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New leader Rune Rafaelsen takes the Council a major step forward

Council of Border Municipalities in the North held its general assembly in Pechenga

The Council of Border Municipalities in the North held its general assembly on the 21st of June at Pasvik Visitor Centre in Nikel, Pechenga, Russia. The Council consists of 15 municipalities from four countries: Kiruna from Sweden; Karasjok, Kautokeino, Nesseby, Porsanger, Sør-Varanger and Tana from Norway; Enontekiö, Inari, Sodankylä and Utsjoki from Finland; Kola, Lovozero and Pechenga Districts plus Nikel town from Russia. 

The Council elected a new leader, Rune Rafaelsen, Mayor of Sor-Varanger Municipality from Norway. He has a very strong background in Barents co-operation, and has acted as a long-term Director of Barents Secretariat in Kirkenes. He emphasizes people-to-people interaction, events focused on cross-border cooperation, tourism as a common source of livelihood in northern border regions, enhancing traffic connections and facilitating easier border-crossing procedures. 

Board members have a strong trust in Rune Rafaelsen's ability to take the Council's activities forward. The Board has a new Action plan and a new joint project is going to be planned with the guidance of staff at Kolarctic programme information points.