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Bothnian Arc awarded for cultural development of European border regions

The Bothnian Arc association received an award for developing the culture of European border regions. With the international, annual competition, the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) aims to encourage cross-border cooperation. The awarding took place in Dresden, Germany, on 25th October at the annual conference of AEBR.

The award-winning project is Bothnian Arc's Roots and Wings for Growth that implements a cultural and education program covering the whole Bothnian Arc region. The program is still ongoing, and the cross-border operations are further developed according to it. The program was designed in tight cooperation of the Education and Cultural Services of the City of Oulu and Municipality of Luleå.

According to Juha Aho, Development Manager for the Educational and Cultural Services of the City of Oulu, the Bothnian Arc is a region of unique opportunities, united by a strong maritime identity and a shared history. The region has a wealth of excellence and untapped potential: education, culture, tourism, and promotion of youth employment – all which Aho highlights also as the prominent themes of the program. For example, the cooperatively designed and implemented learning projects on the nature and cultural history of the area have brought together the Finnish- and Swedish-speaking children and adolescents of different ages, strengthened their cultural identity and enabled phenomenal learning of seafaring while reinforcing the students' proficiency in Swedish.

The AEBR jury praised the well-organized cooperation of the region’s municipalities. The award-winning project strengthens the region’s economic and social growth by aiming to reduce youth unemployment and cooperatively develop the fields of education, cultural, and entrepreneurship education. The project promotes cross-border cooperation between educational institutions, associations, and communities, especially in the field of education and culture.

The award was received by CEO, Heikki Aalto, on behalf of Bothnian Arc. "It is great to see the educational and cultural cooperation work in the Bothnian Arc region and that the strategic and operational work on the area has been noticed by an international competition at European level", says Mr Aalto.

The prize, the Sail of Papenburg, has been awarded since 2002 and is annually presented to exemplary organizations that develop and support border regions.


For further information:

CEO Heikki Aalto, Bothnian Arc, tel. 044 703 1331