Northern Dimension Institute Briefing Note | February 2021
PROSPECTS FOR THE DEVELOPEMENT OF THE WHITE SEA-BALTIC CANAL
By Maksim Zadorin, Northern Arctic Federal University, Arkhangelsk
m.zadorin [a] narfu.ru
The White Sea-Baltic Canal, constructed in 1931-1933 as a large-scale Soviet infrastructure project and therefore commonly referred to as the “Stalin’s Canal” , often evokes negative connotations due to its history. The Canal itself connects Lake Onega to the White Sea, but it also provides access from the White Sea to the Baltic Sea and to the Volga-Baltic Waterway via Neva and Svir rivers and Lake Ladoga (Fig. 1) . Therefore, the Canal is an integral part of the waterway infrastructure in the Northern Dimension area, and provides one option to connect Baltic Sea ports to the White Sea and further to the Northern Sea Route.
Fig. 1 The location of the White Sea-Baltic Canal
The White Sea–Baltic Canal route is 227 kilometers long and it runs from the village of Povenets on Lake Onega to the city of Belomorsk on the White Sea. Its infrastructure is considered sophisticated even according to contemporary standards, as the channel with an average depth of 5 meters includes more than 100 complex hydraulic structures including 15 weirs, 19 locks, 49 dams, 12 waterways, and other devices. Today, the canal is the largest hydro-technical and transport facility and part of the unified deep-water system of the European part of Russia. The infrastructure of the White Sea-Baltic Canal was improved between 1976 and 1983, including the reconstruction of 13 lock chambers on a rocky foundation, rebuilding of 27 out of 38 bays (hydraulic retaining wall or flyover), and replacing 7 pairs of riveted sluice gates with all-welded gates .
The traffic on the White Sea-Baltic Canal has increased significantly in recent years, both as to freight traffic and passenger traffic (Fig. 2) :
Fig. 2 Growth in the volume of freight and tourist traffic along the White Sea-Baltic Canal 2018-2019
Recently, the development of the White Sea-Baltic Canal has been taken on the agenda of the authorities of the Republic of Karelia, the Russian region on the territory of which the Canal runs. This is due to the tourism potential of cultural heritage in Northwest Russia, including the tourist route to the Solovetsky Islands that passes through the Canal, and to the increased freight traffic on the Northern Sea Route that the Canal is linked to.
As to measures addressed to the development of the White Sea-Baltic Canal as a tourist route, the Government of the Republic of Karelia approved in the end of July 2020 a document called “Procedure for the implementation of measures of the individual program of socio-economic development of the Republic for the period from 2020 to 2024” (hereinafter - the Economic Program of Karelia) . This program includes two measures that address the development of the White Sea-Baltic Canal, particularly as a tourist route.
- Elaboration of the concept for the development of the White Sea-Baltic Canal (2020, responsible governmental body: Ministry of Transport of the Republic)
- Working out the issue of creating and promoting an international water cruise route along the coast of the Scandinavian Peninsula (Norway) to the city of Arkhangelsk and further through the White Sea-Baltic Canal to St. Petersburg (2020, responsible governmental body: Ministry of Tourism of the Republic).
Furthermore, the text of the Economic Program of Karelia includes the development of tourist routes in the following directions, jointly with the Finnish side:
- “Kuusamo-Suoperä border checkpoint – White Sea”;
- “North Karelia (Finland) – Vyartsilya – Ladoga area”;
- “Saimaa Geopark – Syväoro checkpoint – the projected national park “Ladoga Skerries”.
The infrastructure for these routes (roads and railways, inland water transport) is planned to be prepared through the modernization of the Canal and the development of the archaeological complex “White Sea Petroglyphs” (application to UNESCO) (Fig. 3)  .
Fig. 3. Zalavruga. The architectural concept of the development of the archaelogical complex "White Sea Petroglyphs". © Evgeni Taev's architectural studio.
There are, however, some regulatory and infrastructural constraints to the development of international tourism operations on the Canal. Tourist companies operating on the Canal mainly use river passenger ships, which, according to the latest rules of the Russian River Register (RRR) are prohibited from entering the sea. Therefore, tourists are moved to a ferryboat, which raises the question about the use of large cruise ships of foreign companies that exceed the dimensions of the canal .
As to the prospects of developing freight traffic on the Canal, the Government of Republic of Karelia proposed in 2019 to make the White Sea-Baltic Canal as part of the Northern Sea route, which would give boost for the development of its infrastructure. Until now, there have been no concrete steps to implement this idea, but the need to improve the transportation and logistics infrastructure on the Northern Sea Route in general has been recognized in the Federal policies of the Russian government. For example, the development of the Northern Sea Route is included as one of the projects in the document “Comprehensive plan for the modernization and expansion of the trunk infrastructure for the period up to 2024”  that the Russian Government approved in the fall 2018. More generally, the Plan intends to develop both East-West and North-South transport corridors for the transportation of goods.
