The Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) set up an Ad Hoc Working Group to assess the financial needs, existing financial sources and financing gaps in the Barents region. Report on the results of the assessment was recently published.
The analysis shows that various sources of financing exist to support multilateral Barents cooperation. Primary sources of financing have included national and regional budgets, various EU Programmes and the Nordic Council of Ministers. During the past few years, the Kolarctic Cross-Border Cooperation Programme has been the most important project financing instrument. Several EU funding programmes, which are relevant to the Barents Euro-Arctic Region and to work of its Council, are available also during the period 2014-2020. In addition, the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the Arctic Council, the Baltic Sea Region Seed Money Facility and the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme grant financing can be utilized in Barents cooperation. Furthermore, for example, the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership and the Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics have established support funds to pool together contributions from different donors for project financing.
The Working Group recommends that capacity building and information dissemination about the existing financial sources for Barents cooperation should be improved amidst the Barents actors. For the time being, there seems to be no common interest or justifiable reasons for establishing a new financial mechanism for the Barents Region. Instead, the possibility of adjusting existing financing programmes in order to improve the availability of funding for small-scale projects should be explored. In addition, the actors would benefit of provision of technical assistance for project preparation and civil society cooperation in the Barents Region. Also, there should be stronger interlinkage between cooperation projects and international financial institutions’ funding.
The members of the Ad Hoc Working Group comprise of experts representing the BEAC member states, the Barents Regional Council and the International Barents Institute. The report is published by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. You can access the electronic version of the report here or download the pdf version here.