The Northern Dimension (ND) is a joint policy of four equal partners: the European Union (EU), Russian Federation, Norway and Iceland. It was initiated in 1999 and renewed in 2006.
The ND policy aims at supporting stability, well-being and sustainable development in the region by means of practical cooperation. The Northern Dimension covers a wide range of sectors, such as the environment, nuclear safety, health, energy, transport, logistics, promotion of trade and investment, research, education and culture, to name a few.
The BSSSC Board has decided to maintain a rapporteurship on northern and arctic dimension for the 2013-2016 Helsinki-Uusimaa Chairmanship. Eastern Norway County Network is the resposible rapporteur.
The BSSSC has previously had ad hoc working groups for strengthening subregional contribution to the implementation of the Action Plan for the ND and for identifying and intiating concrete actions to the ND. The working group has also been tasked to follow the new EU policy "European Neighbourhood Policy" and to investigate necessities & opportunities for political initiatives and/or other related actions on this subject.
The first ad-hoc working group was chaired by Mr Hannu Vesa (Southern Savo Region, Finland, February 1999 until October 2000), the second by Mr Aimo Lempinen (Uusimaa Region, Finland, October 2000 until October 2001), the third one by Mr Uno Aldegren (Skane Region, Sweden, October 2001 until October 2003) and the fourth one by Ms Marjatta Vehkaoja (Regional Council of Ostrobothnia, Finland, January 2004) and Mr Thomas Pfannkuch (Schleswig-Holstein Land, Germany).