The development need is obvious in view of the rising economic activity in the Arctic and resulting traffic on the Northern Sea Route, which has reflected in the increase in the volume of cargo turnover in Arctic ports. For example, in 2016, the total cargo turnover of all Arctic ports was 49.7 million tons, and by 2018 it had already reached 92.7 million tons of which the cargo turnover of the White Sea port of Murmansk amounted to 60.7 million tons .
In this context, the development of the White-Sea Baltic Canal as part of the transportation infrastructure related to the Northern Sea Route would be justified. This would, however, require a comprehensive assessment of the short-term and long-term economic potential of the White Sea-Baltic Canal. This assessment should address issues such as the capacity of the Canal port to receive large-tonnage vessels , which have been identified as bottlenecks for the development of transportation activities on the Canal.
 Belomorsko-Baltiyskiy kanal imeni Stalina. Istoriya stroitel'stva 1931–1934 gg. / pod red. M. Gor’kogo, L. Averbakha, S. Firina [White Sea-Baltic Canal named after Stalin. Construction history 1931–1934 / ed. by M. Gorky, L. Averbakh, S. Firin]. Moscow, 1934.
 White Sea-Baltic Canal Map. Wikimedia.org.
 The history of the construction of the White Sea-Baltic Canal [Istoriya stroitel’stva Belomorsko-Baltiyskogo kanala]. August 02, 2013, 09:30 (updated: 12:17 01.03.2020). RIA Novosti. URL: https://ria.ru/20130802/953345579.html
Governmental Resolution of the Republic of Karelia of July 29, 2020 No. 371-R “On Approval of the Procedure for the Implementation of Measures of the Individual Program of Socio-Economic Development of Karelia for 2020–2024”. URL: http://docs.cntd.ru/document/465425041
 Plan modernizatsii Belomorkanala vklyuchat v programmu razvitiya Karelii do 2024 goda [Modernization plan of the White Sea-Baltic Canal into the development program of Karelia until 2024], October 20, 2020, 16:29. TASS. URL: https://tass.ru/ekonomika/9767725
 Stoyanka u petroglifov. Proekt turisticheskogo kompleksa ryadom s belomorskimi petroglifami: neytral’naya arkhitektura dlya budushchego ob’ekta iz spiska UNESCO [Parking at the petroglyphs. The project of a tourist complex near the White Sea petroglyphs: neutral architecture for a future object from the UNESCO list], October 01, 2020. Archi.ru. URL: https://archi.ru/russia/87514/stoyanka-u-petroglifov
 Serova N.A., Serova V.A. Critical tendencies of the transport infrastructure development in the Russian Arctic. Arktika i Sever [Arctic and North], 2019, no. 36, pp. 42–56. DOI: 10.17238/issn2221-2698.2019.36.42
Within the field of awareness raising, visual images play an increasingly important role. It had become clear that the Northern Dimension needed a logo to improve visibility and to underline Northern Dimension as a joint Northern agenda in Europe. Therefore, in its Reykjavik meeting in June 2019, the Northern Dimension Steering Group commissioned the NDI to produce a logo competition. The NDI produced the competition in cooperation with the Aalto University Visual Communication Department.
The competition call was launched in summer, with 2000 eur prizefor the winner. The competition was targeted to selected universities in the Northern Dimension area with visual communication study programs. The students were asked to design a long lasting logo that should give the Northern Dimension policy a clear identity in communication and in related media publications. The logo should also signify Northern Dimension’s four thematic areas and symbolize equal collaboration.
The competition was a great success with 43 suggestions, from which design experts pre-selected 14 finalists for the jury to decide the winner.
The jury consisted of design expertsand official representatives of the EU (Audrone Perkauskiene/EEAS), Russia (Igor Kapyrin/Ministry for Foreign Affairs), Iceland (Emil Breki Hreggvidsson (Ministry for Foreign Affairs), Norway (Göril Johanssen/Ministry for Foreign Affairs ).
The decision of the jury was clear: the winner is Mr Jacob Stewart from the Aalto University.
A jury made up of international representatives of Northern Dimension and design experts from Aalto University’s Department of Media, consider that the winning entry of the competition cleverly combines Nordic aesthetics, the notion of an equal collaboration, and an original, perceptive idea. The logo offers possibilities for variations and is well suited for animation. Based on the logo and its design language, it is possible to create icons, which represent the organisation’s constituent areas of operation. The styling of the logo is fresh, modern, and suitably simple, and gives good potential for the realization of an interesting, working visual identity for the Northern Dimension.
