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PROTOCOL


Steering Committee Meeting




Date:               13 December 2005, 09:30-15:00
Place:              Umeå, Sweden


Committee:
Dmitry Kislov, Chairman                                       Administration of the Republic of Karelia, Russia
Eilert Carlson                                                County Administrative Board of Västerbotten,
                                                              Sweden
Brynolf Tjärner                                               County Administrative Board of Norrbotten, Sweden
Esko Lotvonen                                                 Regional Council of Lapland, Finland
Ludmila V. Kabantseva                                         Komi Government and Administration of the
                                                              Republic of Komi, Russia
Kari Aalto                                                    Council of Oulu Region, Finland
Roald Røkeberg                                                Troms County Council, Norway
Sigbjørn Eriksen                                              Nordland County Council, Norway
Jyri Kokkonen                                                 Regional Council of Kainuu, Finland


Other participants:
Anders Jonsson                                                County Administrative Board of Västerbotten,
                                                              Sweden
Harald Bollvåg                                                Nordland County Council, Norway
Målfrid Baik                                                  Finnmark County Council, Norway
Päivi Kuvaja                                                  Regional Council of Lapland, Finland
Rolf Wännström                                                County Administrative Board of Västerbotten,
                                                              Sweden
Lennart Widenfalk                                             Luleå Technological University, Sweden


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Ulla-Britt Engström                                           County Administrative
                                                              Board of Västerbotten,
                                                              Sweden
Rune Rautio                                                   The Barents Secretariat, Kirkenes, Norway
Alf Nystad                                                    Secretariat, Barents Regional Working Group of
                                                              Indigenous Peoples, Norway
Secretariat:
Elena Aylott                                                  County Administrative Board of Västerbotten
Katrine Andersson                                             County Administrative Board of Västerbotten




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Agenda
Item 1              Report on Sector Programme Development
                    -     Tourism: Päivi Kuvaja, Regional Council of Lapland
                    -     Oil and Gas: Målfrid Baik, Finnmark County Council
                    -     Mining and Minerals: Lennart Widenfalk, Luleå Technological University
                    -     Forestry: Anders Jonsson, County Administrative Board of Västerbotten
Item 2              Financial situation
                    Ulla-Britt Engström, Financial Manager Barents 2010, County
                    Administrative Board of Västerbotten
Item 3              Planned activities until the end of the project
Item 4              Final conference
Item 5              A.O.B and next meeting


Mr Chairman Dmitry Kislov declared the meeting open, and presented the agenda and time
schedule for the Steering Committee meeting.


Rolf Wännström presented important information: there are four months left of the
programme, and it is important that all the costs are paid within this time period (i.e. before
the end of March). Otherwise, these costs will not be seen as eligible by the secretariat in
Rostock. Information of planned major activities has to be provided, as the secretariat in
Rostock is asking for results. It is necessary to break down the sector programmes into
smaller pilot project and disseminate information of this. It is also important to involve the
national level at this point. There is still a problem with underspending in the project.


Item 1              Report on Sector Programme Development


Sector Programme on Tourism
Appendix 1: Slides presented by Päivi Kuvaja
Appendix 2: Arctic Europe – Barents Tourism Marketing in Central Europe



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Päivi Kuvaja presented the sector programme on Tourism: a
consultant, Nordic Marketing, has been chosen by competition. They
have long experience of issues relating to the tourism sector, both on
a practical level and on a strategic level. The programme will be financed by the Barents 2010
project. The long term goal is to develop tourism in the Barents region. By setting common
priorities, common goals will be achieved. In order to do this, there need to be common cross-
border frameworks to support the activities and coordinate actions.


The starting point of the programme is to bring added value to tourism by connecting regional
resources through a systematic use, and the introduction of an Arctic Europe Marketing Plan.
Long-term and short-term aims have been established. Another important point to consider is
the financing of cross-border activities.


Four regions, one from each of the Barents countries will be involved in the first phase. The
programme will gradually be opened up for other participating regions. The four regions are
Lapland, Norrbotten, Murmansk and Finnmark. Discussions have already been initiated with
these regions on how to proceed. Regional workshops in each of the participating regions will
be a part of the process; these are planned to take place in January next year. An Arctic
Europe Marketing Plan has been developed, concerning how to create and reinforce the image
of the Barents region. The idea of an Arctic Europe will be discussed in the workshops next
year. Besides these workshops, the next step is to find financing.


