NPA Annual Event 2021: Redefining Peripherality

Date Location Organiser
27 Oct 2021 Online and Sligo, Ireland Joint Secretariat

The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme is pleased to announce the date for its 2021 Annual Conference on 27th October 2021 in Sligo in Ireland.

Landscape from Sligo and event title

The Annual conference theme is “Redefining Peripherality”. Relevant information about the Interreg NPA 2021-2027 will also be shared during the event. Follow the updates on social media with the hashtag #NPA2021Sligo.

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, providing services and taking decisions. The benefits of cooperation across 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.



Register here to participate to the event ONLINE:

Register here to participate to the event IN PERSON:  (closes on 20th October)



 13:00 - 17:00 CET

13:00 -  Welcome words

Welcome words from the Northern & Western Regional Assembly, Ireland

13:10 - Opening Message

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

13:30 - 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
  • Questions and Answers with Irene McMaster and the members of the panel.

14:30 - 15:00 Coffee Break


15:00 -  Networking Session, NPA projects solutions for a new periphery

Separate thematic sessions online and one session on site. Each of the online sessions 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 projects carried out throughout 2014-2020.

To participate in the thematic sessions it is necessary to register for the online event.

  1. Innovation Capacity - How can NPA projects support the uptake of advanced technologies, reap the benefits of digitisation and enhance sustainable growth & competitiveness of SMEs?
  2. Climate change and resource sufficiency - How can NPA projects promote energy efficiency, climate change adaptation and disaster risk prevention? How can they promote the transition to a circular and resource-efficient economy?
  3. Natural and cultural heritage - How can NPA projects protect and develop wider territorial synergies through natural and cultural heritage?


16:00 - Periphery and Arctic, a mutually beneficial cooperation

  • The new EU Arctic Policy and the role of transnational cooperation
    Mr Michael Mann, EU Ambassador at Large for the Arctic, European Union External Action Services
  • The Irish Nordic Strategy: the role and benefit at regional level from cooperating with Arctic regions and/or on Arctic themes. 
    Network of Irish Researchers in the Arctic (NARI)
  • Debate with the audience


16:30 - Looking ahead to the Interreg NPA 2021-2027

  • The Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic 2021-2027
    Ms Kirsti Mijnhijmer, Head of Secretariat, Northern Periphery and Arctic programme
  • Questions and Answers

17:00 - Wrap up and closure