“The Arctic, Barents and Baltic Sea Region all belong to Northern Europe. Although being physically separate, the regions nevertheless share many fundamental challenges. Hopefully, they will also be able to share common solutions to these challenges”, said Laine Randjärv, Chairman of the BSPC 2012-2013, in her address at the 3rd Northern Dimension Parliamentary Forum in Arkhangelsk on 11 November.
“Innovation is a key factor in social and economic development. It is a central driving force for the adaptation to new industrial structures, market conditions, and social transformations. Innovation is a means of strengthening economic progress, global competitiveness and social welfare. There is a huge potential for innovation in emerging markets in for instance green growth, energy efficiency and life sciences”, she stressed.
Emphasizing that a healthy population is both a strong indicator of social welfare and a necessary condition for socio-economic development and labour productivity, she maintained that “strong efforts must be carried out to deal with the emerging problems caused by an ageing population and an increase in lifestyle-related diseases.
The overarching mission of the recently launched BSPC Working Group on Innovation in Social and Health Care is to elaborate political positions and recommendations on innovation in health and social welfare systems and services.” Ms Randjärv concluded by reaffirming that “cooperation between parliamentarians – like in then Northern Dimension Forum – can therefore contribute not only to the relevance and efficiency of the efforts undertaken to develop the region, but, above all, to their democratic legitimacy.”