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History

With expansion of the European Union to Finland and Sweden in 1995 the European Union and Russian Federation acquired a 1,300 km common border. Wishing to consolidate stability, welfare and sustainable development in the Northern Europe and thereby promote security and development throughout the Union and its neighbouring areas, the society for northern policies arranged an international conference in Rovaniemi, Finland, in September 1997. Prime Minister of Finland Paavo Lipponen presented there a well outlined and ambitious concept of the Northern Dimension policy, which was clearly linked to EU´s external relations, the promotion of peace and stability. The Northern Dimension was envisaged to be a comprehensive strategy, an institutional framework and sufficient financial arrangements to bring all of the plans to fruition.

The initiative was presented in December 1997 at the EU Summit in Luxembourg, where it became an objective for entire EU.

During the Finnish presidency of the EU, in November 1999, the first Foreign Minister´s Meeting of the Northern Dimension was held in Helsinki. The concept of the Northern Dimension Policy was filled with concrete content.

During the next Finnish Presidency of the EU in 2006 the Northern Dimension concept was revised, and the new policy documents were negotiated, transforming the initiative from the EU´s external policy into a co-operation platform between equal partners: EU, Russia, Norway and Iceland.

The initiative developed, performing practical activities through a partnership tool.

For the current moment four Partnerships are working implementing the Northern Dimension strategy in different sectors: Environmental Partnership, Partnership in Health and Social Well-being, Partnership for Transport and Logistics and Partnership on Culture.

The decision to establish the Northern Dimension Partnership for Transport and Logistics was taken on 28 October 2008 at the first Foreign Minister´s Meeting of the revised Northern Dimension in St. Petersburg.

The major principles of the NDPTL are stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by all member countries and European Commission on the High Level Meeting in Naples on 21 October 2009.

In the beginning of 2011 all formal structures were set up, finished by establishment of the NDPTL Secretariat.

For the current moment the Partnership conducts studies, conferences, workshops and prepares projects, reflecting national and regional interests in a balanced way, so as to reach the agreed objectives and fulfil general goals of the Northern Dimension strategy.

Prepared according Markku Heikkilä report

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The Northen Dimension