Establishing the Barents Secretariat

Signing of the Kirkenes Declaration

The Norwegian Barents Secretariat was established in October 1993, 10 months after the signing of the Kirkenes Declaration.

The Norwegian Barents Secretariat was established after the signing of the Kirkenes Declaration on January 11th 1993, where Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia established the Euro-Arctic Barents Region. The Region was going to be administered by the Barents Euro-Arctic Council and the Barents Regional Council. The Norwegian Barents Secretariat's originally function was to coordinate Norway’s first chairmanship in the Euro-Arctic Council from 1993-1995. After 1995 the Secretariat prolonged its existence as a project under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In 1998 the ownership of the Secretariat was transferred to the three northernmost counties of Norway, Nordland, Troms and Finnmark. However, the funding of the Secretariat would still be granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Today the Norwegian Barents Secretariat has some responsibilities in supporting the Norwegian participation in the multilateral Barents Cooperation. However, most of our time is occupied on supporting the bilateral cooperation between Norway and Russia.