OECD Territorial Reviews

English
ISSN: 
1990-0759 (online)
ISSN: 
1990-0767 (print)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/19900759
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This series offers analysis and policy guidance to national and subnational governments seeking to strengthen territorial development policies and governance. These reviews are part of a larger body of OECD work on regional development that addresses the territorial dimension of a range of policy challenges, including governance, innovation, urban development and rural policy. This work includes both thematic reports and reports on specific countries or regions.

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OECD Territorial Reviews: Northern Sparsely Populated Areas

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English
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Author(s):
OECD
13 Mar 2017
Pages:
224
ISBN:
9789264268234 (PDF) ;9789264268197(print)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264268234-en

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The northern sparsely populated areas (NSPA) of Finland, Norway and Sweden are becoming increasingly important to the geopolitical and economic interests of these countries and the European Union. These regions have unique geographical characteristics - low population density and a harsh climate - and face specific challenges due to an ageing population, long distances from markets, and high-cost land transport. However, high productivity growth is possible in low-density regions. This report sets out policy recommendations at cross-border, national and regional scales to enhance prosperity and well-being across the NSPA. This includes closer co-operation with national governments to address shared challenges and opportunities such as improving east-west transport connections and reducing occupational and skills barriers to labour mobility, and addressing barriers to business growth such as access to finance.

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  • Foreword and acknowledgements

    Rural economies are facing significant changes. Increasing global competition is transforming the nature of production, and rural entrepreneurs and businesses have to adapt quickly to maintain their competitive edge. Rapid technological change is offering new growth opportunities, but this requires investment from businesses, the reorganisation of production processes, more advanced skills, and access to markets. Although the impacts have been uneven, the legacy of the economic crisis for many rural areas is lower growth and productivity and fewer job opportunities for local people. Governments are also facing fiscal pressures, given declining revenues and higher costs due to population ageing and rising unemployment.

  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Executive summary

    The Northern Sparsely Populated Areas (NSPA) of Finland, Norway and Sweden are becoming increasingly important to the geopolitical and economic interests of these countries and the European Union (EU). The NSPA regions are located on the periphery of Europe and are part of Europe’s gateway to the Arctic and the east of the Russian Federation (hereafter ‘Russia’). A changing climate, access to hydrocarbon and mineral resources, and shifts in relations with Russia are changing the political and economic landscape. The sustainable development of these regions is crucial to managing such strategic risks and opportunities.

  • Assessment and Recommendations

    The economic and geopolitical importance of the NSPA regions to the EU and member countries has been increasing due to a changing climate, access to hydrocarbon and mineral resources, and shifts in relations with the Russian Federation (hereafter ‘Russia’) and other Arctic countries. A changing climate is placing new pressures on ecosystems and traditional ways of life, and opening up new opportunities for resource extraction. The NSPA is Europe’s gateway to the Arctic and northern Russia, and is important for energy security, food production and technological innovation, which is increasing its geopolitical importance to member countries. This importance is recognised by the EU and the national governments of Finland, Norway and Sweden. The EU, Finland, Norway and Sweden have each released Arctic policies in recent years, which set out commitments for the sustainable development of the northern regions. As an existing (albeit weak) institution the NSPA is an important stakeholder in helping to achieve these strategic policy objectives.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Northern Sparsely Populated Areas in Finland, Norway and Sweden

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    • Addressing the shared policy challenges of the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas

      The purpose of this chapter is to provide recommendations about shared policy challenges facing the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas (NSPA) and how to more effectively address them through enhanced cross-border co-operation. It begins by setting out a framework for understanding the growth of low-density economies followed by a diagnosis of the growth performance of the NSPA regions and factors influencing economic growth, productivity and well-being. The second part identifies the common policy challenges facing NSPA regions which shape future opportunities for growth and development. The third part of the chapter discusses how to improve institutional arrangements to enhance a co-operative approach to addressing these challenges.

    • Finland's Northern Sparsely Populated Areas

      The purpose of this chapter is to provide recommendations about how the national government can work better with the country’s north and eastern regions (Central Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, Lapland, North Karelia, Northern Ostrobothnia, Pohjois-Savo, and South Savo) to improve growth, employment and service delivery outcomes. It begins with an overview of the growth opportunities and challenges facing these regions and the policy priorities for addressing them. The second part of the chapter discusses how well national policy settings related to regional development are adapted to the needs and circumstances of north and eastern Finland. The third part of the chapter discusses how to improve governance arrangements for regional development.

    • Norway's Northern Sparsely Populated Areas

      The purpose of this chapter is to provide recommendations about how the national government can work better with the country’s northern regions to improve growth, employment and service delivery outcomes. It begins with an overview of the growth opportunities and challenges facing these regions and the policy priorities for addressing them. The second part of the chapter discusses how well national policy settings related to regional development are adapted to the needs and circumstances of northern Norway. The third part of the chapter discusses how to improve governance arrangements for regional development.

    • Sweden's Northern Sparsely Populated Areas

      The purpose of this chapter is to provide recommendations about how the national government can work better with the country’s northern regions (Norrbotten, Jämtland Härjedalen, Västerbotten, and Västernorrland) to improve growth, employment and service delivery outcomes. It begins with an overview of the growth opportunities and challenges facing these regions and the policy priorities for addressing them. The second part of the chapter discusses how well national policy settings related to regional development are adapted to the needs and circumstances of northern Sweden. The third part of the chapter discusses how to improve governance arrangements for regional development.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Country Notes - Online Only

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    • Central Ostrobothnia, Finland (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)

      The purpose of this case study is to provide recommendations for the Regional Council of Central Ostrobothnia to enhance productivity, growth and service delivery outcomes within the context of the NSPA collaboration. The case study begins by outlining the assessment and recommendations. An overview of the region is then provided, followed by an analysis of regional economic performance. The case study concludes with an assessment of key assets/opportunities and bottlenecks/risks facing the region.

    • Kainuu, Finland (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)

      The purpose of this case study is to provide recommendations for the Regional Council of Kainuu to enhance productivity, growth and service delivery outcomes within the context of the NSPA collaboration. The case study begins by outlining the assessment and recommendations. An overview of the region is then provided, followed by an analysis of regional economic performance. The case study concludes with an assessment of key assets/opportunities and bottlenecks/risks facing the region.

    • Lapland, Finland (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)

      The purpose of this case study is to provide recommendations for the Regional Council of Lapland to enhance productivity, growth and service delivery outcomes within the context of the NSPA collaboration. The case study begins by outlining the assessment and recommendations. An overview of the region is then provided, followed by an analysis of regional economic performance. The case study concludes with an assessment of key assets/opportunities and bottlenecks/risks facing the region.

    • North Karelia, Finland (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)

      The purpose of this case study is to provide recommendations for the Regional Council of North Karelia to enhance productivity, growth and service delivery outcomes within the context of the NSPA collaboration. The case study begins by outlining the assessment and recommendations. An overview of the region is then provided, followed by an analysis of regional economic performance. The case study concludes with an assessment of key assets/opportunities and bottlenecks/risks facing the region.

    • Northern Ostrobothnia, Finland (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)

      The purpose of this case study is to provide recommendations for the Regional Council of Northern Ostrobothnia to enhance productivity, growth and service delivery outcomes within the context of the NSPA collaboration. The case study begins by outlining the assessment and recommendations. An overview of the region is then provided, followed by an analysis of regional economic performance. The case study concludes with an assessment of key assets/opportunities and bottlenecks/risks facing the region.

    • Pohjois-Savo, Finland (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)

      The purpose of this case study is to provide recommendations for the Regional Council of Pohjois-Savo to enhance productivity, growth and service delivery outcomes within the context of the NSPA collaboration. The case study begins by outlining the assessment and recommendations. An overview of the region is then provided, followed by an analysis of regional economic performance. The case study concludes with an assessment of key assets/opportunities and bottlenecks/risks facing the region.

    • South Savo, Finland (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)

      The purpose of this case study is to provide recommendations for the Regional Council of South Savo to enhance productivity, growth and service delivery outcomes within the context of the NSPA collaboration. The case study begins by outlining the assessment and recommendations. An overview of the region is then provided, followed by an analysis of regional economic performance. The case study concludes with an assessment of key assets/opportunities and bottlenecks/risks facing the region.

    • Finnmark, Norway (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)

      The purpose of this case study is to provide recommendations for Finnmark County to enhance productivity, growth and service delivery outcomes within the context of the NSPA collaboration. The case study begins by outlining the assessment and recommendations. An overview of the region is then provided, followed by an analysis of regional economic performance. The case study concludes with an assessment of key assets/opportunities and bottlenecks/risks facing the region.

    • Nordland, Norway (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)

      The purpose of this case study is to provide recommendations for Nordland County to enhance productivity, growth, and service delivery outcomes within the context of the NSPA collaboration. The case study begins by outlining the assessment and recommendations. An overview of the region is then provided, followed by an analysis of regional economic performance. The case study concludes with an assessment of key assets/opportunities and bottlenecks/risks facing the region.

    • Troms, Norway (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)

      The purpose of this case study is to provide recommendations for Troms County to enhance productivity, growth and service delivery outcomes within the context of the NSPA collaboration. The case study begins by outlining the assessment and recommendations. An overview of the region is then provided, followed by an analysis of regional economic performance. The case study concludes with an assessment of key assets/opportunities and bottlenecks/risks facing the region.

    • Jämtland Härjedalen, Sweden (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)

      The purpose of this case study is to provide recommendations for Region Jämtland Härjedalen to enhance productivity, growth and service delivery outcomes within the context of the NSPA collaboration. The case study begins by outlining the assessment and recommendations. An overview of the region is then provided, followed by an analysis of regional economic performance. The case study concludes with an assessment of key assets/opportunities and bottlenecks/risks facing the region.

    • Norrbotten, Sweden (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)

      The purpose of this case study is to provide recommendations for Norrbotten County to enhance productivity, growth and service delivery outcomes within the context of the NSPA collaboration. The case study begins by outlining the assessment and recommendations. An overview of the region is then provided, followed by an analysis of regional economic performance. The case study concludes with an assessment of key assets/opportunities and bottlenecks/risks facing the region.

    • Västerbotten, Sweden (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)

      The purpose of this case study is to provide recommendations for Västerbotten County to enhance productivity, growth and service delivery outcomes within the context of the NSPA collaboration. The case study begins by outlining the assessment and recommendations. An overview of the region is then provided, followed by an analysis of regional economic performance. The case study concludes with an assessment of key assets/opportunities and bottlenecks/risks facing the region.

    • Västernorrland, Sweden (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)

      The purpose of this case study is to provide recommendations for the County Council of Västernorrland to enhance productivity, growth and service delivery outcomes within the context of the NSPA collaboration. The case study begins by outlining the assessment and recommendations. An overview of the region is then provided, followed by an analysis of regional economic performance. The case study concludes with an assessment of key assets/opportunities and bottlenecks/risks facing the region.

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