Regional Council of North Karelia


Siltakatu 2, Pielisjoen linna, 80100 Joensuu, Finland

Internet site: 

Contact persons:

  • Ms. Ulla Äänismaa, Project Manager
  • Pielisjoen linna, Siltakatu 2
  • FI-80100 Joensuu, FINLAND
  • Tel. +358 40 594 2601
  • Fax +358 13 267 4748
  • E-mail


  • Ms. Tiina Hyvärinen, Project Secretary
  • Pielisjoen linna, Siltakatu 2
  • FI-80100 Joensuu, FINLAND
  • Tel. +358 50 444 0112
  • Fax +358 13 267 4748
  • E-mail

Legal status:

Regional Public Authority


Field of activities:

  • The Regional Council of North Karelia is regional, politically guided, municipal coalition for the development and interest supervision in the region. It is responsible for regional planning and general coordination of regional development programs related to national and EU structural funds. The Council oversees the interests of the people, municipalities, organizations and enterprises and speaks on their behalf regarding both national and international questions.

    The work of the Regional Council is intersectoral; it cooperates between different administrative sectors, organizations, business life and inhabitants. It outlines regional development targets, key projects and measures through the regional planning system that consists of the regional development plan, the regional strategic programme and the regional land use plan. Regional Council is also in charge of international activities of the region in its fields of activities.

    The highest decision-making body of regional administration is the Regional Council Assembly, which is elected by a meeting of delegates from the member local authorities. Executive functions are carried out by the Administrative Board, which is elected by the Assembly. This system of elected representatives ensures that the inhabitants and local authorities have their own say on regional issues and decision-making.

Priorities for international cooperation:

  • Regional Council of North Karelia has close cooperation with the Republic of Karelia and several European regions and organizations. Currently the Council is implementing the ENPI Karelia CBC Programme in cooperation with the regional councils of Kainuu and Northern Ostrobothnia from Finland and Republic of Karelia from Russia. It forms Euregio Karelia political forum with the same regions. The proximity of Russia offers many possibilities to the region and cooperation with South-East and other parts of Russia continues to be the focus of the cooperation. Widening the cooperation scope to the rest of the world, for example to China and India, is one of the development aims. 

Participation in international networks:

  • Participates in several European networks:

    • AER, Assembly of European Regions;

    • AEBR, Association of European Border Regions;

    • Eris@, The European Regional Information Society Association;

    • ERRIN, The European Regions Research and Innovation Network;

    • NEEBOR, Network of Eastern External Border Regions;

    • NSPA - Network of Northern Sparsely Populated Areas.

Ongoing cooperation:

  • Regional Council of North Karelia participates in several international and national projects. Currently it is taking part in the following international projects:

    Baltic Bird

    CO2FREE - Cooperating to foster the renewables

    DART - Declining, Ageing and Regional Transformation

    • I4Food - Interregional cooperation for competitive and sustainable regional food industries


    Rural Transport Solutions (RTS)

    TG4NP - Tourist Guide for Northern Periphery

    Tourage - Developing Senior Tourism in Remote Regions 

    Senior Tourism in Regional Council of North Karelia :

    Regional Council of North Karelia and Karelia Expert Tourist Service Ltd are responsible for coordinating the implementation of North Karelia Tourism Strategy 2007-2013. The strategy emphasizes current situation, strengths and further goals and development foci of tourism sector in the region. The effects of the strategy are monitored in collaboration with regional educational institutions. Concerning tourism especially closeness of Russia is seen as potential for growth, both in tourism and for investors.

    North Karelia is facing the challenge of ageing and declining population among the first regions in Europe and new service structures are needed. Ageing is seen as a resource: the focus is on preventive work, increasing ageing knowledge and development of new product and service innovations. Future senior citizens are commonly seen as active, healthy and wealthy - they are active participants and force of communities. Also those who are excluded or being at risk of being excluded have not been forgotten. In order to prevent and decrease social exclusion, the citizens’ possibilities to participate in and affect local activities are increased. The Regional Council of North Karelia has an active role in the development of the region’s welfare. It formulates the strategies related to the field, coordinates regional project funding and coordinates the work of different welfare groups. Welfare Programme 2012 is a regional framework for wellbeing and health promotion for municipalities, NGO’s, entrepreneurs and experts. Wellbeing tourism is one of the development targets in the region.


    Regional Analysis


    Karelia Expert Tourist Service ltd