Finland's cooperation with neighbouring areas
In accordance with the Government Programme adopted in June 2011, this Government is to reform Finland’s neighbouring area cooperation and reduce the appropriations used for it as a part of the larger expenditure adjustments in central government finances. The key areas of the cooperation are nuclear safety, improvements in the state of the environment, and prevention of communicable diseases.
The forms of cross-border cooperation with Russia will be updated and they will be developed on the basis of equal partnerships. Finland and the Russian Federation have agreed about phasing down the current form of bilateral neighbouring area cooperation by the end of 2012.
From the beginning of 2013, the principal target of the neighbouring area appropriations of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will be multilateral regional cooperation, which supports the goals set out in the Government Programme, such as the Northern Dimension and Arctic, Baltic Sea and Barents cooperation. The main sources of financing for cross-border projects will be programmes of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument’s cross-border cooperation ENPI CBC.
Financing of neighbouring area cooperation in 2012
In the Budget for 2012, EUR 6 million is reserved for item 24.20.44 (neighbouring area cooperation) under the main title of expenditure of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The appropriation will be used to support projects in the following sectors :
EUR 3 985 000
Social and health sector
EUR 713 600
Promotion of economic cooperation
EUR 898 400
EUR 320 000
EUR 83 000
EUR 6 000 000
As EUR 3.7 million has been earmarked for neighbouring area cooperation in the other ministries’ main titles of expenditure, the total amount of funds for neighbouring area cooperation in 2012 is about EUR 9.7 million.
The appropriation of EUR 1.5 million targeted at radiation and nuclear safety cooperation has been transferred from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
Finland’s neighbouring area cooperation with Russia is based on an agreement signed in 1992. Neighbouring area cooperation concentrates on North-West Russia, especially the Murmansk region, the Republic of Karelia, Leningrad region and St Petersburg.
In the years from 1990 to 2012, Finland has channelled a total of EUR 326 million to joint projects with Russia.
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