This year’s annual meeting of the Barents Regional Youth Council (BRYC) took place in Luleå, Sweden, on 16th-17th of April. Sixteen youth representatives from Sweden, Russia, Norway and Finland, as well as two other participants, gathered in Luleå to discuss the main plans for BRYC in 2018.
The meeting started with a short introduction to BRYC and youth cooperation in the Barents region. This was important, since six of the representatives were new BRYC members.
New representatives to BRYC:
- Riikka Karppinen Oulu, Finland (proposed as 1st representative)
- Miikka Touvinen Oulu, Finland (proposed as 2nd representative)
- Andrei Kovalenko Murmansk, Russia (new representative)
- Embla Kirkemoen Troms, Norway (new representative)
- Jone Måsøy Nordland, Norway (new representative)
- Hanna Blåhed Västerbotten, Sweden (new 2nd representative)
The BRYC Board presented the Annual Report for 2017, followed by a presentation of last year’s Financial Report. Also, each regional representative gave a summary of the key youth events and projects implemented in their respective region in 2017.
The meeting proceeded with a group work session on BRYC’s action plan, where the representatives developed ideas for new project initiatives to implement in 2018. With great enthusiasm from all the BRYC members, the work session turned out to be very productive, and several exciting project ideas will be further elaborated in BRYC’s action plan 2018.
Later in the meeting, BRYC elected a new Board and Chair for the upcoming period.
The new Board and Chair was elected for 2018-19:
- Tim Andersson, Sweden – Chair
- August Sjøvoll, Indigenous representative – Deputy Chair
- Alexander Terentiev, Russia – Board member
- Jolanda Magga, Finland – Board member
- Michael Krotov, Norway – Board member
Another important item on the agenda was the BRYC Annual Event 2018. The Council decided that the upcoming annual event will take place in Kirkenes, Norway, in November/December 2018. The theme of the event will be culture, and a more specific title will be announced later this year.
A youth perspective for the future
Later that week in Luleå, all members of BRYC participated in the anniversary conference “25 Years of Barents Cooperation – Youth Perspective for the Future”, hosted by the Swedish Chairmanship of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC).
The conference gathered ministers and high level officials, as well as youth representatives, from all four Barents countries. Highlights from the event included a speech on behalf of Barents youth from one of BRYC’s representatives, Katarina Lindmark (Norrbotten), and a panel discussion devoted to the future of youth in the Barents Region.
The panel discussion gave many young people the opportunity to have their voice heard among regional and national desicionmakers. The active participation from young people in the audience, showed that Barents youth care about shaping their own future, and deserve to be involved in the development or our region.
(Photos by Jolanda Magga)