The cooperation in the framework of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) started about 15 years ago. The core countries in this cooperation are Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Russian Federation, while a number of other countries, including Germany, are observers to the BEAC. The lecture will give an overview over the development of Barents cooperation, which can be characterised as a mixture of political visions and practical politics. It will highlight the main issues and challenges for cross-border cooperation in the region, with special emphasis on the EU and Russia. Another focus of the lecture will be the indigenous peoples who inhabit the Barents Euro-Arctic Region and indeed are an essential part of the cooperation.
Rune Rafaelsen is head of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat in Kirkenes.
Christina Henriksen is also affiliated to the Norwegian Berents Secretariat, as an adviser for indigenous peoples.