20 years of Barents cooperation - What's next?

The first Kirkenes declaration was signed in 1993.

Next January marks the 20th anniversary of the Barents cooperation. The event provides an opportunity to review lessons learned after 20 years of cooperation and identify new challenges and priorities for the future cooperation. BarentsObserver invites you to voice your views here.


Prime Ministers from the Barents Region members Norway, Russia, Sweden and Finland will meet in early June 2013 to discuss ways to bring the successful cross-border cooperation a step further. Under Norway’s chairmanship of the Barents Council, the Foreign Ministry has set up an informal working group to draft a Kirkenes-II declaration. The group will end its work in late autumn 2012 and present its recommendations to the official state structures. In the mean time, BarentsObserver invites you to take part in discussion forming the future. 

• What are the new challenges in regional cross-border cooperation?

• What have we learned from the past 20-years after the end of the Cold War? 

• How can we boost industrial development in the region and simultaneously preserve the fragile Arctic environment?  

• Is the people-to-people cooperation the key frame around the success of building confidence across formerly closed borders?

• How can the Barents Region develop to be the driving force for visa-freedom between EU and Russia?

• How to coordinate the work between the different inter-governmental structures in the north. Barents cooperation, Arctic Council, Council of the Baltic Sea State, Nordic Council of Ministers and EU’s Northern Dimension Partnerships?

• How to strengthen the regional structures in the Barents cooperation in comparison to the state level structures?

These are just some few guiding questions. Please voice your opinion by making use of our discussion forum underneath.