Action Plan 2013
From Strategy to Action Plan
As of 1 January 2012 the Strategic Programme 2012-2016 is the overarching framework for NORA’s operations.
The Strategic Programme is based on a comprehensive strategy process, which point of departure is the OECD Territorial Review of the NORA Region. This review, which was commissioned by NORA, is the first in-depth analysis of the NORA region conducted by an internationally recognised organisation. The region consists of Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and coastal Norway. Several of the observations and recommendations in OECD’s analysis are incorporated into the Strategic Programme.
The Strategic Programme is also based on NORA’s overall mission:
NORA shall contribute to the discussion on the specific challenges that characterise the North Atlantic part of the Nordic region, foster increased political and economic collaboration in the region and enhance the economic development in the NORA region as a whole.
In order to aid the fulfilment of this mission, the Strategic Programme sets out several main priorities, which will be the nodal points for NORA’s operations for the next five years:
NORA will work for the creation of a more coherent and integrated region. NORA will support cooperation and innovation in relation to the region’s existing strengths, especially within fisheries and marine resources. NORA will contribute to diversification of and innovation in new industries and businesses in order to develop a broader economic base in the region. NORA will focus on transport and infrastructure because an improved and multifarious transport network is a prerequisite for economic development and cooperation in the region. And NORA will consolidate its position as a central player in the collaboration between the Nordic region and its neighbours to the west by establishing actual collaborative projects that focus on the demographic, environmental, economic and social challenges that these regions have in common.
In this action plan some of these overarching aims are concretised in actual initiatives, which will be carried out during 2013.
NORA’s Initiatives in 2013
In 2013 NORA will carry out a number of initiatives, which will make NORA visible as a strategic policy organisation that contributes to the discussion of important regional issues and problems. In executing these initiatives, which are spelled out in this action plan, NORA will continue to utilise the opportunities for cooperation, which the organisation, as part of the Nordic Cooperation, has access to in the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Nordic organisations associated with it.
At the NORA REGION CONFERENCE 2012, which theme was ”Nordic Welfare: The North Atlantic Way,” NORA focused during the past year on the unique challenges the Nordic welfare model faces in the North Atlantic. In 2013 a priority for NORA will be to follow-up on this theme through e.g. concrete collaborative projects. In doing so, as was also the case during the Norwegian presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2012, NORA will contribute a North Atlantic perspective on the primary theme of this year’s Swedish presidency’s programme: The Nordic Model in a New Era.
1. North Atlantic Think Tank
When NORA established the North Atlantic Think Tank in 2011, our aim was to contribute to and strengthen the transnational political and economic debate in the NORA region. The think tank should, in addition, disseminate ideas and recommendations that could contribute to the strengthening of the cooperation between the NORA countries. Now that the North Atlantic Think Tank has presented two recommendations, we are pleased to report that it has lived up to these aims. The first recommendation was to establish a North Atlantic master’s degree in management. Four of the region’s universities, one from each country, picked up on the suggestion, and now, by year-end 2012, we are pleased to report that the Nordic Master Programme has decided to give these universities a joint grant of DKK 1 million to develop the degree. The second recommendation has also been noticed after it was presented at the NORA REGION CONFERENCE 2012. With its controversial recommendation to focus on the development of some selected towns, the think tank touched on one of the most sensitive political issues in the region. On basis of this NORA has decided to gather the North Atlantic Think Tank to consider one of the central themes in the OECD analysis of the NORA region.
2. The North Atlantic in the Media – The Media in the North Atlantic
This is the title for the NORA REGION CONFERENCE 2013. ‘The North Atlantic in the Media’—because the global media’s portrayal of the NORA region will be analysed. For example, what is the importance of the increased focus on the Arctic for the region’s international visibility? ‘The Media in the North Atlantic’—because the conference will also focus on the conditions and future prospective for TV, radio and the written press in the NORA region. What are e.g. the challenges and possibilities in the dissemination of news created by new media? Ought more news from Greenland be reported in Iceland, from Iceland in northern Norway, and from northern Norway in the Faroes? The conference will, among other things, ask whether a stronger cooperation between various media outlets in the NORA region would create a North Atlantic public.
