The Nordic Council of Ministers’ Arctic Co-operation Programme 2018–2021

Norske samer

Norske samer 

Karin Beate Nøsterud/
The new Nordic Council of Ministers’ Arctic Co-operation Programme will be in force from 1 January 2018 until 31 December 2021. The programme is designed to help promote a sustainable living environment for its primary target group – the people of the Arctic region.


The purpose of the new programme, Nordic Partnerships for the Arctic, is to create sustainable and constructive development in the region and for its people. This will be achieved by focusing on four dimensions:  

  • Planet
  • Peoples
  • Prosperity
  • Partnerships.

Partnerships have traditionally played a major role in the Nordic programmes for co-operation in the Arctic and horizontal partnerships will continue to be a top priority.  

One of the keys to the programme is to meet the specific needs of the Arctic. The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and 2030 Agenda play a fundamental role in this context.

The new programme will help the Council of Ministers achieve its vision in Together we are stronger of an innovative, visible, outward-looking Nordic Region without borders, and implement its three horizontal strategies for gender equality, sustainable development and children and young people in an Arctic context.  


The budget for the Arctic Co-operation Programme is in two parts.

  • One part is based on political priorities and provides the Nordic countries with an opportunity to initiate projects and other initiatives on the basis of political priorities.
  • The other part covers open calls for funding applications for projects that meet the programme’s objectives and given criteria.

Funding applications

The Nordic research institute Nordregio is responsible for the administration of the application process. Funding is awarded on the basis proposals from the Council of Ministers and recommendations by the Nordic countries. The national recommendations will be processed by the Arctic Expert Committee (NRKA).