Discussion:
Rune Rautio asked whether the concept of an Arctic Europe is fixed, and also if the only
Russian region will be Murmansk. It is a good idea to start with four regions, but will the
programme be widened later? Päivi Kuvaja answered that so is the case. Sigbjørn Eriksen
reflected on the republic of Komi being the region farthest away and noted that so far they had
not gotten so much benefit out of their membership. Sigbjørn Eriksen urged that this would
be taken as a challenge for the sector programme on Tourism. Ludmila Kabantseva added that
Komi has some ideas for tourism projects that could be gathered in a document and sent to the
sector programme on Tourism. Alf Nystad addressed the Sámi and their involvement, as there
have been some discussions among the Sámi regarding regional tourism. Päivi Kuvaja
welcomed this information, and stated that it would be a good idea with participation from the
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Indigenous People and all interested in the planned workshops.
Anders Jonsson addressed the fact that the sector programmes is
expected to link the different work packages together, and how this
could be practically achieved. The social dimension could be brought in not only by including
the Indigenous Peoples in the sector programme, but also by highlighting the social effects
brought on by strengthening of the tourism sector. Anders Jonsson also suggested that the idea
of ecological tourism could also contribute to widen the tourism sector. Päivi Kuvaja
responded that different aspects of environment, transport etc, would probably be
incorporated in the sector programmes. Ideas such as ecological tourism and Arctic Europe
would be discussed in the workshops. Harald Bollvåg stated that the idea to start with four
counties is good, but that the county of Nordland is interested in participating in this sector
programme. Päivi Kuvaja responded by saying that four initial counties were identified due to
lack of time and that naturally all regions are welcome to participate. Esko Lotvonen
commented that it s a logical result to start with a limited amount of regions, as there are only
four months to go of the project. When it comes to incorporating other sectors into the
programme, some of these have already been incorporated at this stage as well. Transport
through the establishment of trails for example. Social issues are very important, and it will be
easy to show results on this area. The idea of Arctic Europe is a marketing concept. Dmitry
Kislov concluded the discussion by adding that Karelia hopes that the Arctic Europe concept
will not be exclusive, as other regions would want to participate in the sector programme on
tourism.


Sector Programme on Oil and Gas
Appendix 3: Slides shown by Ms Målfrid Baik


Målfrid Baik, Finnmark County Council, presented the sector programme on Oil and Gas.
The sub-group Oil and Gas consist of the regions of Nordland, Troms, Oulu, Norrbotten,
Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and Nenets. There are also a number of participating supplier
networks and associations, for example North Calotte Supplier Network, the Snøhvit group,
the Snøhvit Business Association and Euro-Arctic Petroleum Society. The goals are to make
the northern regions attractive for investment and economical growth; industrial development;
competence and skills; there is also an environmental goal of having a “healthy sea”.

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Some challenges have been formulated, based on a SWOT analysis.
The target group has been Norwegian and Russian SME:s. They
have a number of factors in common, as it turns out: these include
among other things a lack of information, size and economic strength. Målfrid Baik also
informed about the initiative “Interprise Barents” that is planned to take place in Arkhangelsk
in June 2006. It will be a forum for companies seeking partners in the oil and gas and mining
industry. See http://www.interprisebarents.com. Interregional Suppliers network. Planned
actions when it comes to environment and technology include Arctic preparedness, acute
pollution, preparedness and safety at sea, technology. Discussions have already been initiated
with ministries in Norway, and with the administration in Murmansk.


The approach is a way to combine the earlier work packages and the other sectors in the
sector programme. The only project where there is no financing as of yet is education, but this
will not offer any problem. A workshop is planned for next year, to which actors from the
other work packages will be invited. If this is managed by February next year, additional
financing will be required.