The new logo, Jacob Stewart, the "founding father" of ND Paavo Lipponen and Riitta Kosonen from NDI
The Northern Dimension Institute participated in the 30th Northern Dimension Steering Group meeting held in Bodø, Norway, on 18 November 2019. Director Riitta Kosonen gave an overview on the activities of the ongoing EU co-funded project NDI Think Tank Action, which aims at serving information needs of the ND partnerships and other stakeholders and raising awareness. NDI will continue close collaboration and dialogue with the ND partnerships to ensure coordination and synergies among planned activities and welcomes new topics to bejointly identified for relevant research within the project.
The ND SG meeting was held adjacent to the 6th Northern Dimension Parliamentary Forum hosted by the Norwegian parliament on 19-20 November 2019.During the Forum several speeches were held highlighting that the Arctic has long been an area of constructive international cooperation and stressing the importance to keep the Arctic as a low-tension area. A wide variety of topics were discussed, such as international transport cooperation and maritime security, environmental cooperation, sustainable tourism and improving health and social wellbeing through cooperation. The discussion brought up the positive effects of increased cross-border cooperation and people-to-people programmes to promote sustainable growth and social development in the ND region.
The ND Parliamentary Forum is a biannual event gathering the members of parliaments, governmental institutions, councils of the North, indigenous peoples’ representatives and regional inter-parliamentary organizations to discuss the development and progress of the ND cooperation. The next ND Parliamentary Forum will be organized in Russia in 2021.
Encounter of the two generations; the former Prime Minister of Finland Paavo Lipponen in discussion with the representatives of the youth; Rosa-Maren Magga, Enontekiö, Finland, Daria Makhotina, Murmansk, Russia and Sebastian Henriksen, Tromsø, Norway.Photo: The Storting
See more photos from the Parliamentary Forum
Northern Dimension Future Forum: Fresh and sustainable experiments of the Global North
Date: 28 November 2019
Venue: Aalto University, Dipoli (Otakaari 24, Espoo, Finland)
Organizers: Northern Dimension Institute, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Financed by: DG NEAR
This Open Forum is a part of the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2019.
The Open Forum panels present technology- and human-centered sustainable solutions to societal challenges in the fields of health, transport, environment and culture, which are Northern Dimension thematic partnerships. Voice is given to representatives of civil society, university sector, business and government. The exhibition area presents fresh solutions to societal challenges – particularly those generated by students and youth.
The Forum is free of charge and open to everyone. The programme and registration will be soon available.
The Open Forum serves as the people-to-people pre-event to the "Clean and Global North - High-Level Event on Regional Cooperation in the North event", organized by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland on 29 November in Finlandia Hall, Helsinki. The invitation-only event will also acknowledge the 20-year anniversary of the Northern Dimension.
Northern Dimension Institute Lead Coordinator
Professor Riitta Kosonen
Director, Center for Markets in Transition CEMAT
Dr. Päivi Karhunen
CEMAT & Northern Dimension Institute
+358 50 3878 159
A Science Communication Handbook is published in the framework of the NDI Think Tank Action.
The Science Communication Handbook provides researchers with guidelines of effective science communication. The handbook includes practical tools and examples that will help researchers to plan communication and interaction to support their research projects goals.
Science Communication Handbook (link to the PDF)
The Handbook is based on the communications training for researchers organized by the NDI Think Tank Action and conducted by the Kaskas Media, a Finnish communications agency that specializes in science and expert communication. Kaskas Media has produced the handbook based on the science communication training day materials.
The communications training for researchers was held on Wednesday 12 June 2019 at Aalto University and it provided inspiration and tools for researchers for interacting with decision-makers and sharing their research results and policy recommendations in an effective manner. Presentations of the training are available here (link) and our news about the training here (link).
The Handbook and the training are part of the "Development of a think tank functions of the Northern Dimension Institute - NDI Think Tank Action”. The NDI Think Tank Action is a three-year project in 2019 - 2021 co-financed by the EC DG NEAR.
The Arctic Frontiers Science 2020 conference invites abstracts for the conference and paper contributions for a Springer book volume. The conference will convene 28-30 January 2020 in Tromsø, Norway.
Abstracts are invited for oral and poster presentations on the following themes:
- Arctic food security;
- Knowledge-based development in the Arctic;
- Disruptive technologies; and
- Local or global Arctic? Multi-scaled considerations of connections and remoteness in climate-impacted communities.
The abstract submission system will open shortly. All abstracts are reviewed by scientific experts for rating of abstract quality and presentation content.
In addition, presenters and attendees of the Arctic Frontiers 2020 conference are encouraged to contribute to the Springer book volume, Building Common Interests in the Arctic Ocean with Global Inclusion. This volume will be published in conjunction with the conference. Book contributors are expected to be given an oral presentation at Arctic Frontiers 2020.
