November 3, in a video conference under the chairmanship of Igor Kapyrin, Deputy Director at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of European Сooperation, the Steering Group of the Northern Dimension – a unique platform for multi-level, mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia, the European Union, Iceland and Norway – held its thirty-first meeting.
The agenda of the meeting included current issues and the progress achieved within the Northern Dimension by its four partnerships – ND Environmental Partnership, ND Partnership on Transport and Logistics, ND Partnership in Health and Social Well-Being and ND Partnership on Culture, along with Parliamentary Forum, Business Council and the Northern Dimension Institute.
The Northern Dimension Institute (ISI) brings together more than 30 universities and research organizations, serving as Northern Europe’s important international platform for spreading expertise and awareness.
With a coordination function in the NDI since 2013, NArFU is currently a partner to NDI Think Tank (http://www.northerndimension.info/ndi-think-tank), an international project designed to provide expert support for policy-making through a collaborative effort by international research teams and policy-makers, geared by the NDI towards sustainable development in the region.
The Steering Group meeting was contributed by International Cooperation Adviser to NArFU Rector, Marina Kalinina. Together with the NDI coordinators on the side of Aalto University (Finland) and Saint Petersburg State University of Economics, she presented the progress of the project to leaders of the ND partnerships and foreign affairs’ ministries of the ND member states, followed by discussion of possible development prospects.
For the NArFU team, Think Tank has a demanding programme to be fulfilled in 2020, spanning areas as diverse as climate change impacts on environment and economy; alternative energy sources in the Far North; marine pollution in the Western sector of the Russian Arctic; healthy aging; Northern Sea Route infrastructure development and safe navigation; and creative industries from perspective of Russian North.
“The project is of great importance for NArFU in terms of the cross-cutting research and the contribution we expect it to make to the solutions to the Arctic development challenges. The Steering Group have highly commended the progress the NDI attained in this regard, noting especially the input to the project from the Russian side and NDI’s role as an important hub of expertise and facilitator of the multilateral international cooperation. We, on our part, noted the importance of the synergy that we gain from regional cross-border cooperation here in the North and the fact that the region’s universities do benefit from their membership in the Northern Dimension Partnerships, Barents projects and the University of the Arctic by being involved in international research and educational activities,” said Marina Kalinina.
The Steering Group members highlighted the need to further the cooperation within the Northern Dimension at all levels – political, expert, parliamentary – as well through business communities and university partnerships, noting that the dialogue should be continued amid COVID-19.