Greetings from the Kvarken Council’s Communications Manager

One of our key phrases for October was “short stop tactics”.

The last few months have been very busy and at times it has been difficult to perceive the whole picture, with many projects and work packages ongoing, almost all of which are linked to each other. That is why the short stops in October came just at the right time.

Two of our projects, E12 Atlantica Transport and Spotlight High-Low Coast, will come to an end by next summer. They are both very well on track and about to reach their goals, but nevertheless it is a good idea to stop and take a good look at where we are. We found that doing so during the E12 Atlantica Transport project gave us new inspiration and energy. At the same time, it allowed us to capture the project’s main points in a short and, in our opinion, easy-to-understand brochure (see brochure in Finnish and Swedish). The direction has long been clear to us, but now others too can see it more clearly.

The direction became even clearer when some sixty politicians, officials and representatives of trade and industry from the municipalities along the E12 route in Norway, Sweden and Finland assembled in Vaasa on the 25th and 26th of October for the two-day Nordligt Forum workshop, organised by the same project team. Together, the participants stopped to consider what was working well and where were challenges within the current cross-border cooperation and discussed how best to continue their combined efforts. They concluded that they wanted to further refine their ways of working together and that the EGTC (European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation) was the most suitable model for future collaboration. This pit stop gave the team behind the project the resources to continue investigating the possibilities and challenges of the EGTC, based, among others, on the questions raised during these two days (read more: Day 1 and Day 2, unfortunately only in Swedish and Finnish).

The team behind the tourism project, Spotlight High-Low Coast, has also taken time out to consider how this region, which extends across the Finnish-Swedish border and is seen, from an international point of view, as one tourist resort, could be jointly marketed. Some of the results of this reflection were published at the end of October, i.e. the magnificent joint marketing videos of the tourism organisations Visit Vaasa, Höga Kusten Turism and Visit Umeå. This splendid marketing material will strengthen joint endeavours across the border and we hope that it will attract both national and international tourists to our beautiful shared region (see films: Summer and Summer Activities).

MABA II, or the Midway Alignment support project, is proceeding exceedingly well and has reached a concrete and fascinating stage. Investigations into financing arrangements, for example, are under way to ensure that implementation, including the building of a new ferry, can be begun next year. The direction of this project is absolutely clear, and everyone working on it has performed their duties in an exemplary, purposeful way.

I teach my children that in orienteering, it is important to stop whenever you are not certain of your position. This is the time to look at how you ended up where you are, where you were the last time you were sure of your location and, if necessary, return to that place. Fumbling around, albeit hopefully, is highly inefficient and takes too much time and energy. A short stop won’t hurt your progress and may actually get you there faster!

Wishing you an enjoyable and energetic autumn,
Johanna Häggman

Communications Manager of the Kvarken Council


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