Discussion:
Harald Bollvåg noted that this sector programme will be very important for the county of
Nordland, and talked about hopes of bringing in new networks into this sector programme.
There are at least three other networks that might be interested. Harald Bollvåg then addressed
the need of combining different areas and encouraged the participants to join forces; one way
of doing this could be to bring in the universities in Bodø and Narvik. Målfrid Baik responded
that the educational group is needed to define how to bring in competence into the project. If
Nordland wants to combine this network with other already networks – that is something
good.


Anders Jonsson noted that this approach of attracting investors and investment to the sector
programme is rather interesting as there has not been so much focus on this earlier. Målfrid
Baik responded that having these cross-border networks where suppliers can get in contact
with these networks for immediate information and contact is something very valuable. Rune
Rautio commented on Anders Jonssons input by saying that this has been a difficult question
to resolve technically. By using this project and different activities within this project have
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often been a very good start for initiating contacts and cooperations.
Målfrid Baik added that the different sector programmes should also
consider the participation from other major companies in the regions
south of the Barents region, such as southern Norway, southern Finland, St Petersburg- and
Moscow area; how can we develop without involving these regions?


Esko Lotvonen noted that this is one of the strategic issues for the Barents region to come. It
has started good in Norway, but there is also need for a national process. It should be
combined with other companies at the national level. Support is needed on the regional level,
as well as the active involvement from local actors such as Chambers of Commerce. There is
also a need to build up competence on the regional level. Anders Jonsson agreed with this,
and stated that it is very important to generate investment opportunities. Something that has
become evident at meetings with different interested parties in the mineral sector is the
apparent ignorance of the Barents region as an interesting area among fond investors.
Sigbjørn Eriksen emphasised that this is the most necessary question of the Barents 2010-
project, to define what the challenges are further on, and see that it is not a process for big
firms and big companies only. There are possibilities for small companies to grow. Målfrid
Baik agreed, and stated that the fact that Murmansk and Arkhangelsk defining the main issue
as being SME:s has made it much easier to initiate cross-border cooperation.


Sector Programme on Mining and Minerals
Appendix 4: Slides presented by Mr Lennart Widenfalk


Mr Lennart Widenfalk reflected on the high metal prices, we now find ourselves at an all time
high investment level, benefiting not only for mineral producers but also suppliers. One
interesting aspect of the industrial sector in this field of expertise is that it is very local –
minerals and metals have to be processed where they are found. The smelters are big
metallurgical plants: they are few and represent such major investments that they will remain
where they are. It is important, as they provide jobs and profit to the local economy.


The Mineral and Metal Sector work is centred on three different materials; industrial
minerals, dimension stone and ores. The regions in the Barents region have a number of
different factors in common, such as hard rock technology and a sensitive environment. The
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legislation however, varies to a great extent. Both Russia and
Norway are awaiting new legislation. Sweden and Finland
introduced their legislation on the area in 1993, which promoted an
enormous investment boom, so the importance of legislation is very big. Mr Widenfalk
underlined that the many actors on different levels makes it necessary to have a permanent
Barents organisation.


There have been a number of different activities during the last week. The 5th Fennoscandian
Exploration and Mining Conference in Rovaniemi; in the town of Apatity the Kola Science
Centre 75th Anniversary Conference has been held. Russian mining companies have visited
Swedish mines and suppliers from Sweden and Finland. One year ago, there was a meeting in
Kirovsk with Russian mining companies, which is a good example of smaller workshops that
are very productive.


When it concerns dimension stone, Lennart Widenfalk asked for a general promotion project
much like the PNASTINA project. See http://www.pnastina.se. As to industrial minerals,
Lennart Widenfalk talked about technical development of vermiculite from Kovdor; shungite
which is a kind of graphite popped up last week. It is a special kind of industrial mineral that
expands when heated, and it could be used for example in handling oil-spills. Developments
in the field of ores and metals involve exploration technology; mining technology and
suppliers; open cast mining and slope angles. Lastly, some general and important issues were
addressed: legislation on mining; legislation on mining and the environment; environmental
work related to mining and metallurgy; and education.


