BarentsKult Guidelines and conditions

The Barents Euro-Arctic Co-operation was established in 1993 by the signing of the ”Kirkenes Declaration”, which drew up the aim and guidelines for a regional co-operation in the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. The co-operation includes both regional and central participants.  At the regional level there is an extensive co-operation in areas like business, education and research, environmental and health related  issues, culture and indigenous peoples’ affairs, as well as a practical ”people-to people” co-operation, which involves many NGOs and individual persons. 
The Norwegian Barents Secretariat’s board in 2006 decided to start focusing on a large scale on professional culture co-operation in the Barents Region. The programme BarentsKult was adopted in the autumn of 2007and launched in 2008, with a focus on Norwegian-Russian culture co-operation in the north.
The Government’s High North Strategy from December 2006 states that the High North is Norway’s most important strategic focus area in the years to come. Increased focus on culture co-operation with Russia is one of the main priorities in the strategy. In January 2009 the Norwegian and Russian ministers of culture signed an action plan for culture co-operation in the High North, where BarentsKult is mentioned as one of the measures to be attached importance to. BarentsKult is thus deeply anchored both in national plans and in resolutions in Nordland, Troms and Finnmark county administrations.
BarentsKult is financed by the Norwegian Barents Secretariat, Finnmark County Administration, Troms County Administration, Nordland County Administration, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Ministry of Culture. 
Through project support BarentsKult’s aim is to stimulate to co-operation between professional artists and cultural players in the Barents Region (including St. Petersburg and Leningrad oblast), and to create international meeting places for the development of new art. Grants are given on the basis of applications which meet BarentsKult’s requirements.The Secretariat’s board can also on the basis of proposals from BarentsKult’s expert council initiate measures that contribute to promote the aims of the programme.
Based on an assessment of the main challenges of the cultural industries in the region at present, the following types of activities have been chosen as eligible for support:
  • international co-operation projects within the fields of art and culture
  • development of cultural arenas
  • cultural business development
Performing Norwegian and Russian artists, as well as professional cultural institutions and players. Other cultural players can apply for support through the Norwegian Barents Secretariat’s ordinary grant programme.
Applicants must be a Norwegian public institution, private company, foundation, organisation or private person. The applicant must be situated in the one of the three northernmost counties (Nordland, Troms or Finnmark), but can have other Norwegian partners situated elsewhere in the country. 
  • Applications must be submitted through the web-based application portal, and all the fields must be filled in before the application can be treated.
  • The project must be in harmony with the main aim of BarentsKult. Projects that lie within the target areas of BarentsKult will be given priority.
  • Grants can be given to both bilateral (Norwegian-Russian) and multilateral (multinational) projects and activities which include participants from the Barents Region. In multilateral projects there must be both Norwegian and Russian participants. Costs concerning Russian and Norwegian participants  from outside the region can be supported if the project includes Norwegian and/or Russian participants from the region. BarentsKult’s activity area includes St. Petersburg and Leningrad oblast.  
  • BarentsKult can support a project for up to 3 years. Support is given for 1 year at a time. 
  • The project’s primary activities must take place in the Barents Region. Activities that are realized in the russian part of the Barents Region are given priority. In well argumented cases support can be given to projects where some of the activities are realized outside the region as well as in the region.
  • The project can receive up to 70% support from BarentsKult. Applicants are expected to obtain co-financing from other sources or to contribute with at least 30% own capital. 
Examples of costs/activities that can NOT be covered
  • Investments cannot be covered unless it constitutes less than 20% of the total application sum. 
  • Costs in connection with participation from Finland, Sweden and other nations cannot be covered. 
  • Costs in connection with marketing of goods or services. 
  • Research.
  • Sports activities.
The following application deadlines apply to BarentsKult: 1 February and 1 September.
The application form can be received at the Norwegian Barents Secretariat, or downloaded at the Secretariat’s homepage, The application must be in Norwegian or English. 
Applications must be submitted on the application form, and sent both electronically and by regular mail. Complementary information can be attached, and this must also be sent electronically. Applicants will receive an e-mail from the Barents Secretariat to confirm the receipt of the application.
The institutions which take part in the financing of BarentsKult are represented in an expert committee, which works out recommendations in the application treatment process. The Barents Secretariat’s board makes the final decisions for each project application. The board has application decision meetings around 8 weeks after the deadlines have passed, and the applicants will receive letters about the board’s decision soon after the meetings.
If the project gets support, the applicant will receive a grant letter where the different grant criteria and conditions are listed. If the application is rejected the applicant will receive a rejection letter.
Payments of grants are normally retrogressive, i.e. coverage of expenses that have been incurred. Advance payments (up to 75%) are made only upon application for this by the project manager. No payments can be made until the Barents Secretariat has received the grant acceptance and confirmed financing from the project manager.
Before the final payment of the grant is made, an auditor-certified closing account and final reporting form must be sent to the Barents Secretariat. It is the recipient’s responsibility to ensure that an auditor is familiarised with the guidelines for the grant.
Pursuant to Paragraph 10 of the Regulations for the National Budget and Accounts, the Barents Secretariat and the Office of the Auditor General reserve the right of access to implement controls to ensure that the grant is being used in accordance with the conditions.
Changes in the project description, budget and other fundamental conditions shall be reported to the Barents Secretariat without unnecessary delay.
Grants are given for the current budget year. The final reporting form and closing accounts must be received and the funds paid within the end of the next two years.
Grants allocated for one budget year for projects that span over several years are not automatically granted for subsequent years. Continuation of the project is based on a new application and an assessment of the results achieved. 
Project reports are in basis public documents. Where nothing else has been agreed in advance, the project shall be available to the public.
In case of clearly unsatisfactory administration of the grant or lack of implementation, the Barents Secretariat has the right to withdraw the grant with immediate effect. The project manager shall be warned in writing of this and in such cases is given a minimum deadline of 14 days to correct the conditions or account for the reasons why such a situation has arisen.