11 January 25 years ago, the Foreign Ministers pictured above gathered in Kirkenes, Norway, to sign the declaration that is the foundation of the Barents cooperation. Many politicians, officials, local and regional decision makers have since then met in different forums to take action for peace, stability, and regional development to the benefit of the people in the Barents region.
The Barents cooperation is based on people-to-people contacts and carried out in an open and friendly setting on national, regional and local level. The cooperation has become a role model for successful regional collaboration.
On the national level the chairmanship rotates biannually between Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden, and on the regional level it rotates between the 14 Barents regions. During 2017-2019 Sweden is at the helm of the cooperation.
The Barents collaboration has served us well, and the cooperation has achieved a lot during these past 25 years. Let us now explore what the future holds for the coming decades!