Abstract submission deadline for book contributions: 9 August 2019
Abstract submission deadline for conference presentations: 23 September 2019
For more information on abstract submission and themes, see the full call for papers.
+47 776 08 413
Arctic Frontiers Secretariat
One of the NDI Think Tank Action partners, Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU), published a news article about the communications training for researchers held on Wednesday 12 June 2019. The training was a part of the Action activities.
The communications training "Make an impact with science communication" provided inspiration and tools for researchers for interacting with decision-makers and sharing their research results and policy recommendations in an effective manner.
Here is the link to the NArFU's article 'Научное сотрудничество в рамках международного проекта Института Северного измерения продолжается' (in Russian).
In this issue we give you a few examples of our latest activities.
You can find the ND Newsflash here (link).
Enjoy the reading and have a relaxing summer!
NDI organized a communications training for researchers on Wednesday 12 June 2019 at Aalto University. The communications training "Make an impact with science communication" provided inspiration and tools for researchers for interacting with decision-makers and sharing their research results and policy recommendations in an effective manner. Participants got to practice stakeholder communication, coming up with key messages and writing an effective policy brief.
During the day, participants heard and discussed successful real-life examples of co-creation and interaction by decision-makers and researchers. Ms. Tarja Haaranen, Director at the Ministry of the Environment of Finland, shared her experiences in successful communication with experts and researchers. Ms. Armi Temmes, leader of Smart Energy Transition project, Professor of Practice of Corporate Sustainability at the Aalto University introduced the participants how to use co-creation in a research project. Ms. Marita Laukkanen, Chief Researcher and Research Leader at the VATT Institute for Economic Research and Adjunct Professor of Economics at the University of Helsinki spoke from her own experience, how researchers can contribute to societal debate via social media based on their research.
Presentations of the training are available below:
Tarja Haaranen: Successful science communication through the eyes of a decision-maker
Armi Temmes: How to use co-creation in a research project?
Marita Laukkanen: Why use social media as a researcher?
In the afternoon, the training was focused on defining stakeholders and key messages. Participants also learned how to turn their own research results into a policy brief with recommendations for policy actions.
Participants of the training represented the Saint Petersburg State University of Economics (UNECON), the Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov (NArFU), the Northern State Medical University, the University of Oulu and the Aalto University.
The training was conducted by Kaskas Media, a Finnish communications agency that specializes in science and expert communication. The training was a part of the "Development of a think tank functions of the Northern Dimension Institute - NDI Think Tank Action”.
NDI Think Tank Action focuses on developing and institutionalizing think tank functions of the NDI to provide relevant research-based knowledge and a neutral platform for open dialogue, people-to-people contacts and co-creation among the decision- and policy-makers, civil servants, business, NGOs and the academic community.
The NDI Think Tank Action is a 3-year (2019-2021) project co-financed by the EC DG NEAR.
The NDI Think Tank Action was represented at the 29th Northern Dimension Steering Group meeting, which was held in Reykjavik, Iceland, on 7 June 2019. Project Leader Minna Hanhijärvi presented an insight of the ongoing Action, thematic research and planned activities for the end of the year. NDI will ensure designing thematic co-creation workshops in close collaboration with the ND Partnerships to ensure coordination, and synergies among planned ND events in the fall and relevant topics as well as relevant topics.
Reykjavik, Iceland. Image by Rebecca L from Pixabay
NDI together with Kaskas Media, a Finnish media consulting company, organizes a communications training for researchers on Wednesday 12 June 2019 at Aalto University.
The communications training "Make an impact with science communication" provides inspiration and tools for researchers for interacting with decision-makers. Participants get to practice stakeholder communication, coming up with key messages and writing an effective policy brief. After the training all the participants will receive individual feedback on their policy briefs.
You can find the programme of the training here (PDF).
The training is part of the "Development of a think tank functions of the Northern Dimension Institute - NDI Think Tank Action”.
NDI Think Tank Action focuses on developing and institutionalizing think tank functions of the NDI to provide relevant research-based knowledge and a neutral platform for open dialogue, people-to-people contacts and co-creation among the decision- and policy-makers, civil servants, business, NGOs and the academic community.
The NDI Think Tank Action is a 3-year (2019-2021) project co-financed by the EC DG NEAR.
In the current times of economic and political instabilities, it is of utmost importance to seek economic growth to tackle environmental challenges, solve societal problems and provide help and assistance to those in need. Economic growth is not in contrast with the goals of combatting climate change. Rather, arguments for “degrowth” would only weaken societies’ capacity to provide sustainable solutions to the environmental challenges.
