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.
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.
One of the critical issues for firms’ competitiveness is the availability of skilled labour. In Russia, both domestic and foreign companies are constantly plagued with the shortage of skilled labour. This is due to the profound changes in the Russian education system and the declining interest of school graduates to primary and secondary level vocational education. The demographic decline in Russia further escalates the problem.
Young sectors, such as e-commerce, have grown considerably in recent years in Russia. Online retail has witnessed a huge 25 % annual growth, but is now stagnating – at least temporarily – due to a range of reasons.
Huge growth during the past five years
Internet penetration has been growing rapidly in Russia during the past few years reaching now 59% of the adult population. With over 70 million people using internet monthly, Russia has the biggest online audience in Europe. Also online retail has been growing at least 25% annually. Globally, Russia ranks ninth in total e-commerce turnover (EUR 15,5 billion in 2013, after e.g. USA, China, Japan, Australia, UK, France and Germany), and is the number one emerging e-commerce country in Europe ahead of e.g. Spain and Italy.
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.
Conference on petroleum resources, energy-political cooperation and social development in the Arctic region.
Norwegian-Russian cooperation – The path behind us and the path ahead
The Research Council of Norway arranges a Norwegian-Russian conference on petroleum resources, energy-political cooperation and social development in the Arctic region.
The conference will be held on 19.-20. Nov. 2014 in Oslo, Norway.
For more information and registration please see the Research Council of Norway website.
Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) assumed the chairmanship for the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP) from 1 July 2014. NEFCO will manage the activities of the Steering Group, which is responsible for coordinating environmental development projects in the Northern Dimension Area of Northwest Russia and Northern Belarus. The chairmanship rotates yearly.
Learn more on NEFCO's chairmanship.
This project is working to map best practices in HIV prevention among youth at high risk of HIV/AI in Northwest Russia and other countries in the Northern Dimension area, and disseminate those best practices among the participating countries and training professionals in Northwest Russia to implement the best practices.
Report: Situation analysis of existing occupational health service systems in NDPHS countries: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Finland, Norway, Russia and Germany (2012)
Jankauskas, R., Eičinaitė-Lingienė, R., Kartunavičiūtė, J.
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
The aim of the survey was to analyse the practical set-up of Occupational Health Services (OHS), describing their structures, conten and professionals engaged, in selected NDPHS countries.
International Conference in honour of K. Arseniev “Problems in Economic Geography and Spatial Development Statistics”, Russia
Federal State Statistics Service Regional Agency for the Republic of Karelia (KareliaStat), Petrozavodsk State University, Institute of Economics of the Karelian Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Institute of Applied Mathematical Research of the Karelian Research Centre of Russian Academy of Sciences invite you to the International Conference in honour of K. Arseniev “PROBLEMS IN ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY AND SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT STATISTICS”
Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, Russia
October 24th, 2014
International Conference «The perspectives of socio-economic development of border regions» June, 10th 2014
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»
June 10, 2014
Listening to Architecture, Composing spaces. Baltic Network of Design, Architecture and Music
The project aims to introduce in Russia the best European experiences in the fields of environment friendly architecture and energy-saving building construction, design of public spaces for disabled people and design and architecture for children through a number of activities.
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).
Study: Analyses of the obstacles in the development of cross-border business operations and horizontal logistics (2011)
Miljakova, L. V.; Smirnova N. V.
Barents Logistics 2
The objective of the research is to reveal the obstacles in the development of cross border logistics operations among the companies of the Murmansk region and development of recommendations for eliminating the obstacles.
Isaev, P. G.
Kolartic ENP CBC – Cross Border Cooperation
In general, evaluating the main trends of socio‐economic development of the Murmansk region since the beginning of market reforms, it can be noted that the main branches of industrial specialization in the region are the following ‐ metallurgical mining and chemical industry, energetic, maritime transport ‐ quite successfully adapted to new conditions providing their competitiveness not only in Russia but also on the global market.
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.
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.
Proposals for development of transport corridors for further studies
The Barents Euro-Arctic Region
Economic and social development in the Barents Region requires better transport connections, and the aim for the work has been a joint approach to look at the future need for transport in the Barents Region.
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.
Study: Challenges for Effective Logistics in the Barents region: a study on the cross-border operations between Finland and the Murmansk region (2013)
Lehtinen, Ulla; Atkova, Irina
University of Oulu
The purpose of this paper is to describe logistics infrastructure in the Murmansk region and northern Finland, to pinpoint major barriers in the sphere of logistics impeding the development of cross-border operations between the Murmansk region and Finland and to single out main logistic challenges faced by the companies internationalizing onto the Murmansk region market.
Lead partner: Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Lapland (ELYLAP), Finland
The goal of the Trilateral cooperation on Environmental Challenges in the Joint Border Area (TEC) project is to produce information on environmental impacts of airborne emissions, regulation of waterways and climate change in the Finnish-Norwegian-Russian border region.
Project Partners: Autonomous non-commercial organization Nenets Energy Efficiency and Cleaner Production Center (Russia); North-Western United Power Generating Company, Narjan-Mar Branch (Russia); FCG Finnish Consulting Group Oy (Finland); Municipal Unitary Enterprise Amdermaservice, Nenets Autonomous Okrug (Russia)
The Project aims to support cross-border cooperation of the participating Russian and Finnish neighbouring regions in wider use of renewable energy sources thus contributing to increase of their environmental and economic sustainability and accessibility as well as to reduction of their periphery and economic dependency on more developed regions.
Lead Partner: Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Lapland (ELYLAP), Finland
By developing the use of ground water, the project aims to improve the quality of life in the Kaalamo and Ruskeala villages in Sortavala, Karelia. For years, low-quality water from Tohma River has been used for drinking which increases health risks.
Lead Partner: Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), Northern Finland Office, Finland
While new mines will be put into operation, active deposits are scheduled for closure.
The challenges of the mine closure will arise; closed mines may have a negative impact on surrounding water, soil and air. This can be prevented by good planning, and therefore, information about the surroundings of the mine in question is needed.The project will develop innovative methodology concerning environmentally safe mine closure under specific conditions of Barents area. This will be done in cooperation between mining and environment expert from three countries. The project has three case mines from Sweden, Finland and Russia.