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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Northern Dimension is Practical Co-operation Among European Union, Russia, Iceland and Norway

19.02.2013

Nr 55-E

At a meeting of the Northern Dimension foreign ministers in Brussels, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the Northern Dimension is good practical co-operation among the European Union, Russia, Iceland, and Norway.

Paet said that in order to advance the economic growth of the region it is essential to ensure the good quality of cross-border transportation connections. “We must address ‘bottlenecks’ in border crossing, as well as achieve a better railway connection and sustainable and safe shipping,” he added.

Paet expressed hope that good co-operation would also develop between the cultural partnership of the Northern Dimension and the cultural section of the Baltic Sea Region Strategy. “Cultural partnership focuses on creative industries, which have the potential to increase the well-being of the whole region and improve the living environment,” he added. Estonia participates actively in promoting cultural partnership.

The foreign minister added that within the Northern Dimension it is essential to strengthen the project-based approach and connect the various co-operation formats in the region. “A good example is Northern Dimension social partnership, which plays an active role in promoting the health care section of the Baltic Sea Region Strategy,” noted Foreign Minister Paet.

Within the framework of the Northern Dimension, priority co-operation sectors for Estonia are transport and logistics partnership, social and public health partnership, and cultural partnership.

The Northern Dimension is a primarily project-based EU foreign policy instrument in the area of regional co-operation. Participating in Northern Dimension as equal partners are the European Union, Iceland, Norway, and Russia.

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