The Regional Council of Lapland participates in the multilateral cooperation in the Barents region as a member of the Barents Regional Council and the Barents Regional Committee.
The Barents Regional Council has devised the Barents Programme for the period 2009 to 2013. The objective of the programme is to strengthen the economic growth and social development in the area by observing the principles of sustainable development.
The focus of Barents cooperation is on sector programmes in which a specific region is appointed in the leading role. Lapland is responsible for the sector programme of Tourism. In practice, the programmes are implemented via various projects. In addition, certain responsibilities have been divided between the countries according to their special expertise and know-how.
The International Barents Secretariat (IBS) operates in Kirkenes, Norway.