Taking the multifaceted nature of vicious environmental challenges, including their social, political and economic dimensions, there is increasing need for the use of research-based knowledge in policymaking. This is where the Northern Dimension Institute could provide more insight and tools for the common good.
The NDI could play a bigger role in boosting growth in various ways.
First, as the vicious environmental problems are characterized by several uncertainties, the NDI has a valuable a role as the provider of trustworthy, neutral and research-based knowledge for the use of private and public sector decision makers. There is increasing need for neutral, objective knowledge in the world, in contrast to fake news and hidden agendas.
Second, the NDI is useful in finding existing knowledge and feeding it to the decision makers. In fact, the world is packed with knowledge, but it is not easily available, or not served in a user friendly, applicable format.
Third, there is also need for new knowledge and targeted research. For example, we do not yet know enough of the sources of black carbon emissions, or the potential benefits of hydrogen as a fuel in the ND area. The NDI operates as a platform to fill identified information gaps.
Fourth, in the world characterized by instability and insecurity, we need more optimism in decision making and forecasting the future. Here, the NDI could play a bigger role in bringing to the fore success stories of economically and socially sustainable solutions to environmental challenges in the ND area. It has been proven that even small actions of modernization can have considerable environmental impacts at the local level.
Fifth, in addition to identifying success stories, the NDI could boost growth by analyzing the scalability of the invented solutions. Several technical and digital solutions, as well as social design innovations, could be more generally applied to boost growth in the ND area or even widely.
Sixth, there is growth potential to be derived from a more effective cooperation among the ND Partnerships. There are several synergies that can be exploited to provide savings and to generate larger societal impact. It is easy to imagine such synergies to be found e.g. among environmental and health-related activities. The NDI could be more effectively used in building bridges between ND Partnerships by identifying synergies and overlaps.
Finally, critical building blocks of sustainable growth are coherent societies with active social dialogue in decision-making. The NDI has already an established role as the platform for dialogue between the providers and end users of knowledge in the academia, Partnerhips, public sphere, business community and civil society. This role could be more effectively used. Here, also NDI’s access and ability to involve young academics and students in public discourse, is vital for the sustainable and legitimate future.
Here is the wish list, what about the funding?
Prof. Riitta Kosonen, NDI Lead Coordinator
NDI was represented by NDI Lead Coordinator professor Riitta Kosonen and project coordinator Hanna-Elina Koivisto in the 10th Northern Dimension Forum on 4 April 2019 organized by the Northern Dimension Business Council, the Association of European Business and Graduate School of Management of the St. Petersburg University in St. Petersburg, Russia. This year the event was held on the topic of “Sustainable development in the era of global change: growth factors and (un)known challenges”.
The event gathered over 200 participants representing EU, ND Partnerships, the Regional Councils, Russian and international companies, industries, authorities, universities and International Financial Institutions from ND countries, Belarus, Canada and the USA.
The event consisted of sessions and panel discussions on future challenges in the global political, economic and public spheres. Professor Kosonen was invited as a panelist in the plenary round table discussion on sustainable development of the Northern Dimension, global challenges and the regional answers. She introduced the ongoing NDI Think Tank Action and the identified topics of interest and future challenges by the ND Partnerships and the research community. The thematic policy-relevant research in environmental sphere, for example, is focused on co-creating research-based solutions and recommendations for action to curb black carbon emissions in the Arctic.
Riitta Kosonen during the plenary "Sustainable Development of the Northern Dimension: Global Challenges and the Regional Answers
Riitta Kosonen (NDI), Dace Resele, new Head of NDPC Secretariat and Paavo Lipponen, former Prime Minister of Finland
See more on the 10th ND Forum here (link)
In this issue we introduce our three-year NDI Think Tank Action and bring you highlights from the Northern Dimension Future Forums. We are also glad to present the first Policy Briefs published by the NDI.
You can find the ND Newsflash here (link).
Enjoy the reading!
The NDI Think Tank Action was launched in a kick-off meeting at Aalto University on 27 February 2019. This 3-year Action, funded by the EU, serves the information needs of the four Northern Dimension partnerships between the EU, Norway, Iceland and Russia. The themes for these partnerships are environment, cultural cooperation, transport and logistics, and health and social wellbeing. The Action is carried out by NDI (Northern Dimension Institute) which is an international network of universities and research institutes.
In the Action, five Finnish, Russian and Austrian universities and research institutes produce research knowledge on diverse societal challenges of the North. The research topics identified together with the NDI partnerships are how to combat climate change and curb black carbon emissions, how to benefit from creative industries in solving societal challenges, how to facilitate healthy aging, and how to ensure the sustainability of emerging trade routes between Europe and Asia.
The NDI Think Thank Action’s lead partner is CEMAT research center, hosted by the Aalto University. The project partners are Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov (NArFU), St. Petersburg State University of Economics (UNECON), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and University of Oulu.
