At the proposal of the Swedish delegation to the CoR, the External Bureau meeting of the European Committee of the Regions during the first half of this year takes place in Kiruna. The substance of the meeting is devoted to the question of Just transition and socio-economic transformation in remote areas, with the opportunities and challenges linked to green and digital transitions.
The programme will start with a welcome by the Mayor of Kiruna and a presentation in the afternoon of 26 April, followed by study visits in Kiruna and Norrbotten Region on 27 April. In the framework of their study visit, members will discover the LKAB mine. LKAB is a Swedish iron ore producer which produces carbon-free sponge iron and extracts critical raw materials – all of which are crucial components to reduce the carbon footprint. The visit will continue to the Ice Hotel to learn more on the EU's arctic tourism, and will finish in the Esrange Space Centre to discuss regional innovation.
The public part of the external Bureau event takes place on the morning of 28 April and consists of a round table on "Achieving Sustainable Development in the Arctic Region" and one on "Quality jobs for the just transition in remote areas".
The debate during the Bureau meeting will build on on-going work of the CoR, such as on the Opinions on "the new Arctic Strategy" (Rapporteur Mirja Vehkaperä – FI/RENEW) and on "Enhancing cohesion policy support for regions with geographic and demographic handicaps" (Rapporteur Marie-Antoinette Maupertuis – FR/EA).
The agenda also foresees the adoption of a Kiruna Declaration, which will be highlight the key messages discussed in the morning.