02 / 04 / 2024

Letter from our Director – Our Collaboration for a Sustainable Future in the Nordics

A letter about 2023 from our Director Mathias Lindström.

During 2023, the Kvarken Council EGTC has continued its ambitious work in promoting cross-border collaborations and sustainable development in the Kvarken region. The year has been characterized by discussions about a Fixed Link over the Kvarken, now called the Nordic Connector, which is not only a project of great strategic importance but also strongly rooted in the Finnish Government Programme. This connection is seen as a key to strengthening the region’s competitiveness, accessibility, and preparedness, especially considering the current geopolitical situation and its impact on the region. This includes our continued focus on developing a stronger and more coherent transport infrastructure that can connect the Nordics, Europe, and NATO. Connections for growth are not only about our region, since they also bring positive effects on a larger scale to our countries’ inland portions, capitals, and the entire Nordics.

In addition to infrastructure projects, the Kvarken Council has devoted itself to promoting sustainable development through projects such as Bothnia Green Energy and Bothnian Coastal Route. These projects stimulate cross-border cooperation, promote investments in sustainable energy solutions, and strengthen the region’s attractiveness as a sustainable tourist destination.

The Kvarken Council, in collaboration with the region’s airports, has continued the work on implementing electric and sustainable aviation also during 2023. The projects FAIR 2 and New North both aim to accelerate the implementation of sustainable flights in the northern Nordics, which can then be realized in other parts of the Nordics and Europe. These projects are clear examples of how the Kvarken Council works to promote a green transition, strengthen the region’s position as a leader in sustainable development, improve the conditions for business, and work to enrich the residents’ leisure time.

Organizational growth in terms of an increased number of members has been complemented by a strategy work that includes all members and stakeholders. The strategy work aiming for 2030 resulted in a jointly adopted strategy with future directions, priorities, and actions (see here). This vision and our commitments also aim to contribute to the Nordic Council of Ministers’ vision of making the Nordics the world’s most sustainable and integrated region by 2030. In addition, the Kvarken Council has also strengthened its organization with two new recruitments to support the members and the realization of the vision.

I would like to welcome our new resources and express my deepest gratitude to everyone working within or for the Kvarken Council and contributing to these successes; the Kvarken Council’s board, members, the region’s politicians and officials, and our financiers from the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Interreg programs. Your efforts are invaluable.

Together, we have laid the foundation for a future where the Kvarken region not only strengthens its position, but also continues to lead the way towards an integrated and sustainable future for the Nordics.

Forwards – together!

Mathias Lindström
Director, Kvarken Council EGTC