Discussion:
Esko Lotvonen started the discussion by telling the participants that the 5th Fennoscandian
Exploration and Mining Conference in Rovaniemi had gathered some 450 attendants of which
about 200 were foreigners. The next conference, which will be held in 2007 will be more
cross-border in its character. The Interreg III C project European Network of Mining Regions
(ENMR) was also mentioned. Kari Aalto added concerning this project, that a big seminar is
planned for the end of 2006. Målfrid Baik raised the question whether the group on Mining
and Minerals planned to introduce some sort of legislative standard for the Barents region as a
way to make a joint effort. Lennart Widenfalk responded that the legislative standard varies
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too much to be able to achieve this, and expressed a belief that the
next legislation will be clearer than the previous one. The idea of
bringing in environmental standards was praised.


Sector Programme on Forestry
Anders Jonsson presented the developments in the sector programme on forestry. Key issues
include logistics, ecological concerns, environmental considerations, financing, education,
wood processing, and fuel. One of the goals is to create more employment. By creating a
frame project of content (partly or as a whole), with elements such as construction of forest
roads, the project of Barents Link, training of staff, social consequences and so on. All of this
requires a widespread network of actors. The group on Forestry has created a form of
partnership between networks of actors; by linking up to Barents Forest Task Force and
Joensuu, they will be able to link up to networks.


In Norway, there have been discussions with the most southern parts of Nordland. The
Forestry group is also active in the northern parts of Karelia (Kostamuksha), and there are
ongoing discussions with Komi and Arkhangelsk. These discussions will have to be
formalised in some way. Barents Links importance for the forestry sector was presented as
being crucial for the partnerships. Furthermore, Anders Jonsson conveyed that southern
Nordland is planning the establishment of a freight connection by sea Mosjön-Arkhangelsk,
and right now it looks like this will be implemented by the beginning of next year.


Discussion:
Esko Lotvonen addressed the combination of these sectors in forest research, and the
European Forest Research Center. Anders Jonsson answered, by saying that this might
generate some additional funds. By having this connection with the national level, it looks
like it will be somewhat easier to find funding.


Other Sector Programmes
- Northern East-West Freight Corridor Sector Programme
Jyri Kokkonen introduced the Northern East-West Freight Corridor Sector Programme, a
preliminary working name for a sector programme on transport. The first phase of this sector
programme would require additional funding, beyond what is left in the Barents 2010-project.
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Other possible sources might include an inter-rail exchange project
for example. There have also been some discussions with the Finnish
Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding funding for this suggested
sector programme, but there is so far no information on the results of this. Jyri Kokkonen
opened for the possibility of naming the sector programme Barents Link as it is widely
accepted in EU, but emphasised that this is open for discussion and welcomed for views on
this matter. The tasks under the Barents 2010-project include, besides finding a name, finding
regions willing to participate. Furthermore, it would be appropriate if it connects to STBR,
BEATA, and the national level.


The objective of this sector programme is a future development project for infrastructure. A
workshop is planned in Kainuu after a three month-period, to which actors from different
levels would be invited. There is a need to point out the need for this new transport corridor,
and in this aspect the Barents Link-project would be useful. There are not so many actors
involved at this stage, as there are so many missing links. The sector programme is thereby
motivated.


Discussions:
Anders Jonsson asked whether discussions had been started with other regions; Jyri
Kokkonen responded that this would happen during the next three months. There are at the
same time two other projects currently running. Norwegian regions have received e-mails on
this matter: Sigbjørn Eriksen stated that Nordland had received this mail, but that it is
necessary to have a separate agenda for this. Esko Lotvonen addressed the connection
between Narvik and Nordland as being important for this discussion; support to that process
should be provided in this programme, so that there is a common goal on the national level as
well as on the European level. Ludmila Kabantseva expressed a wish from the republic of
Komi of being able to participate in this process, and that Komi would like the opportunity to
present ideas to this sector programme.


- Sector Programme on ICT
Kari Aalto informed about the sector programme on ICT. The programme and planning will
start early next year. The programme will be based on experiences from the cooperation
between Oulu and Karelia; Centre of Competence. Kari Aalto encouraged all other interested
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parties to inform him of so. This sector programme will not be
funded by the Barents 2010-project. Most likely, it will receive
support from the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affars; discussions will
be held next week regarding funding.


