INTERREG BOTNIA-ATLANTICA AND INTERREG NORD 2014-2020 34 Strengthening the EU-Sápmi relationship Creating a knowledge-platform on EU-Sápmi relevant topics and arranging the first ever EU-Sámi Week in Brussels. These are two examples of how the Interreg Nord cross-border project Filling the EU-Sápmi knowledge gaps is making a real difference. – We are a little overwhelmed by the positive response we have received so far. It inspires us to continue working, says Åsa Larsson Blind, project manager from The Saami Council. All Nordic countries have a close relationship with the EU regardless of membership, and EU decisions have a direct and indirect impact on the Sámi way of life. The project is part of a long-term effort to increase knowledge about Sápmi in the EU and vice versa. FILLING THE EU-SÁPMI KNOWLEDGE GAPS: Lead partner: Saami Council. Project partner: Suoma Sámi Nuorat. Priority area: Common labour market. – A lot of work by many people has culminated in this project. It is a great inspiration when we now are working hands-on with these issues, says Åsa. An important part of the project is to establish a think-tank consisting of Sámi experts to develop a strategy for how Sámi issues can be promoted in a more structured, common, and goal-oriented way in EU policy development. – I am happy that the experts have been willing to put in their time and commitment in this work, Åsa says. The strategy will lay the foundation for the content of the EU-Sámi Week, which takes place in Brussels in June 2022. – This is a project with many “first ever”, she adds. Åsa Larsson Blind is project manager for the Interreg Nord cross-border project Filling the EU-Sápmi knowledge gaps at the Saami Council.