Mayor of Zapoljarniy

Board meeting in Zapoljarniy, Pechenga

The Board of the Council had a meeting in September in Zapoljarniy, Pechenga. They had the pleasure of meeting the Mayor of Zapoljarniy, Mr Vladimir Ogienko.

The most important issues on the agenda were the action plan for next year, including a new project on SME cooperation, and the ways of financing the Council's costs.

This picture of Mr Ogienko is taken by the Mayor of Karasjok Municipality, Kjell Saether. He has written news about board meetings on  Karasjok website.

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“Climate Change Defining Human Security"

Calotte academy 2008

Inari-Kirkenes and Murmansk will be locations for the upcoming Calotte Academy 2008. 3 events will follow each other in May, starting in Inari 22nd-23rd, Kirkenes 24th, Murmansk 26th. More information can be received by contacting Inari municipality

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Botnia Link - world class railroad

Botnia Link (Botniabanan) will open in 2010. The railroad tracks cost 19 bill. swedish crones and will span 190 kilometers. The railroad will cut travel time to half for the commuters and others who will use the link from Umeå and 190 km in southern direction. More info can be found here.

"People to People" project is concluded

The "People to People" project (Kolarctic INTERREG IIIA) has delivered its results and the project was closed 30th April 2008. The project was initiated and linked to the Council of border municipalities in the north. The project gave many results and has strengthened the crossborder cooperation in the north. The project coordinator Alf S. Johansen is very satisfied with the results and says that the project has been successfull.
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Norway welcomes Russians

The Norwegian Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion, Bjarne Håkon Hanssen, wants to make it easier for Russians to work in northern Norway. A new proposal aims to make it easier for people in the border region to travel, work and study across the border and henceforth increase cooperation and economic development in the region. The Norwegian Barents Secretariat are among those welcoming the proposed modifications of existing requirements and procedures for obtaining visas and work permits for Norway. The proposal is expected to be well received by private business in northern Norway that, like in the rest of the country, lacks labour due to the current low unemployment rate.
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Succesfull seminar in Saariselka

Northern transport routes in focus

About 40 persons were gathered in Saariselka to discuss transport and travel logisctics 15-16 April. Representatives from road authorities, municipalities, travel industry and others shared and discussed plans, best practices, ideas and demands. Many speakers pointed out the need of better transport connection and frequent transport services between Ivalo and Kirkenes. Hurtigruta challenged bus companies to establish a frequent bus service between the 2 towns.
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Infrastructure and the tourism and service industry

Transport and logistics in the North

Image from: Visit Finland

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New twinning agreement and action plan 2008-2009

Sør-Varanger and Pechenga municipalities revitalise cooperation

Linda Randal, mayor in Sør-Varanger Municipality and Viktor Mavrin, mayor in Petsjenga District Municipality signed a new cooperation agreement the 28th March 2008. The action plan contains cooperation avtivities within fields like theater, rock festival, language training, environment, museum, female networking. Read more about the agreement at Sør-Varanger Municipality home page.
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The editor of "Nordlys" envisions bright future for Murmansk

Hans Kristian Amundsen, editor of the Norwegian newspaper "Nordlys" sees the planned expansion of the port of Murmansk as a first step toward Murmansk becoming "a dynamic engine in the Arctic area". Furthermore, if Moscow agrees to make Murmansk a free port, it would attract even more traffic as a result of lower taxes and less bureaucracy. Amundsen also calls for a better plan for the infrastructure in the north than what the "National Plan for Transportation" in Norway currently contains. Finally, he thinks that Murmansk´s rapid development and it´s subsequent need for labour might see a new flow of labour- from the Scandinavian countries- to Russia.
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New report available in Norwegian, Finnish and Russian

Local government in the northern border zone and administrative systems in 4 countries

The report contains information about the participating municipalities. It also aims to deliver a clarification and comparison of the different concepts and levels of administration in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.