Resolution:
To include the information in the protocol. The sector programmes will be further discussed.


Item 2              Financial situation
Appendix 5: Slides presented by Ulla-Britt Engström


The financial situation up until 31 October 2005 was presented for the participants. A
question was raised at the last meeting in Luleå, whether or not Rostock could guarantee
funding for all the project costs, and the answer to this question is yes. It is however important
to note that all costs need to be paid by the end of March when the project ends, with the
exception of auditing costs. There will be two additional reports: a fifth report for the period
July-December (to be submitted no later than 1 February), and a sixth report for the period
January-March (to be submitted no later than 1 May). Ulla-Britt Engström presented the
financial situation up until the end of October. Ulla-Britt Engström continued to tell the
participants that 59 % of the project’s total budget has been spent at this point, which means
that there is still a problem of underspending. The charts presented show the outcome and
prognosis for each of the participating countries to Milestone 5, total and per budget line (see
Appendix 4).


Discussion:
Rolf Wännström wanted to stress the fact that there is still a problem of underspending; there
are money left in all the participating countries to finance sector programmes, so there need to
be discussions within each of the countries on how to resolve this question. Harald Bollvåg
asked whether it was impossible to transfer money between countries, and was told that so is
the case. There are co-financing issues relating to this. Anders Jonsson made the note that
money is allocated for meetings and travels for example, and that there is a limited room for
how the funding can be moved. Ulla-Britt Engström concurred, pointing out that there has
already been a change in the budget this summer. Målfrid Baik pointed out that the budgeted
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costs were higher in the previous budget when the groups was
relating to the division according to work packages, which has
caused problems now when the budget is divided according to
countries. When it comes to the Oil and Gas-group for example, Sweden and Finland does not
have the same kind of expenses as the chairing country. There is in fact overspending in the
area of Oil and Gas, even if the project as a total is experiencing underspending. Rolf
Wännström said that from the discussions in Luleå, it was agreed that each country should
come up with an agreement on how to distribute the money within respective country to come
to terms with issues of this kind. Anders Jonsson added that the same problem is visible in the
mineral group – the leader will use more money than the other partners. So there will
probably be a need to be re-financed from other sources as well. The same can be seen in the
Forestry group.


Sigbjørn Eriksen stated that the discussion was held in Luleå, but that so far we have not seen
any changes in Norway. When it comes to Education for example, they have not used much
money. By covering the expenses for work done by the administration, some financing have
been released. Rolf Wännström suggested the possibility for shorter, individual meetings
country wise after the Steering Committee meeting. Rune Rautio interposed that this issue
was more complicated earlier, and that there is no need to make it more complicated than it
has to be, that it is a common problem in these kinds of projects. Rune Rautio informed of an
agreement of services that has been closed with the work package on Education, and that a
similar agreement will be closed with the Oil and Gas group.


Resolution:
To include the information in the protocol.



Item 3              Planned activities until the end of the project


Rolf Wännström asked for information on major activities that are planned until the end of the
project. Some information on up-coming activities has already been presented in the different
presentations of sector programmes; the participants were however informed of the
importance of informing the secretariat about different activities so that information can be
published on the website. Thereby, information is also made available for the rest of the
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Barents cooperation and EU. This is something that is increasingly
being requested by the secretariat in Rostock.


Resolution:
To include the information in the protocol.


Item 4              Final conference


Dmitry Kislov proposed to hold the final conference in adjacency to the next Regional
Committee meeting in February. A proposal was presented to hold the final conference on
Tuesday 21 February, and hold the Regional Committee meeting during the first half of the
day on Wednesday the 22nd.