3. Neighbours to the West
Nora will also in 2013 play a key role in the development of the Nordic cooperation with the neighbours to the west. NORA has for several years prioritised the effort to develop collaborative relations with the western neighbours. With the Nordic Council of Ministers new guidelines for cooperation with the neighbours to the west, an ambitious Nordic plan has been laid and NORA is expected to play its part in its realisation. This will naturally happen through the current and new collaborative projects with partners especially in Canada and Scotland. 2013 will in addition see two unique initiatives. With a special grant from the Nordic Council of Ministers for the project North Atlantic Marine Cluster, NORA will gather partners from the four NORA countries as well as from Newfoundland-Labrador to consider the possibility of establishing a cluster cooperation across the North Atlantic. In the coming year NORA will also, together with partners from e.g. the Canadian Atlantic provinces, arrange the conference “Rural Tourism – Managing Strategically in Changing Times” (see below).
4. Small Town Development through Tourism
When the people living in the many small towns in the NORA region no longer can find adequate work within farming, fishing and other traditional vocations, it is particularly one trade that is considered in the hunt for new income, tourism. And so with good reason since tourism continues to be a sector that experiences significant growth. But how to entice the tourists to visit? And how are their visits translated into revenue? Is it possible to develop year-round tourism? Or must one accept that tourism can only offer seasonal work, which must be supplemented with other income? Is it possible for us in the NORA region to strengthen small-scale operators through cooperation in education and marketing? These are some of the questions NORA will focus on in the coming year as a co-organiser of the North Atlantic Forum conference “Rural Tourism – Managing Strategically in Changing Times,” held in Iceland in the early summer of 2013.
5. NORA REGION TRENDS
In 2013 the website for NORA as an organisation will be supplemented with a new website that focuses on NORA as a region. Under the title NORA REGION TRENDS, the new English language website will be a constantly updated knowledge base. Here, anyone with an interest in the region will be updated on the region’s economic state of affairs through key data, news and analyses. It is expected that the region’s own decision makers, in both the public and private sector, will use NORA REGION TRENDS to orient themselves on developments across the region. But it is also anticipated that NORA REGION TRENDS will play its part in profiling the region internationally. Launching NORA REGION TRENDS now is our answer to the increased international interest in the Arctic and, coming in its wake, the broader interest in the North Atlantic region as a whole. This was, for example, clearly seen in the great number of official representatives from countries outside the region who attended the launch of the OECD analysis at the NORA REGION CONFERENCE 2011.
6. Increased Visibility
During the last few years, NORA has given top priority to its information and communication effort, considering this as one of the organisation’s primary functions:
- NORA will continue to develop its presence on the Internet in 2013. The organisation’s website, which will be continually updated during 2013, will be supplemented by a new English language website focusing on the region. In addition NORA will continue to develop and professionalise its active use of Facebook in its communicative efforts.
- NORA will continue to publish the newsletter NORDATLANTEN (The North Atlantic), which, since it was launched in 2008, has proven to be an effective tool in disseminating information to potential and current project partners, politicians, civil servants, contacts in the Nordic network and other interested parties.
- In the beginning of 2013, NORA will publish its fifth annual report on NORA’s activities in the previous year. The annual report, which will be published in a dual language version (English and Danish), will both delineate NORA’s operations during a particularly active year and will function as a current information brochure about NORA.
7. Two Application Deadlines for Project Proposals
The implementation of concrete projects will also in 2013 be a pivotal tool in meeting the overall goals set for the organisation, to strengthen cooperation in the North Atlantic region, and in meeting the priorities that are set out in the Strategic Programme 2012-16 and in this action plan for 2013.
Calls for project proposals will occur in two rounds of applications, which deadlines are in March and October 2013. Priority will be given e.g. to project proposals that are based on the theme for the NORA REGION CONFERENCE 2012: Nordic Welfare: The North Atlantic Way.
In 2012 NORA decided to initiate an evaluation of NORA’s project portfolio. As its point of departure, this evaluation will take those projects that have received grants after the implementation of the Strategic Programme 2012-16. In this way NORA will accumulate a solid knowledge base for the programme period, which can be used to adjust its project activities and so ensure that the external project partners make an effective contribution to the fulfilment of NORA’s overarching goals.