The Action creates a culture of resource-informed policy making in the Northern Dimension area, promoting producers and end-users of research to co-create common understanding. This is achieved by active dialogue throughout the research project, which improves the accuracy of research topics and empirical material, and tailors the publication formats and dissemination platforms to be most applicable to the end users.
During 2019, the Action will produce several policy briefs and research reports for the use of ND environmental, culture, health, and transport and logistics partnerships. On the occasion of Finland's EU Presidency the year will culminate in the ND Future Forum in November. The Forum will be organized by the Action at Aalto University back to back with the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ high-level conference on Northern Dimension. The Forum will serve as a platform to collect young people’s visions on the Northern Dimension, and to channel them to the EU decision-makers.
Participants (from left to right) Anni Reissel, Minna Hanhijärvi, Päivi Karhunen, Arja Rautio, Marina Kalinina, Riitta Kosonen, Lassi Heininen, Ludmila Siluanova, Sofia Rekord, Svetlana Popkova, Dmitry Vasilenko and Hanna-Elina Koivisto
The call for applications opens soon!
Is your organisation participating in an EU project or a flagship within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region? Would you like to cooperate with countries outside the EU? If you are a Swedish organisation, you can apply for funding from the Swedish Institute to establish and develop networks in this area!
What is Third Country Participation?
Third Country Participation in the Baltic Sea region offers Swedish actors the opportunity to apply for project funding for the inclusion of actors from Russia or the countries of the EU Eastern Partnership in a current EU project or a flagship within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.
The projects applying for funding for Third Country Participation in the Baltic Sea region will contribute to economic, environmentally and socially sustainable growth in the Baltic Sea region and its immediate area. In the long term they will contribute to an increased integration in the region. The projects will work on a common challenge in the region and benefit all participating actors.
The projects should have a clear link to policies in the region: the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and/or the EU Eastern Partnership.
- A project may run for no longer than 2 years and no less than six months.
- A project may apply for up to SEK 350,000 for a 1-year project and up to SEK 700,000 for a 2-year project.
Who can apply?
- The main applicant has to be based in Sweden.
- The application must include at least two actors in two different countries eligible for support, one of which is Sweden (as main applicant).
- The funding is available for actors from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russian Federation, Sweden and Ukraine.
- The application must be linked to a current EU project where one of the parties involved is the Swedish applicant. Alternatively, the application may be linked to a flagship under the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region in which the Swedish applicant is involved
The call for applications will open during the spring and close end of May 2019. Dates are still preliminary.
For additional information and updates, please visit at the Swedish Institute website.
The Northern Dimension Institute is happy to announce that we have signed the Grant Contract with European Commission (EC) for funding of our project Development of a think tank functions of the NDI for the next three years. The project is jointly designed and implemented by Aalto Universityas the Lead Partner, in partnership with University of Oulu(UOULU, Finland), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis(IIASA, Austria), Northern (Arctic) Federal University(NArFU, Russia) and St. Petersburg State University of Economics(UNECON, Russia).
The NDI Think Tank project (Development of think tank functions of the Northern Dimension Institute) is designed to enhance genuine regional cooperation in the Northern Dimension (ND) area through science diplomacy, capacity building and people-to-people contacts.
NDI Think Tank project will focus on the following:
- strategic development and institutionalisation and of the Northern Dimension Institute (NDI) into a regional think tank.
- support decision-makers, ND partnerships, ND Steering Group members, ND Parliamentary Forum, ND Business Council, Barents actors, and other key stakeholders in their research-based information needs, thus enhancing evidence-based decision-making.
- ensure level-playing field and platform for connecting the ND decision-makers and key stakeholders with the academic community into an open dialogue, people-to-people contacts, co-creation and dissemination on topics of common interest in the thematic fields of the four ND partnerships.
- strengthening the voice of the civil society actors, including academic community, non-governmental organisations and the business community, as the key evidence-based knowledge providers and actors in dialogue on the common challenges and available solutions in the ND area,
- raise awareness of the ND, ND partnerships, research-based information and policy briefs about the common challenges and available solutions on the jointly selected topics, future trends as well as outcomes of the ND collaboration.
The project website will be opened soon.
NDI Think Tank Project Overview(pdf)
Shortly about the Northern Dimension Institute
- Established in 2009 by the approval of the Northern Dimension Ministerial Meeting in Stockholm
- An open network of 33 universities and research institutes
- Since November 2013, coordinated by Aalto University, St Petersburg State University of Economics and Northern (Arctic) Federal University
- A neutral academic actor
- Fulfils information gaps and disseminates information within the four priority themes of the ND: Energy & environment; Culture; Health & Social wellbeing; Transport & Logistics
The contact persons for the project management is Ms. Minna Hanhijärvi, minna.hanhijarvi(at)aalto.fi, tel. +358 505745017 and project communication Ms. Hanna-Elina Koivisto, hanna-elina.koivisto(at)aalto.fi, tel. +358403538150
Contacts for NDI coordination(link)
The Northern Dimension Institute (NDI) organized four Northern Dimension Future Forums in November 2018.
