On 15 March 2011 in Brussels on the initiative of the Swedish Chairmanship in the Barents Euro-Arctic Council, a seminar titled “The Barents Region – a European region of strategic importance in the field of non-energy resources” was held.
The event focused on the significance of the Barents Region for innovative development of Europe in the framework of the European Strategy for smart, green and inclusive growth “Europe 2020” and Russia-EU cooperation within the “Partnership for Modernization”. Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of European Commission for Industry and Enterpreneurship, Carl Bildt, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Herbert Reul, Chair of Committee on Industry, Research and Energy of European Parliament, delegates of core ministries of Norway, Sweden and Finland, representatives of business and scientific circles took part in the seminar.
Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the European Union, addressed the seminar. He stressed that comprehensive development of the Barents Region, effective and rational use of its resources are possible only on the basis of broad and equal international interaction, supported by existing multilateral formats – BEAC, Barents Regional Council, “Northern Dimension”. It is necessary to take into account that the Barents Region is an integral part of Europe and it should be developed together with Europe, but not for Europe’s sake. The Barents Region should not be considered exclusively as a resource base of EU. It is essential to increase joint investment in its infrastructure, education and to stimulate entrepreneurship.