Discussion:
Practical transport issues were discussed, as Dmitry Kislov informed that the route to
Petrozavodsk is operated by smaller flights that would not be able to transport large amounts
of people. Anders Jonsson proposed that the final conference would involve also the mineral,
forestry, and maybe also the tourism sector so that private actors could get involved and
maybe also meet with counterparts. This would mean a need to organise for transports; part of
the solution might be to charter a flight from Troms to Petrozavodsk. For participants in the
Forestry sector, a bus has been charted from Västerbotten. Esko Lotvonen informed that there
will be a Barents Economical Meeting in Rovaniemi in March, which might add continuation
to the conference. Rolf Wännström stressed that this is the major dissemination opportunity
within the project, so it should be organised as a bigger event with at least 70 delegates,
maybe even as many as 100. Sigbjørn Eriksen agreed, and highlighted the opportunity that it
would bring to take notice of the Karelian Chairmanship, as well as the Barents 2010-project.
Målfrid Baik agreed with Anders Jonsson that it is a good idea to gather the different sector
programmes to this event, but emphasised that all the sector programmes should be
participating to highlight the Barents 2010-project.


Esko Lotvonen suggested making room for opportunities to hold meetings on Monday
afternoon as well, so that there is more time. Harald Bollvåg noted that the last opportunity to
highlight the Barents 2010-project will be in the end of February, so there need to be
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discussions on how to continue afterwards. We need to bring in all
the economic channels of finance and focus on the future. Kari Aalto
noted regarding the event in Rovaniemi in the end of March, that it
might be a good idea to discuss with the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs so that there are
no colliding events. Anders Jonsson emphasised the importance of having a discussion with
the Barents Euro-Arctic Economic Working Group, to settle priorities and facilitate
continuity. He also proposed that the Chairman would take this to the colleagues in Helsinki
so that the value of the work already done will not be disregarded. There will be new
problems and new challenges, but it is important to bring in the national level to provide for
the continuity of the work. Kari Aalto told the participants that there is a dialogue missing
between the regional and national level at the time: Anders Jonsson interjected that there have
already been changes in staff three times in Helsinki, which makes it very difficult to have a
proper dialogue. Sigbjørn Eriksen proposed that the Nordic Council of Ministers, the
European Commission, secretariat in Rostock, and also some other groups should be invited
to the final conference. The first announcement should go out before Christmas.


Resolution:
The Barents 2010 Final Conference will be held on Tuesday 21 February. Transports will be
arranged so that there will be possibilities to arrive earlier on Monday 20 February and hold
various group meetings on Monday. The Regional Committee will convene on the 22nd
February, which is also departure day.
The county of Västerbotten will elaborate the programme of the final conference along with
the other partners.


Item 5              A.O.B and next meeting
Appendix 6: Slides presented by Elena Aylott


Elena Aylott, Information Manager of the Barents 2010-project, presented a SWOT-analysis
of the information needs. Among the strengths of the project lies the scale of the project and
the fact that it is well-known in different countries. Other strengths are connected to the
website, as being a potential key to both external and internal communications. These
strengths are countered by the weaknesses caused by a lack of coordination between
secretariat and Working Groups bring; lack of awareness of latest news and developments.
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This means that the website has a low profile and this may result in
missed opportunities. However, there are some opportunities that
proper information could bring to the participants of the project. The
website could be used as the main communication tool. It could be used to create a synergy
effect, and bring new ideas about sector programmes and pilot projects. By putting
information on the web site, visible results of the project may be created. The information
could also be used for the production of brochures. Elena Aylott urged the leaders of the
sector programmes to send presentations for publications. If the website is not used, it could
involve a number of different threats such as missed opportunities. If there are no visible
results, it in a sense also means that there are no results of the project. As a consequence, this
could also lead to problems with payments from the Secretariat in Rostock, and it might also
lead to no further funding. Mrs Aylott then proposed a short-term common strategy on how to
drastically improve the coordination between the secretariat and the Working Groups; by
regular information exchange between the information manager, coordinators of the existing
sector programmes and the work packages.


Discussion:
Anders Jonsson suggested producing a promotional folder, focusing on investment
opportunities. By having different brochures, and a couple of different presentations,
information could be used for the benefit of the project. And this could be circulated during
the whole of 2006 as well. Sigbjørn Eriksen agreed that broad information is needed as well
as some shorter thematic information material.


Date of next meeting:
It was suggested to hold the next meeting somewhere in Finland during March.


Resolution:
Next meeting will be held in Rovaniemi, 21 March 2006.




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Barents 2010 Interreg III B Baltic Sea
Strategy and Action Plan for the Barents Region up to 2010

				
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