and 2017. The programme includes joint education and training projects and joint research projects.

The deadline for application is May 3, 2016.

For further information, please visit the Nordic Council of Ministers website.

Co-operation between the Nordic Council of Ministers and North-West Russia resumes

The Nordic Council of Ministers took decision to resume co-operation with North-West Russia on 3 February. The new co-operation programme and structure will be evaluated in 2017.

The suspension in the co-operation was caused by the decision of Ministry of Justice in Moscow to categories the Nordic Council of Ministers’ offices in St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad as “foreign agents” in January 2015. However, in autumn 2015 the Council of Ministers organized a working party made up of experts in Russian affairs, on which it was concluded that there is still scope for co-operation, mainly in education and research, journalism and relations between parliamentarians.

For more information, please visit the Nordic Council of Ministers' website.

The Northern Dimension: Synergism of logistics strategies

Saint-Petersburg State University of Economics (UNECON) is glad to invite you to take part in international scientific conference "The Northern Dimension: Synergism of logistics strategies". The conference will be held on 10-11th of December, 2015 in UNECON (30/32 Griboedova Canal).

The conference will address the matters, related to cooperation between Russian (including North-Western region) and Northern and Baltic Sea States scientific and business communities' representatives in development of effective logistics strategies. Participants will discuss the primary ways to intensify logistics diversification in financial, service, innovation and other sectors, and to provide expansion of international relations for professional cooperation enhancement of forwarding companies, logistics providers, academic and administrative institutions in the field of scientific research and educational activities. Working language of the conference is English and Russian.

For further information, contact the Organizing Committee via e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 007 812 310 19 63.


Finding joint solutions to transboundary challenges in the Northern Dimension

The Northern Dimension (ND) is nowadays one of the most effective forward-looking formats of regional and trans-border cooperation. The results and achievements of the ND, i.e. better environmental situation in the Baltic and Barents seas, new cultural ties and promotion of cultural industries, improvements in public health protection in the ND area and resolved transport problems, are also well known due to active position of the NDI and its Newsflash, which deserve all the support.

Arctic Floating University - 2016

Northern (Arctic) Federal University in cooperation with Northern Branch of Russian Federation Agency for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (ROSHYDROMET) organize the marine research and education expedition «Arctic Floating University – 2016».

The expedition will be held from 10 till 30 July 2016

2nd International Forum ‘CULTURE AS A FACTOR OF GROWTH’, St. Petersburg, Russia

On 17th December 2015, Saint Petersburg will be hosting the 2nd International Forum in the framework of the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) ‘CULTURE AS A FACTOR OF GROWTH’

Forum is organized by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. The event will be attended by representatives of the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, the North-West Federal regions of Russia, experts in the field of creative industries and cultural tourism of the Northern Dimension.

2016 is the year of the Russian Federation Presidency of the NDPC, which is an important inter-regional platform for international and interregional cooperation in the field of culture among the "Northern Dimension" Member States. The main objective of the NDPC is mutually beneficial cooperation of the participating countries in the economic and social spheres to achieve sustainable development in Northern Europe.

Registration as well as more information on www.ndpcrussia2015.com, web registration available from November 8, 2015.

Preliminary programme of the Forum

Creative Economy Spearhead Themes in the Triangle City Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region – A Feasibility Study

Creative Economy Spearhead Themes in the Triangle City Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region – A Feasibility Study

The feasibility study project  “Collaboration between the Triangle Cities Tallinn-Helsinki-St. Petersburg in the field of creative industries” mapped out the common interests to cooperate between the creative industry actors in Tallinn, St. Petersburg and Helsinki. The project arranged roundtable meetings in each city during the spring and summer. During the roundtable meetings common themes could be found quite easily. Ideas were also already in the early stages intertwined with other than the creative industries. This shows that the application of creative competence in other sectors, so-called “creative economy” is well understood by the actors in the Triangle City region. The rountable sessions also showed that there is a consensus among the actors that co-operation in the field of creative industries and creating joint offerings would increase critical mass and visibility.

