The regional councils in Finland have a statutory responsibility for regional Development, international cooperation being a part of these activities. The regional councils are the regions’ key international actors and they are largely responsible for the EU’s Structural Fund programmes and their implementation. Regional councils also have the key role in promoting the region’s interests.
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 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. One of the basic issues related to international activities is also reinforcing public awareness about the Kainuu region and promoting positive image of the region.
Barents Euro-Arctic Cooperation
The Barents cooperation area includes altogether 13 administrative regions in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. The member areas from Finland are Kainuu, Lapland, Northern Ostrobothnia and Northern Karelia.
Co-operation With Russia
The history of cooperation between Kainuu and Russia is long. The most important time for development of the connections was the building of Kostomuksha during years 1974 – 1983. After that, the close cooperation has continued in different forms. However, in spring 2022, the cooperation was put to a halt due to the situation in Ukraine.
Our Team of International Affairs
The international affairs and communications are considered as a part of the tasks of each and every one of the employees of the Regional Council of Kainuu. The general responsibility of international affairs lies ith the Regional mayor. In addition, there are designated contact persons for EU cooperation (Regional Development Director Jouni Ponnikas) and for cooperation with Russia (Regional Development Manager Katja Sukuvaara, or her Deputy).
The coordination and the Development of international activities have been concentrated to the International Team managed by the Regional Mayor. The team reports to the executive board and informs the rest of the staff about the international affairs. The international team invites experts to its meetings when necessary.
Co-operation with other Organisations in International Affairs
Within the Kainuu region, the goal of the Regional Council is to bring together the internationally oriented and internationally functioning organisations and to activate and to coordinate the international cooperation. The unofficial network of internationally functioning organisations in Kainuu gathers when needed to discuss current matters. The meetings are open to all organisations interested in the subject.