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.
BSSSC recognises the importance of continued dialogue and cooperation with regions in Russia despite the political situation on national and supranational levels. BSSSC welcomes the opportunity to cooperate in concrete projects with Russian partners through the Interreg Baltic Sea Region programme as well as within the cross-border programmes.
BSSSC provides a sub-regional dimension and contribution to the ND work and stresses the importance of dialogue and cooperation between EU member regions, Norwegian and Russian regions. ND has an important role as a platform of cooperation in several policy areas (e.g. environment, transport, health and culture). BSSSC strongly supports the concrete work of the Partnerships and calls for better involvement of the sub-regions in the ND cooperation.
Participate in the ND Steering Group meetings as an observer;
Keep up and develop the contact to ND partners and to the relevant partnerships;
Continue the dialogue and cooperation with Kaliningrad Region and North-West Russian Regions - and encourage other Russian regions to join the work of BSSSC;
Intensify cooperation with the Kaliningrad Region in preparations for the BSSSC Annual Conference in 2020.
The BSSSC Board has decided to maintain a rapporteurship on northern and arctic dimension for the 2020-2021 Helsinki-Uusimaa Region, FI and BSSSC Chairmanship as 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).