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Regional Development

Regional development is grounded in the needs of local inhabitants, authorities, municipalities, the universities and other educational organizations. The common goal is to strengthen and diversify the regional economy in order to produce vitality and wellbeing to the region today and in the future.

According to the Finnish Law of Regional Development, the Regional Council of South Karelia acts as a regional development authority. As a regional authority the Council draws together with regional stakeholders up the strategies in which the goals and measures for different development plans are defined.

Regional Plan of South Karelia 2018−2021  includes South Karelia’s vision for 2030, as well as a strategy for the next four years. The Regional Council approved the regional plan in December 2017. The plan is used as a reference document in the evaluation of proposed regional development projects. The projects financed by the council have to be in line with the objectives of the Regional Plan. The project entities and procedures that will see to the realisation of the regional development plan will be readjusted every two years in greater detail in an implementation plan.

We approach the year 2030 with the vision “eKarelia is a smart forerunner”. In 2030 eKarelia takes smartly advantage of new technological opportunities. The inhabitants are happy, the people have work and the demographic development is balanced. The regional programme takes into account the regions strengths and potential and strategically lists priority policies, which are in line with these. Resources are targeted at outlined development procedures in the spirit of smart specialisation (a regional plan for research, development and innovation) and experimental development. Plans for Smart Specialisation in South Karelia  are outlined in more detail in the Innovation Strategy of South Karelia 2018-2021.

Regional planning system takes into account the national regional development targets based on the Regional Development Act. The main objective of this task is to support independent and continuous development of the region as well as to improve the living conditions of the population and to ensure the structures necessary for economic development. In all activities aspects of sustainable development are observed.

The Regional Council of South Karelia is also delivering finance to the region within the Southern Finland ERDF Programme. The main aim of these programs is to promote the development of Southern Finland as an area into a uniform, balanced, and internationally and nationally attractive entity based on the strengths of the regions and to strengthen the competitiveness, accessibility and employment also in South Karelia. The programme consists of priorities, which direct the financing of projects.

Contact persons in the Council:

The Regional Mayor, Mr. Matti Viialainen
tel.  +358 44 770 0515

Director, Regional Development, Ms. Satu Sikanen
tel. +358 400 661 318