Statsminister Erna Solberg kommer til Agenda Nord-Norge. Her fra hun snakket på konferansen i 2015. (Foto: Christine Karijord)
Prime Minister Erna Solberg is coming to Bodø at the end of April. Here she was photographed in Bodø, Norway, during the “Agenda North Norway” conference in 2015. (Photo: Christine Karijord)

Norwegian Government to Present New High North Strategy on 21 April


Prime Minister Erna Solberg brings a top-heavy team of ministers with her when she arrives in Bodø, Norway, on 21 April. High North News has learned that she will present the government’s new High North Strategy at the Conservative Party’s High North Conference.

Foreign Minister Børge Brende, Minister of Local Government and Modernisation Jan Tore Sanner, and EU and EEA Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen will all be joining Solberg when she arrives in Bodø, the county capital of Nordland.

The reason for their going to Bodø is the Conservatives’ High North conference “We believe in Northern Norway”, where all three will attend and also be keynote speakers.

– It will be a solid Conservatives weekend, Jonny Finstad, chairman of the Conservatives in Nordland, says to High North News.

 

Top heavy Conservative delegation

– It is rumored that the government’s new High North Strategy will be presented at the conference, is that so?

– You can count on various things being presented there. There is a reason why we have such a top-heavy team at the conference, the former mayor of Vestvågøy municipality in Lofoten says.

Finstad will not confirm that the strategy is to be presented on Friday 21 April, however, according to what High North News has learned, it will be presented at this High North conference.

The Conservative politicians have set up a broad program from Friday 21 April to Sunday 23 April. In addition to the High North conference “We believe in Northern Norway” on Friday, the party will also organize a campaign conference as well as a meeting for its county leadership.

The remarks about the High North conference say that “Northern Norway will have an increasing significance for Norwegian welfare and creation of wealth in the years ahead”. As usual, it also mentions the argument that the High North is Norway’s most significant foreign policy area of interest, and that the government intends to make Northern Norway one of the most sustainable and creative regions. The themes at the High North Conference will, according to Finstad, also reflect the many facets of the High North policies, covering everything from security policy to creation of wealth.

– Increased attention

If we are to believe the Chairman of the Conservatives in Nordland, the government is now making a dramatic turn in attention – to the north:

– You would hardly believe how much it has turned, Finstad says on the phone from Lofoten.

He has the clear impression that the government wishes to prioritize the region to a much higher extent than before.

– Northern Norway is the future, and now is the time to facilitate growth and development.

More information about the “We believe in Northern Norway” is available here. The conference is open to everyone, Finstad says.

The government’s previous High North strategy, “the North Globe”, was introduced in Hammerfest, Norway, in 2014. It contained five areas of priority; international cooperation, business, knowledge, infrastructure and environment, and security and preparedness.

Click here to read the report (Norwegian only)

Also read: “The North Globe – The Government’s New High North Initiative” (Norwegian only) 

Goal: A More Wholesome Approach

The government has worked on the new strategy for a long time, and the final report will have two main sections. The main part will consist of a strategy part that points out the direction for the Norwegian High North Policy for the future, while part two is to provide a status report about results achieved so far in this parliamentary period.

The government writes on its website that the prioritized areas of initiative will be continued, and that knowledge and business development will be a core of the new High North strategy too. In addition, the following perspectives will be emphasized and receive extra attention:

  • A Wholesome Approach – National policies and the High North policy will be seen under one
  • Regional dimension – Regional ownership
  • Ocean
  • Transition/green shift
All departments with relevance for the High North initiative are involved in the working out of the document that is to be presented in Bodø on 21 April, however, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Local Government and Modernization constitutes its writing group.

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