Talking Barents in Brussels

TALKING BARENTS: The Norwegian Barents Secretariat in cooperation with the European North-Norway Office, The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs are organizing a Barents Seminar in Brussel on the 16th of June 2016. 


The geo-political situation in the aftermath of the Ukraine crisis has put a strain on the relationship between Russia and the West. Political cooperation on national level is reduced to a minimum, with the introduction of sanctions on both sides.

The Barents Region represents an important exception; in the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia,people continue the extensive cross-border cooperation in areas such as culture, business development, indigenous peoples’ issues, education, civil society and environmental protection. For more than 20 years, Barents enthusiasts have contributed to tear down stereotypes and to prevent misunderstandings and potential conflicts in the region.

We welcome you to take part in our seminar, which aims at providing the EU capital with more knowledge about the unique examples of best practice, as well as challenges and opportunities the Barents cooperation face.

Download seminar program.

Organised by:
The Norwegian Barents Secretariat and the North Norway European Office


Seminar program

Venue: Norway House, Rue Archimède 17, Brussels
Time: 14h00-17h00 + Reception with Barents delicacies

13h30 Registration and Coffee

14h00 Introduction

  • Oda SLETNES, Ambassador of Norway to the European Union
  • Karen MALAYAN, Deputy Permanent Representative, the Russian Permanent Representative to the European Union
  • Liisa JAAKONSAARI – MEP – Vice Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (S&D) 
  • Q&A

14h40 The importance of people-to-people cooperation 

  • Anne-Cathrine Larsen – Acting Head of the Barents Secretariat (C)
  • Pentti MALINEN - Chair of Barents Regional Committee, Kainuu, Finland (C)
  • Q&A

15h00        Coffee and refreshments 

15h20 Examples of cooperation – best practices  

  • Barents Press: How to prevent one sided media coverage through journalist networking
    Amund TRELLEVIK – leader Barents Press Norway 
    Anna KIREEVA – leader Barents Press International
  • Future perspectives for Indigenous Peoples in the Barents Region
    Tatiana EGOROVA – Barents Indigenous Peoples Office 
  • Environment and climate challenges in the region 
    Maria DRONOVA – Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Russia
    Helén Johanne ANDERSEN – Ministry of Climate and Environment, Norway
  • Sports cooperation as soft diplomacy
    May-Bente ERIKSEN – Leader, Barents Sport Committee
  • Q&A

16h45 Talking Barents -  Future of the Barents Cooperation 

  • Runar SJÅSTAD – Mayor of Finnmark County Council (Norway)
  • Pentti MALINEN – Chair of Barents Regional Council, Kainuu (Finland)
  • Christina HENRIKSEN – Chair, Working Group of Indigenous Peoples in Barents Euro-Arctic Council
  • Inna FEODOROVA – Barents Regional Youth Council

Moderator of Talking Barents session – Rune Rafaelsen, Mayor of Sør-Varanger (Norway)

17h30        Reception with Barents region specialties

Moderators: Anna Petrova (Russia) and Timme Ellingjord (Norway)


The seminar will be live streamed by BarentsTV: