Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being


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About Northern Dimension

Objective and scope

The Northern Dimension is a policy framework for cooperation involving the EU, its Member States and partner countries Iceland, Norway and Russia. It aims at providing a common platform for promoting dialogue and concrete cooperation as well as strengthening stability and promoting economic integration, competitiveness and sustainable development in Northern Europe.

Originally launched in 1997, from the beginning of 2007 the Northern Dimension is defined by two documents, namely the Political Declaration on the Northern Dimension Policy and the Northern Dimension Policy Framework Document– both endorsed at the ND Summit on 24 November 2006 in Helsinki, Finland. Unlike the former Actions Plans for the Northern Dimension (1st Action Plan 2000-2003 and 2nd Action Plan 2004-2006), the two above-mentioned documents are of a permanent nature. Another important feature of the new Northern Dimension policy is that now it is closely linked to cooperation between the EU and Russia, i.e. the ND is a regional expression of the four EU-Russia Common Spaces and a tool for the implementation of their road maps (with the full participation of the other two partners, namely Iceland and Norway, in matters relevant to the ND).

The following priority sectors have been agreed for the Northern Dimension:

Geographical area covered

The Northern Dimension covers a broad geographic area ranging from the European Arctic and Sub-Arctic areas to the southern shores of the Baltic Sea, including the countries in its vicinity and from North-West Russia in the east to Iceland and Greenland in the west. Since the accession of the Baltic States and Poland to the EU, North-West Russia has been the principal geographic focus.



From the beginning of 2007 the Northern Dimension policy is a joint endeavour of four partners, including the European Union, Iceland, Norway and Russia.

Other participants are:

Other Northern Dimension actors are: regional and sub-regional organisations and commissions in the Baltic and Barents area, sub-national and local authorities, non-governmental organisations and other civil society organisations (including notably indigenous peoples’ organisations), universities and research centres, business and trade union communities, etc.

The observer countries are Belarus, Canada and USA. Northern Dimension provides a frame of reference for intensifying the transatlantic cooperation of the Northern Dimension partners in matters concerning the northern regions of the world, through the observer status of the latter two countries.

Governing structures

Governing of the Northern Dimension cooperation is being done at three levels:

Northern Dimension partnerships and other structures

Currently, there are four Northern Dimension partnerships in place:

Additionally, the following two structures have been established within the Northern Dimension policy framework:


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