Security and sustainable development were discussed at NArFU

Northern (Arctic) Federal University hosted the conference "Ensuring Safety and Sustainable Development in the Arctic Region, Preservation of Ecosystems and Traditional Way of Life of the Indigenous Peoples of the North" Organized under the auspice of the RF Security Council and hosted as part of the V International Meeting of the Arctic Council member countries, Arctic Council Observer States and International Academic Community, this forum runs on an annual basis. An indispensable part of the Arctic agenda aiming to promote good neighborly relations and cooperation — as prerequisites for human activity in the severe Arctic milieu — the forum has convened 11 countries and their scholars, experts and polar explorers.

The conference discussed the current challenges pertaining to consolidating by the nations of their efforts towards preservation — in the context of the large-scale subsoil resource development project — of the vulnerable Arctic ecosystems; to personnel training for Arctic-focused projects; and to sustainability of indigenous peoples of the North. Much focus was laid on the Arctic research cooperation.

These important topics were reflected in the speeches of senior officials of the University of the Arctic and representatives of UArctic member institutions from Russia, United States, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Korea. The audience’s attention was attracted by the report of Lassi Heininen, Professor of the University of Lapland and leader of UArctic Thematic network “Geopolitics and Security”, where he considered the Arctic as the region of geopolitical stability.

Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of Russia's Security Council, also stressed the importance of international cooperation. "Within our meetings, we are consistently expanding the platform of international dialogue, raising issues more and more important for the Arctic development" - said the Security Council’s secretary.


More information:

Preliminary Results from the “Arctic Floating University (AFU) – 2015” Expedition

Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU) organized in cooperation with the Northern Branch of Russian Federation Agency for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (ROSHYDROMET) the marine research and education expedition “Exploring Russian Arctic” within the framework of the project “Arctic Floating University – 2015” in July.

narfu ship

On July 21, a ceremonial reception of the Arctic Floating University – 2015 participants was held at Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU). The university administration and representatives of the Government of the Arkhangelsk region greeted the students and researchers. Several prominent Russian researchers, among them Artur Chilingarov, a famous polar explorer and politician, and Viktor Sadovnichiy, Moscow State University Rector, also sent their congratulatory letters, highlighting the importance of the expedition for the development of the Arctic research.

A press conference after the celebrations was dedicated to the preliminary results of the expedition. The participants spoke about the goals achieved, difficulties they had to face and their impressions.

The expedition passed 3351.5 nautical miles (6208, 988 km) in the White, Barents, Pechora and Kara Seas. Total travel time was 20 days and eight hours. The ship went through three storms that required changing the itinerary of the expedition.

Despite the changes in the route, planned research work has been carried out in full. Participants disembarked 9 times to land.

narfu field

During the expedition, a number of land researches integrating a whole complex of interrelated areas (study of vegetation, soil chemistry, animal world, history and culture, physiology, psycho-physiological and psychological research and study of meteorological conditions) were carried out. According to Constantin Zaikov, Director of the Arctic Center for Strategic Research, the collected data will be employed for creating a monitoring system for the prevention of emergency situations in the Arctic.

Boris Filippov, NArFU Vice-Rector for Research, pointed out a slight change of perspective in this year’s expedition. If the initial project was purely educational, now it tends to combine research and education. Mr. Filippov also added that the university is determined to make every effort in order for the project to continue.

‘AFU is a unique project in global experience’, observed during the press conference Sergey Goryachkin, Head of the Laboratory of Geography and Soil Evolution under the RAS Institute of Geography. ‘It is a very logical initiative with two fundamental tasks: teaching the students to work in the Arctic conditions, and gathering of important scientific information. The expedition allowed us to come to a new understanding of the Arctic and the law of natural zoning. We could not only see changes in the zones but also realize that this is a very complex mosaic structure.  In fact, we are talking about revising the geographical zoning’.

narfu lecture

The university is determined to make every effort in order for the project to continue.

For more information on the Arctic Floating University — 2015, please see the expedition diary (in Russian) at www.narfu.ru.

Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU) is a co-coordinator of the NDI in 2014-2015.

Skilled professionals needed in Russia

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.

Larger challenges can only be solved across industries and fields

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.

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.

Economic trends reflected on the rails - new growth sought in Russian services

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.

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