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Governance of the Hedmark-Dalarna cross-border area

Cross-border collaboration between Hedmark and Dalarna counties has a short history. Some border communities in Sweden have had a longer collaboration with Hedmark, dating back to 1995. However, it was only in 2008, with the TRUST project, that broader regional co-operation took off. Prior cross-border efforts were less formalised and on a smaller scale. TRUST broadened the scope of collaboration from border municipalities to the county level and had the specific goal of strengthening the institutional linkages between the two counties. The programme period 2008-12 was the real starting phase of Hedmark-Dalarna cross-border collaboration, culminating in the creation of the Border Committee in 2012 that provides a structural basis for this collaboration.

The Border Committee provides a focal point for cross-border co-operation, but it has a marginal role in the institutional landscape of the two regions. Its mandate remains very generic and there is no integrated action plan for co-operation between Hedmark and Dalarna. The business development departments of the two counties lack the remit and resources to develop joint actions and policies to support the vision endorsed by the Border Committee. Hedmark-Dalarna co-operation does not appear in the regional development plans of either county; however, the plans share a priority focus in the tourism sector.

Funding sources for cross-border projects are mostly public, from the Nordic Council of Ministers and the European Union. The structural work of the Border Committee is funded by local authorities and the Nordic Council of Ministers. Projects are essentially funded by the European Territorial Co-operation programme (interreg) and matched by national Norwegian co-funding. No cases of private sector funding for cross-border activities are recorded. National and regional funding sources, targeting notably cluster development, cannot cross borders.

Table 5.6. Snapshot of governance characteristics: Hedmark-Dalarna

(Hedmark-Dalama in bold)

Characteristic

Specification

Comments

National political capitals

Yes, each side Yes, at least one None

The cross-border region only involves cities of small size, even in their national context, and rural areas.

Longevity of public co-operation (social proximity)

>20 years 10-20 years <10 years

Co-operation between the two counties is recent and focused on border municipalities. Some co-operation among border communities had been in place previously, dating back to 1995.

Innovation policy competencies (institutional proximity)

Balanced, strong Balanced, weak

Unbalanced

The institutional set-up is similar in the two countries, as both counties have relatively limited competences in innovation and thus rely on national funding sources.

Political commitment (institutional proximity)

Balanced, strong

Balanced, weak

Political support is weak beyond the joint interest in having an airport at the border and other practical cross-border

Unbalanced

issues.

Institutionalisation and legitimacy (institutional and social proximity)

Present, strong Present, weak Not present

The Border Committee provides a focal point for cross-border co-operation but it has a marginal role within the institutional set up of the respective counties.

Actors in governance

Public sector

University/research actors Firms

Mix of actors (triple helix)

The public sector commitment is not matched by strong bottom-up engagement of universities, firms or other actors.

Funding sources

Mainly public Mixed public/private Mainly private

Funding sources are mostly public, from the Nordic Council of Ministers and the European Territorial Co-operation (Interreg) in addition to national Norwegian co-funding.

 
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