Euregio Karelia is an operational model and a cooperation area formed by the regions of Kainuu, North Karelia and Northern Ostrobothnia in Finland and the Republic of Karelia in Russia. Euregio Karelia was founded on 24th February 2000 as the foundation documents were signed by Regional Councils of Kainuu, North Karelia and Oulu and the foreign minister of the Republic of Karelia.
The operations of Euregio Karelia are based on the common needs and similar circumstances of the regions and the common will to improve the well-being of the inhabitants living in the region by means of cooperation. The operational model has been built upon experience gained from other Euregio partnerships founded earlier in other parts of Europe. Euregio Karelia was the first Euro-region on the land-border between the European Union and the Russian Federation.
Euregio Karelia is not just an operative model, but a continuous process in which cooperation is made on a concrete level on both sides of the border in order to reach a common goal. Euregio Karelia aims, among other things, at influencing the decision making on the national level of it’s both member countries, as well as the position of cross-border cooperation in both foreign and regional policy of the European Union. Euregio Karelia also aims at strengthening and improving the reconciliation and coordination of political and financial programmes relevant to cross-border cooperation.
After functioning 10 years Euregio Karelia will continue to develope its visibility and to clarify its role in cross-border cooperation. Euregio Karelia operations will be expanded from a political level also to an operator-level cooperation.