The first was the Northern Dimension Future Forum on Culture: Creating a better world through cultural and creative crossovers organized on 15 November in St. Petersburg, Russia. The event gathered over 50 participants from 11 countries to discuss and share inspiring experiences and lessons learnt on design thinking approach in public service and cultural and creative crossovers addressing societal challenges. The participants represented universities, cultural institutions, NGOs and governmental organizations.
The second and the third Northern Dimension Future Forums were back-to-back in Brussels. The Northern Dimension Future Forum on Environment: Black carbon and climate change in the European Arctic was held on 19 November. The event gathered researchers, top experts, decision-makers and NGOs to discuss the future challenges as well as solutions available to avert the black carbon impacts of future climate change.
The Northern Dimension Future Forum on Transport: Emerging trade routes between Europe and Asia – Impacts of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on Northern Europe was held on 20 November. The event gathered over 60 participants, researchers, decision-makers and leading transport companies to discuss the future developments in land and Arctic maritime connections between Europe and Asia.
The last Future Forum in 2018 was held in Vantaa, Finland on 28 November. The Northern Dimension Future Forum on Health: Healthy Ageing gathered researchers, professionals, civil servants and decision-makers to discuss the future challenges and opportunities in providing support, services and environments enhancing health and wellbeing among senior citizens. The event featured three knowledge arenas focusing on the topical themes of loneliness and mental health, managing healthy life-styles and preventing ageing related diseases, and creating environments supporting healthy aging.
The events were organized by the Northern Dimension Institute together with the Northern Dimension Partnerships and financed by the European Commission/DG NEAR and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
You can find all the summaries below:
Northern Dimension Future Forum on Culture: Creating a better world through cultural and creative crossovers
Design Thinking Approach as a strategic tool for ensuring creativity and innovations in public sector
Northern Dimension Future Forum on Environment: Black carbon and climate change in the European Arctic
Cutting black carbon emissions is an acute challenge for all in the European Arctic
Northern Dimension Future Forum on Transport: Emerging trade routes between Europe and Asia – Impacts of China’s Belt and Road Initiative
Emerging Euro-Asian land and Arctic maritime trade routes open new business opportunities
Northern Dimension Future Forum on Health: Healthy Ageing
Bridging the gap between the evidence-based knowledge and implementation in promoting Healthy Ageing
Watch the video from ND Future Forums on Environment & Transport in Brussels:
Nothern from Yellow Screen Production on Vimeo.
The future of Baltic Sea Region Cooperation
Focus on the Council of the Baltic Sea States
November 23, 2PM-6PM, Turku, Finland
Baltic Area Legal Studies BALEX in cooperation with EUSBSR HA Neighbours welcomes you to the seminar "The Future of Baltic Sea Region Cooperation: Focus on the Council of the Baltic Sea States". The purpose of this seminar is to reflect on future development of the Baltic Sea region cooperation, with a particular focus on the CBSS, and to discuss the current challenges facing the cooperation.
Speakers of the seminar include, among others, CBSS Ambassador Maira Mora, CBSS Vision Group Member Astrid Thors and Director of Diplomatic Studies at St. Petersburg State University Stanislav Tkachenko
More information here
A new portal, EuroAccess, has been launched acting as a gateway to EU funding, providing the key data of more than 200 EU funding programmes, including (but not limited to!) all Interreg programmes that operate within the geographical scope of the EU macro-regional strategies. Potential applicants can look for open calls for project proposals and filter results based on their type of organisation, their country of origin, and the thematic focus of their project idea, amongst others.
EuroAccess is based on the success of DanubeAccess, which promoted funding opportunities from the geographical area covered by the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. Over the time it has proven to be a success, therefore, it is now extended to all four EU macro-regional strategies – the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region, the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. The updated online platform, covering all four EU macro-regional strategies, was launched on 25th June 2018.
Arctic Frontiers Science 2019 takes place Tuesday 22 January until Thursday 24 January 2019 in Tromso Norway.
Arctic Frontiers Science 2019 will address the following themes:
- Plastics in the Ocean
- The future of governance and handling vulnerability in arctic ecosystems
- State of the Arctic
- A Smart Arctic Future
You can read more about each topic at the Arctic Frontier website (link
Arctic Frontiers Science Committees invitates you to submit one or more abstracts to any of the four themes.
