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Finland and Sweden establish a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation to promote the competitiveness of the Kvarken region

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 26.11.2020 18.01 | Published in English on 27.11.2020 at 17.42
Press release

Finland and Sweden have established a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation – the Kvarken Council EGTC. The aim of the grouping is to develop cross-border cooperation in the northern Baltic Sea and to promote the region’s competitiveness. 

On 26 November 2020, Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä approved the accession of Finnish members to the grouping and the Swedish Government approved the accession of Swedish members. Minister for Rural Affairs Jennie Nilsson signs the agreement on behalf of Sweden. The domicile of the Kvarken Council EGTC will be in Vaasa.

Cooperation in the Kvarken region has taken place for a long time. The organisational structure of the Kvarken Council, which has operated since 1972, has now changed from a registered association to an EGTC. EGTC is an abbreviation of European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation, which is an instrument for cross-border cooperation within the European Union.

Tasks of the Kvarken Council EGTC

The aim is to develop the Kvarken region into a functioning, competitive and integrated border area in the north of the Baltic Sea, with good transport infrastructure and connections both within the region and beyond, and an active role in Nordic and European cooperation.

The aim of the Council is to develop the Kvarken region into a pioneer of European and Nordic cohesion policy in the following areas:

  • business and industry
  • transport connections and infrastructure
  • research and development, and education
  • culture
  • viable energy solutions
  • environmental, waste and recycling issues
  • tourism
  • sports
  • children and young people
  • health and medical care

The Kvarken Council EGTC can play a key role in European and Nordic cooperation programmes or similar schemes.

The purpose of the Council is not to generate financial profits for its members. The Group will implement its tasks by organising seminars and informational and discussion events related to its activities, by drafting reports and other publications, and carrying out non-profit project activities.

Founding members of the Kvarken Council EGTC:

in Finland:

  • Regional Council of Ostrobothnia
  • City of Vaasa
  • City of Jakobstad
  • Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia
  • City of Seinäjoki
  • Regional Council of Central Ostrobothnia
  • City of Kokkola

in Sweden:

  • Västerbotten County
  • Umeå Municipality
  • Örnsköldsvik Municipality


Tuula Manelius, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 4909 

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