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Redefining Peripherality

The NPA Annual Event 2021 will look at the recent developments in the Northern Periphery and Arctic, including the transformative changes triggered by the pandemic, and how they are addressed by the NPA projects and can be addressed in the future programme. 

The conference will be the opportunity to discuss how the perception of the periphery has changed and initiated or accelerated changes in e.g. ways of working, living and providing services. The benefits of cooperation across the Arctic and near-Arctic regions also emerged during the past period showing how the exchange of knowledge and expertise between the regions played a key role in building response capacity and preparedness for the future. 

Some of the questions NPA project partners, keynote speakers and participants will be addressing: 

  • What does the new periphery look like? 
  • What new opportunities are coming up?
  • What changes are needed to harness such opportunities?
  • To which quality of life in the periphery are we aspiring for the future? 

2021 also marks the transition between the NPA 2014-2020 programme, and the beginning of the next Interreg NPA 2021-2027 programme. The conference will not miss to look at the 2014-2020 achievements and introduce the vision and funding priorities of the new programme.  

The NPA Annual Event will broadcast from The Model, in Sligo, where the conference will hopefully take place in person for a local audience. A separate registration process will start in September.

Tentative programme 


12:00-17:00 CET

Welcome words -  Northern & Western Regional Assembly, Ireland 

Opening Message - EU Commissioner Mairead McGuinness, Financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union (to be confirmed) 

Content block 1: Redefining peripherality 

  • How has the NPA area changed since 2014? Observing the changes in the NPA area from 2014 until now and trends for the future based on the area analysis.
    Dr Irene McMaster, European Policy Research Centre, University of Strathclyde, Scotland
  • Findings and Recommendations from the COVID-19 Response group projects
    Panel discussion between members of the COVID-19 response group:  
    • Dr Thomas Fisher, Lead partner of NPA project Covid & Economics, CoDel, Scotland
    • Prof Liam Glynn, Lead partner of NPA project COVIDWATCH EU, University of Limerick, Ireland
    • Two panel members to be confirmed


Content block 2: Periphery and Arctic, a mutually beneficial cooperation

  • The new EU Arctic Policy
    Michael Mann EU Ambassador at Large for the Arctic, European Union External Action Services (To be confirmed)
  • The Irish Nordic Strategy, the role and benefit at regional level from cooperating with Arctic regions and/or on Arctic themes.
    Speaker to be defined, Network of Arctic Researchers in Ireland (NARI)


Content block 3: Networking Session, NPA projects solutions for a new periphery 

Separate thematic sessions. Each session will look at a topic addressed by the NPA 2021-2027 and will discuss how future NPA projects can contribute to the objectives of the new programme, also taking into account the solutions developed by the project carried out throughout 2014-2020.


Content block 4: Looking ahead to the Interreg NPA 2021-2027  

Presentation of the new cooperation programme, changes from the past and next steps.
Kirsti Mijnhijmer, Head of Secretariat, Northern Periphery and Arctic programme


Start: 27 October 2021
End: 27 October 2021
Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme

The Model

The Mall
F91 TP20 Sligo

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