Vestnordens udvikling – Regional Development in Westnorden

Westnorden – Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands, and Western Norway – has through history had a tradition of cooperation due to comparable development conditions. Especially the role of fisheries for their economies has been important. During the last decades the structures of the economies have been developing in different directions.

Purpose and approach

The purpose of the project is to look into these directions in order to see to what extend the traditional relations are maintained and will contribute to further joint activities. This is done through a number of issues:

As basis a presentation of the status of the region in relation to challenges of global economic competitiveness, including traditional sectors (exploitation of maritime resources; the future of the fishing industry) as well as new sectors (renewable as well as non-renewable energy and mineral resources). And an overview of the challenges generated through ongoing changes in climate, such as changing resources, improving accessibility, and the ability of the region to react on challenges

In addition a mapping of the key challenges for the region will be discussed. Partly in relation to changes in climate and resource conditions, partly as a result of the region's character as being "peripheral" and what it involves, such as small scale activities, confrontations between small and large scale projects, fragmented markets etc.

And furthermore by means of a comparative qualitative and quantitative analysis of the West Nordic (regional) economies interactions with the other Nordic countries and the role of both professional and personal relationships in the West Nordic Region. This include relations between the West Nordic Region and the Nordic Countries in general, and relationships to outside Scandinavia.

Expected outcome

The project report will focus on a number of issues related to the future development:

  • the role of business and regional policy actions, and the identification of innovative approaches and actions to promote cooperation and regional economic development
  • the economic, demographic and social structures of the region as background for the identification of central development challenges
  • a discussion of growth potentials and problem areas, identification of strengths and weaknesses, main opportunities for growth and unused potential, as well as pointing out regional political approaches which may contribute to the breaking down of development barriers
  • an analysis of the inter- and intra-regional relations in Westnorden and with other parts of the Nordic countries, focusing on regional similarities, differences, and challenges, and the implication of differences in policy approaches, use of cross-regional planning and policy formulation
  • and finally an analysis of crises management and interrelations within the region, with focus on the role of barriers and political approaches to in relation to future development, as well as the role of relations to neighboring regions (Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Russia, Balticum etc.) and EU policies in general.