Northern Finland's development priorities

The major region of Northern Finland will be faced with great challenges during this programme period.  The most significant of these will be the expansion of globalisation, climate change, energy prices and changes in energy policy, as well as aging of the population structure and population decline in broad areas.  Northern sparsely populated areas have significant development potential, e.g. in the form of sustainable utilisation of natural resources, in the utilisation of arctic technology and expertise throughout Europe and as an enabler of new global accessibility and transport options.  Financing from structural funds will be used to deal with these challenges.

The Eastern and Northern Finland planning area is, in its entirety, considered one of the EU's northern sparsely populated regions. The geographical challenges specifically related to the area and development possibilities will be taken into account in the regional plan for Eastern and Northern Finland. The regional plan for Eastern and Northern Finland supplements the national Sustainable Growth and Labour structural fund programme, and it provides details on how the programme will be realised in Eastern and Northern Finland. The regional plan highlights the regional special characteristics of Eastern and Northern Finland and the key priorities in the programme's realisation. Area-specific realisation that takes place in regions is based on the regional programme, and this is further specified in the regional programme's implementation plan.

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A single structural fund programme is being realised throughout mainland Finland. This programme will include both European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF) activities.  Finland's structural fund programme includes five policy lines that specifically support the competitiveness of SMEs and employment.  Cross-cutting themes include promotion of a low-carbon economy, sustainable development, parity and equality between the sexes. The structural fund programme will pursue realisation of the Europe 2020 strategy's objectives.

Policy lines include:

  1. The competitiveness of SMEs (ERDF)
  2. Production and utilisation of new information and expertise (ERDF)
  3. Mobility of jobs and labour force (ESF)
  4. Education, professional skills and lifelong learning (ESF)
  5. Social participation and prevention of poverty (ESF)

Northern Finland's ERDF programme creating the future

The committee responsible for monitoring the effective implementation of Northern Finland's ERDF programme met on 11-12 June in Kokkola to assess the programme's successes and results to date.

The monitoring committee was very pleased with the results achieved in Northern Finland, as well as the effectiveness of the programme's implementation. The programme's leverage has been great, and the programme has set a significant amount of private money in motion.

Regional management committees

Each region's regional management committee coordinates structural fund activities throughout their own region. The committee also monitors and supervises the systematic realisation of structural fund programmes. The members of a regional management committee comprise representatives from different trade unions, the region's authorities and the region's largest municipalities.  Generally, regional management committees meet once a month. The minutes for regional management committee meetings can be found under the section that lists each region's priorities.