Kindly to do so in accordance with the instructions provided on the Call for Papers page. All abstracts are reviewed by scientific experts for rating of abstract quality and presentation content.
Abstract submission closes on Tuesday 25 September 2018, 23:59, CET.
SAVE THE DATE: BALEX will organise a half-day conference on 23 November 2018 at 2PM-6PM, in Turku, Finland. The event is organised in cooperation with EUSBSR HA Neighbours.
THE FUTURE OF BALTIC SEA REGION COOPERATION
Focus on the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS): Current Challenges and Perspectives
The absence of institutionalized legislative bodies with authoritative power, along with the complexity of transboundary policy challenges, have created space for new types of governance and cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region. Today, there is a great number of governmental and non-governmental institutions and actors, including the EU, involved in Baltic Sea Area governance and cooperation. One of them is the Council of the Baltic Sea States, CBSS, that has set up a Vision Group to create recommendations for a vision for the Baltic Sea Region beyond 2020.
The purpose of this half-day conference organized by the Baltic Area Legal Studies (BALEX) competence cluster, in cooperation with EUSBSR HA Neighbours, is to discuss the challenges facing the Baltic Sea region cooperation and the CBSS, and to share information about the CBSS in the light of the report of the Vision Group work, taking into account Baltic Sea Area governance structures more generally.
The registration for the event will open in August.
The speakers of the event include:
Marko Joas, Professor of Public Administration, Coordinator of the research project BaltReg, Åbo Akademi University
Timo Koivurova (chair), Research Professor, Director, University of Lapland
Anne Kumpula, Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Turku
Maira Mora, Ambassador, Director General of CBSS Permanent Secretariat
Zaneta Ozolina (tbc), Professor of Political Science, University of Latvia, Rapporteur of the CBSS Vision Group
Allan Rosas, Judge at the European Court of Justice, Chair of the BALEX Advisory Board
Astrid Thors, former Minister of Migration and European Affairs, former OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Member of the CBSS Vision Group
Petteri Vuorimäki, Senior Expert, European External Action Service of the EU, Chair of the CBSS Vision Group
Adam Wisniewski, Professor of Law, University of Gdansk
In honour of the UArctic Congress 2018 in Finland, University of Helsinki and Helsinki Think Company are gathering together students from all over the world interested in the Arctic and it's current situation to plan a meaningful event, campaign or a project that will efficiently communicate Arctic opportunities and challenges to other people.
What Do You Need?
A team of 2–5 people, an Arctic related idea and an open mind!
What Will Happen?
The teams will be taken on an expedition across the beautiful Nuuksio National Park for a three-day Bootcamp. Using co-creation tools, we train and empower the teams to plan an Arctic initiative, which they will take into action on Arctic Day 2018 in October. Visit thinkcompany's website to see the full program details.
Undergraduate, graduate and PhD Students interested in the Arctic
3-Day Bootcamp 5–7 September 2018 and Arctic Day 31 October 2018.
International application deadline: 29th of July
Finnish application deadline: 12th of August
More information at thinkcompany.fi
Venue: The Swedish Representation to the EU, Square de Meeus 30
Time: Tuesday 5 June 8:30-13:00 followed by Barents Cooperation 25 Years Anniversary Lunch (Arctic seafood and refreshments)
The Barents cooperation, covering northernmost Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, is a unique cooperation in the European Arctic
Through 25 years, it has delivered high-level dialogue in the region along with everyday people-to-people collaboration and regional cooperation. It is a unique platform that involves the EU as a participating partner, together with Iceland and Denmark and representatives from the indigenous communities.
The Arctic is of enhanced importance due to increasing challenges that also delivers new opportunities.
It is of immense importance to keep the low-tension in the region to be able to tackle the common global challenges, building on a day-to-day, local and regional collaboration over the borders in the European Arctic region.
The seminar will discuss how the Barents cooperation these 25 years have been of great importance and a best practice for cross-border cooperation in Northern Europe, and how we see the Barents cooperation develop into the future.
High-level speakers and practitioners from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia and the EU will present the best practices for cross-border cooperation in the Barents region followed by a “Talking Barents” panel debate.
Draft Programme (as of 7 May)
A new overview of the Baltic Sea region has been released by the Baltic Development Forum. The three authors Christian Ketels, Helge J. Pedersen and Mikael Olsson analyses the Baltic Sea Region economy and assesses the state of the region, thus helping decision makers and observers inside and outside of the Region to navigate in a challenging environment.
The 2017 State of the Region report is divided into 4 main parts:
- Economic Outlook
- Baltic Sea Region Competitiveness
- The Subnational Regional Perspective
- Baltic Sea Region Cooperation
“The Top of Europe – A Competitive Baltic Sea Region Ready for the Future?” is available here.