16 Dec 2020 Arctic Futures Symposium 2020
This year, the Arctic Futures Symposium was organized for the eleventh year in a row by the International Polar Foundation and its partners. The conference was held online and lasted for three days. Thomas Norvoll, next Chairman of Northern Sparsely Populated Areas (NSPA) between 2021-2023 and Chair of the Board at North Norway European Office, participated as a speaker on the third day.
In December, the European Commission published the European Social Progress Index (EU-SPI) for 2020. It shows that Upper Norrland have the highest level of social progress in the entire EU, followed by Helsinki-Uusimma in Finland and Central Norrland in Sweden. With high scores in fulfilling basic human needs and a high environmental quality, northern Sweden offers an attractive life environment.
On November 30, Europaforum Northern Sweden (EFNS) adopted a position on the EU initiative for a long-term vision for rural areas. The network, which brings together politicians from Sweden’s four northernmost regions, emphasizes the need for a place-based approach in rural development strategies.
On November 26th, 2020, Finland and Sweden officially approved the establishment of the Kvarken Council EGTC, a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation aiming to develop cross-border cooperation and improve competitiveness in the region.
On the 4th of November, the Brussels offices and steering committee of Northern Sparsely Populated Areas, NSPA, met with the EU Arctic Ambassador, Michael Mann, to discuss the NSPA's role in the EU's ongoing review of the 2016 Arctic Strategy. Mann emphasized the importance of continuing the dialogue and the interdependence between the EU and the NSPA.