07 / 02 / 2024

Strengthening Västerbotten, Ostrobothnia, and Nordic Cooperation – Focus on Kvarken Cooperation in Västerbotten at the Grand Hôtel 2024

Actors from politics, business, academia, civil society, and the public sector gathered at the Grand Hôtel in Stockholm for exchanges of experiences, new contacts, collaboration, and influence. This year’s theme was: “Västerbotten, Spearheading Transition. How Can We Increase the Pace?”.

The opening on January 30 included presentations from speakers discussing sustainable energy solutions, skills supply, collaborations, and digitalization. Among the speakers were representatives from both the Finnish and Swedish sides of the Kvarken region, emphasizing the importance of strengthened east-west connections in the Northern Nordics. 

The session on the Northern Nordic transport network against the backdrop of geopolitical developments was initiated by Mr Andreas Carlsson, Minister for Infrastructure and Housing, Ms Anna-Maja Henriksson, Minister of Education and leader of the Swedish People’s Party with responsibility for Nordic cooperation, and Mr Joakim Strand, Member of Parliament from Vaasa and Vice Chairman of the Kvarken Council EGTC. 

The subsequent panel, with four participants from the Kvarken Council, highlighted what is on the agenda in the Kvarken cooperation, the importance of further strengthened infrastructure from regional, Nordic, and European perspectives, and how cooperation across the Kvarken continues to evolve and strengthen in line with developments in the Nordic region, Europe, and the world. 

The panel included Mr Hans Lindberg, Municipal Commissioner of Umeå and Chairman of the Kvarken Council’s Infrastructure Group, and Mr Mikko Savola, Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia’s Regional Assembly, together with two of the Kvarken Council’s vice-chairs: Member of Parliament Mr Joakim Strand and Ms Åsa Ågren Wikström, also Vice Chairman of Region Västerbotten’s Regional Development Committee. This session was concluded by Mr Rickard Carstedt, Regional Councillor of Region Västerbotten and Chairman of the Kvarken Council EGTC.

Watch the opening speeches, the entire program, and the panel discussion HERE.
Parts in which representatives of the Kvarken Council participated: 1:30.00–2.33:00, speeches 1:30:00–2:12:00, and panel discussion 2:12:00–2:33.00.

Åsa Ågren Wikström, Mikko Savola, Hans Lindberg, Rickard Carstedt, and Joakim Strand at Västerbotten at the Grand Hôtel 2024. Photo: Patrick Trägårdh.