About the Kvarken Council

The Kvarken Council strives to promote and develop a strong and viable region with the help of cross-border cooperation. As a neutral cooperation platform, the Council serves all its members and actors in the Kvarken region.


15 M €

Generated EU funds
to the region’s projects since 2011



Completed projects



As an organisation 2022

From an association to a stable legal entity

The Kvarken Council was founded in 1972 during the first Kvarken Conference in Vaasa, Finland. The first years were dedicated to the organization’s formation and the cooperation’s anchoring in the municipalities, authorities, and organizations. In 1979, the Kvarken Council became a part of the official Nordic border-regional cooperation, with financial support from the Nordic Council of Ministers and its Nordic Senior Official’s Committee for Regional Policy (NÄRP).

The Kvarken Council’s operations was administered by a non-profit association as of 2008. At the turn of the year 2020–2021, the Kvarken Council changed from a registered association to a stable legal entity when the Kvarken council EGTC began its operations.


One of the official cross-border operators of the Nordic Council of Ministers. 

We are proud to be one of the cross-border operators funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The Kvarken Council’s operations are financed partly by the Nordic Council of Ministers and partly by membership fees from the main members.

Kvarken Council

Photo Esa Siltaloppi

Kvarken council flags

The Kvarken Council develops the region by:

  • providing a platform for cooperation for all the region’s actors
  • reducing and eliminating border barriers
  • increasing the region’s visibility at national and European levels
  • working actively in several European networks
  • utilizing the region’s strengths and supporting its development. Mainly within the following areas: business, education, tourism, research and development, health care, culture, environmental issues, sports, children and young people as well as communications and transport infrastructure

Over 100 cross-border projects in almost 50 years!

The Kvarken Council has worked actively since 1972 to propel various cross-border projects as well as initiate collaboration projects between different parties. These projects represent a wide variety. Below are examples of some. Read more about our ongoing and completed projects here

Examples of our wide variety of projects

· FAIR – The project promotes the Kvarken region’s future electric aviation
· Midway Alignment – The project’s purpose is to secure and develop maritime traffic across the Kvarken
· E12 Atlantica Transport – The project’s purpose is to create a mutual vision and goals for the whole Kvarken region and to map out a way to reach these
· Spotlight High-Low Coast – The project’s purpose is to attract more visitors to the High Coast / Kvarken Archipelago World Heritage Site and its surrounding regions in a sustainable way

Aurora Botnia


The Kvarken Council’s area of operations is called the Kvarken region

The Kvarken Council is a Nordic cross-border cooperation platform for three Ostrobothnian counties in Finland and the regions of Västerbotten and Västernorrland in Sweden. Together they form the Kvarken region.

The distance between Umeå and Vaasa is 80km and only 25km between the nearest islands. The entire Kvarken region extends over a distance of 550km over Sweden and Finland.




Ordinary Members
Joakim Strand, City of Vaasa, Deputy Chairman
Mats Brandt, The Regional Council of Ostrobothnia
Mikko Savola, The Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia
Stina Mattila, City of Kokkola
Hannemari Niemi, City of Seinäjoki
Jyrki Kaiponen, The Regional Council of Central Ostrobothnia
Anna-Kaisa Pusa, City of Kurikka, Deputy Chairman
Christoffer Ingo, Korsholm Municipality
Peter Boström, City of Jakobstad

Tomas Häyry
Steven Frostdahl
Heli Seppelvirta
Jonne Sandberg
Jaakko Kiiskilä
Margita Lukkarinen
Olavi Kandolin
Rurik Ahlberg
Milla Kallioinen


Ordinary members
Rickard Carstedt, Region Västerbotten, Chairman
Lilly Bäcklund, Region Västerbotten
Bore Sköld, Region Västerbotten
Åsa Ågren Wikström, Region Västerbotten, Deputy Chairman
Mattias Larsson, Region Västerbotten
Anna-Britta Åkerlind, Örnsköldsvik Municipality
Hans Lindberg, Umeå Municipality
Tomas Mörtsell, Storumans Municipality
Roland Sjögren, Lycksele Municipality
Evelina Fahlesson, Skellefteån Municipality
Jonny Lundin, Region Västernorrland
Mattias Rösberg, Region Västernorrland

Anna Frej
Mikael Abrahamsson
Ylva Hedlund-Hedqvist
Per Boström
Meta Tunell
Carolina Sondell
Elmer Eriksson
Karin Malmfjord
Lars Olsson
Andreas Löwenhöök
Sara Nylund
Dan Rasmusson


Founding members of the Kvarken Council EGTC
Region Västerbotten
Umeå Municipality
Örnsköldsvik Municipality
The Regional Council of Ostrobothnia
The Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia
The Regional Council of Central Ostrobothnia
City of Vaasa
City of Kokkola
City of Seinäjoki
City of Jakobstad

New main members (with voting rights)
City of Kurikka 
Korsholm Municipality
Storuman Municipality
Lycksele Municipality
Skellefteå Municipality
Region Västernorrland (Västernorrland County Council)


Other municipality members
Vindeln Municipality
City of Nykarleby
City of Närpes
Nordmaling Municipality
Vännäs Municipality
Larsmo Municipality
Kronoby Municipality
Sundsvall Municipality

Organisation members
Vaasa Region Development Company VASEK
VAMK University of Applied Sciences
University of Vaasa
Jakobstad Region Development Company Concordia
Into Seinäjoki
Kristinestads näringslivscentral / Kristiinankaupungin elinkeinokeskus
Hanken School of Economics
Umeå University
Mid Sweden University
Novia University of Applied Sciences
Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences
Åbo Akademi University

 The work with EGTS has started December 31st 2020.

Contact persons