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Rural Vision
News article31 May 2023Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy1 min read

Empowering remote areas: Kiruna Declaration paves the way for a just transition

The Bureau of the Committee of the Regions, gathering European Union's local and regional leaders, met in Kiruna, Sweden, in April. They have adopted the Kiruna Declaration, calling the EU institutions to take into account the specific challenges faced by remote areas in the EU budget.

The Kiruna declaration on achieving the green, just and fair transition with and in all European regions highlights the role of cohesion policy in ensuring sustainable development across all European territories. Remote areas, especially in the Arctic, are particularly vulnerable to the impact of the climate crisis, and the green and digital transitions present unique challenges in terms of demographics, upskilling, attracting investments, and creating quality jobs.

The Kiruna Declaration recognises that remote areas possess unique natural resources and expertise that can position them as leaders in the green transition. For example, the Norrbotten region in Sweden has discovered rare earth metals crucial for electric vehicles and is already experimenting with fossil-free steel manufacturing using hydrogen.

Cohesion policy, as one of the EU investment policy supporting sustainable development, plays a fundamental role in unlocking the potential of each region and ensuring that no region or person is left behind. To find out more about the declaration, you can read the press release.