Its international attitude makes the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region a significant actor and enables important development activities with the future in mind. We work closely with other metropolitan regions and actors by the Baltic Sea. We give our sincere contribution to joint EU projects and take part in the activities of various organisations. This gives us the opportunity to be successful in what we do.
Helsinki-Uusimaa has also signed bilateral partnership agreements with some similar regions, the Memorandum of Understanding with Harju region in Estonia at the end of 2022 being the latest.
We are most and foremost an active member of networks focusing on the Baltic Sea Region, such as the Baltic Sea States Subregional Co-operation (BSSSC) and the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) with its Baltic Sea Commission (BSC).
The international cooperation of the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council focuses on the Baltic Sea Region, which is where its most important partners also come from.
However, our Regional Council is also a member of European organisations like the ARC, ERRIN and Metrex. We feel it is rewarding to receive and share the newest information available on issues that are important to us, and which we can implement in our own region.
Together with other actors in Helsinki-Uusimaa, we have a representative office in Brussels, called the Helsinki EU Office. It gives us a vantage position in Europe. The office is actively following up on current issues like the legislative drafting of the EU, the EU financing programmes and the general possibilities for international cooperation.
We aim to create and be actively involved in various international partnerships and establish different innovative forms of EU cooperation, like initiatives that are making a difference at the local level. Consequently, our Regional Council supports Interreg programmes and develops a variety of EU projects.
Services provided by Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council:
- Networking and liaison, especially within the Baltic Sea Region.
- EU project development, support and partner search.
- Participation in international networks and assemblies.
- Maintaining a representative office in Brussels: Helsinki EU Office.
Baltic Sea States Subregional Cooperation
Our Regional Council is a member of the Baltic Sea States Subregional Co-operation (BSSSC). BSSSC is a political network for decentralized authorities in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). It consists of 162 member regions in 10 Baltic Sea littoral states. During 2022–2023 the chairing region is Brandenburg in Germany.
The BSSSC policy areas are maritime policy, energy and climate, youth policy, Northern Dimension, cohesion policy, transport and infrastructure, culture and regional identity. The goals shared by all the member states are a clean Baltic Sea and a high living standard in the region.
Finland is represented in the BSSSC Board by Mr Ossi Savolainen, Regional Mayor, Helsinki-Uusimaa and Mr Kari Häkämies, Regional Mayor, Southwest Finland.
CPMR – Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions
The Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) is a think tank and interest organisation for European regions. The organisation has 160 member regions in 28 countries. This organisation focuses on policy sectors like maritime, energy and transport issues, the cohesion policy, and the European governance and development.
Our Regional Council is actively involved in the Baltic Sea Commission (BSC). Mr Otto Meri, our Regional Assembly member is a BSC Executive Committee member. Mr Markku Markkula, Chairman of the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Board is in charge for Climate and Energy Working Group.
Other International Networks
Our Regional Council belongs to several international networks. By participating in them, we get beneficial information that can then be used in regional development planning. We are naturally also more than ready to share our good project results to be used in other European regions.
The Scandria®Alliance consolidates the TEN-T corridor between Scandinavia and the Mediterranean as a regional development and transport axis in Europe. Our Regional Mayor Mr Ossi Savolainen is one of the Vice Chairpersons of the network.
The Metrex, Network of European Metropolitan Regions and Areas stands for cooperation between ca 50 large cities and metropolitan areas in Europe. These network members exchange information and best practices on regional development and planning. We work to make an impact in the EMA, European Metropolitan Authorities, as well.
Our region takes part in the “Big Five” Northern regions cooperation including five mid-size regions from Northern Europe: the Capital Region of Denmark (Copenhagen), the Hamburg City State, the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, the Stockholm Region and our region, Helsinki-Uusimaa. The cooperation focuses on the exchange of practice and development in the areas of innovation, business and regional development. Its aim is to share and upscale green solutions for a sustainable and green future in these five regions.
About 30 representatives of local and regional European authorities are involved in the Airport Regions Conference, ARC. The goal of the ARC is to develop the airport regions and to mitigate the harmful environmental effects caused by air traffic.
Brussels is the base for the European Regions Research and Innovation Network, ERRIN with about one hundred member regions and their offices in the city. ERRIN focuses on RDI policies and facilitates knowledge exchange, not to forget the project participation of its members. It is also an important EU-lobbying instrument.
The archipelagic areas of Stockholm and Uppsala in Sweden, and Åland in the southwest and Helsinki-Uusimaa in the south of Finland, join their forces in the Archipelago cooperation of the Nordic countries, with the main task being to plan and execute cross-border projects and events.
Nordic traffic and transport agencies and consultancy companies have a network called the Nordic Road Association (NVF). Our region takes part in the association’s strategic and town planning committees.
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The Helsinki-Uusimaa Region is at the heart of Northern Europe, on the south coast of Finland and at the Baltic Sea. Although only covering three percent of our national land area, our Region is home to around 1.7 million inhabitants, which is about a third of the country’s total population.
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The larger cities and towns in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, along with the Regions of Southern Finland want to make an impact on the Article 6 in the suggested EU Nature Restoration Law by sharing their proposals for amendments. In its current wording, the Article would significantly complicate sustainable growth in Finnish cities and towns. It would in fact, on the contrary to its aim, lead to urban sprawl harmful for both nature and climate.
The Regions4Climate project brings together 44 partners from twelve different European regions to demonstrate innovations that enhance societal resilience to the impacts of climate change, in line with the Paris Agreement and the EU Green Deal. The Helsinki-Uusimaa Region is one of the partner regions.
This page was last updated: 18.1.2023