The Barents cooperation was formaly established on 11 January 1993, when the Kirkenes declartion was signed. The Barents cooperation is organized on two level. The Barents Euro-Arctic Council  (BEAC) operates at government level and the Regional Council  operates at regional level.

Norway is the Chair of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council for the period 2011-2013. The Norrbotten County Administrative Board acts as the Chair of the Regional Council and the Regional Committee.

The purpose of the Barents Cooperation is to strengthen east-west infrastructure, establish people-to-people contacts and thereby contribute to the economic, cultural and social development of the Region. The Barents Cooperation promotes people-to-people contacts and economic development and creates good conditions for interregional exchange in many different fields; e.g., culture, indigenous peoples, youth, education, trade, environment, transportation and health.

The primary goal of BEAC is to promote sustainable economic and social development in the Barents Region and thus contribute to peaceful development in the northernmost part of Europe.

11th Ministerial Session of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council in Rovaniemi 15 November, 2007.

The International Barents Secretariat (IBS) was established in the beginning if 2008. It provides administrative support to the Barents Cooperation and secures the continuity of work as the chairmanship rotates every two years in the Council. Moreover, the IBS disseminates Barents-related information. The IBS is located in Kirkenes, Northern Norway.

Links for more information