Cooperation is in the Core of our Tasks
Regional Council of Kainuu is a consortium of the eight municipalities in the region: Hyrynsalmi, Kajaani, Kuhmo, Paltamo, Puolanka, Ristijärvi, Sotkamo and Suomussalmi. Regional Council of Kainuu promotes the well-being of the region’s residents as well as the sustainable development of the region.
Regional Council of Kainuu develops the operating environment, livelihoods and services in the region. The organisation promotes co-operation with various kinds of actors important for the development of Kainuu region and supervises the interests of the municipalities and residents of the region.
For this purpose, the Regional Council of Kainuu implements projects and conducts research, development and planning activities and activities related to supervision of interests, acting as a liaison body between its member municipalities and other stakeholders.
Meeting the Challenges of Regional Economy
The regional economy has strengthened in Kainuu, providing favourable preconditions for changing the direction of the long-lasting negative population development in the region. There are plenty of opportunities for new investments that could create economic growth in Kainuu. The biggest bottlenecks of continued growth are related to availability of skilled labour, international accessibility of the region and the realization of investments.
The action plans of the Regional Council of Kainuu for the coming years, the implementation plan of the Kainuu Regional Programme, the priorities for supervision of interests focus in removing such bottlenecks. These issues are also addressed in the regional development discussions as well as in the so-called Bridge Agreement between the region and the Finnish Government.
Via the Kainuu Bridge Agreement, both parties commit to take advantage of the occurring growth opportunities. The agreement is based on the cooperation between actors and on examining measures horizontally – across sectors and regions. Special emphasis is given to short-term measures started and implemented in 2019–2020. The measures are implemented within the framework of state and municipal budget frameworks.
In accordance with the guidelines from the regional board, a new Kainuu Growth Programme has been derived from the implementation plan of the Regional Programme. In addition, the “spearhead projects” are regularly compiled as a separate document; this was done last in the beginning of 2019.
As the Regional Council of Kainuu is a coalition of the eight municipalities in the region, co-operation with these municipalities is essential in its operations.
The Municipal Directors’ monthly meeting with the management of Regional Council of Kainuu is a joint preparatory forum, where the participants discuss common topical issues and decide of the practical preparatory work needed and the schedules of those tasks. If necessary, experts of different fields are invited to participate the meetings.
The larger meeting of municipal decision-makers in Kainuu is a preparatory but also a policy-making forum. The composition consists of the presidencies of Kainuu municipal councils and boards, municipal directors, members of parliament who come from Kainuu, as well as the presidencies of the assembly of Regional Council of Kainuu and council of the Kainuu Social and Welfare Organisation. Aim of the meetings is to tighten the co-operation of municipal decision-makers more broadly and to ensure e.g. the right direction in the regional supervision of interests. The municipal decision-makers meet as needed, but on average twice a year.
The Regional Council of Kainuu goes through an annual round of municipal negotiations, visiting each of the Kainuu municipalities. This is done during the preparation phase of next year’s action plan and financial plan. At the events, the management of the regional council will hear the topics raised by the member municipalities for joint supervision of interests, as well as comments on all sectors of the organisation’s activities. In addition, the situation and development prospects of regional development in Kainuu will be discussed from the point of view of both the municipality and Kainuu as a region.
The regional councils of the 18 provinces in mainland Finland regularly co-operate in various fields. The Finnish regional mayors hold regular joint meetings and the chairpersons of the regional boards also meet from time to time. Meetings of the regional boards and regional mayors provide e.g. statements on topical issues.
The Regional Council of Kainuu is involved in several cross-regional work groups. Co-operation is very active in transport matters, among other things.
However, the focus of cross-regional co-operation in Kainuu is on the cooperation areas of East and Northern Finland. The Regional Council of Kainuu participates for example the work of advisory boards of both North and East Finland, which act as co-operation bodies for matters concerning more than one region. Both the two formations promote common issues of the co-operation area at both the national and international levels.
The North Finland Advisory Board is a co-operation body for the regions of Northern Ostrobothnia, Lapland, Central Ostrobothnia and Kainuu. The East Finland Advisory Board, on the other hand, includes the provinces of South Karelia, South Savo, Kainuu, North Karelia and North Savo.
The regions of East and North Finland also co-operate in many ways. One good example is the joint East and North Finland EU office in Brussels.
Cooperation on the Structural Funds
In the programming period 2014-2020, a joint Finnish Structural Fund program is implemented in Kainuu. In the programme, Kainuu is part of the larger East and North Finland area with higher support compared to the rest of Finland. You can read more about the topic on the Structural Funds portal. The North Finland section of the website provides information on current issues, the priorities for development measures financed by the Structural Funds, and advice on how to apply for funding in the region.
Structural Funds play a major role in the development of the East and North Finland cooperation region. There are numerous good examples of the effectiveness of programme actions. In early 2018, a concise description of the significance and effectiveness of Structural Fund operations in East and North Finland in the current and previous programming periods was prepared.
According to the charter of the Regional Council of Kainuu, the organisation supervises the region’s interests in national and international politics, creating and maintaining partnerships with organisations inside and outside the region. The Regional Council of Kainuu cooperates with organisations in Finland and abroad via different kinds of networks.
The most important sectors of cooperation are related to EU and the European networks, neighbouring regions in Russia in cooperation with the Euregio Karelia cooperation forum and Karelia CBC programme, and the national and regional level cooperation structures and work groups of Barents Euro-arctic cooperation area.
The international activities of the Regional Council of Kainuu implement the common development goals of the region, with an aim at supporting the positive development of the region in line with the Regional Programme.