On The Border

The population in the EU is a total of approximately 508 million. There are three different types of regions with special development challenges:

- Mountain regions, often border regions, where more than one-third of people live in rural areas

- Archipelago areas, which in many cases are mountainous and over half the population also lives in the border area

- 18 sparsely populated areas, all of which are rural areas and almost all border areas.

Only 2.6 million people live in the sparsely populated regions of the EU. Their GDP per capita varies considerably and may well be well below or above average. In most sparsely populated areas, the population remained in the 1995-2004 steady, but in three of them, it fell by more than five percent. Low population density, remoteness and structural weakness, such as dependence on the raw material industry, are common in these areas and cumulatively prevent them their development.

More on the positive aspects…


A biannual gathering in TornioHaparanda. Organizations (and others) working with cross-border cooperation come together at the beginning of October to discuss joint issues, connect and network. The cities of Haparanda and Tornio will be the main hosts of the Congress, with co-opt hosts depending on the theme of the conference.

The Aim of the Congress

The aim is to promote cooperation between border cities and regions, mainly in the Nordic countries and Europe. Special focus on entrepreneurship, education & labor markets, energy & environment as well as culture & leisure. The goal is to create networks and meetings that help to cross borders both mentally and actually, as well as increase vitality and confidence in the border regions. Initiators behind the congress are Haparanda City and Tornio City jointly through the Provincia Bothniensis Crossborder Cooperation Organisation and co-opt partners.