INTERREG BOTNIA-ATLANTICA AND INTERREG NORD 2014-2020 36 seem to agree that a Sámi voice is needed in the EU. It adds to our feeling, that this work really is needed. Filling the EU-Sápmi knowledge gaps is a cross-border project. But working across borders is nothing new to Åsa Larsson Blind, who is Vice President of the Saami Council. – The Sámi culture and Sápmi as a region is divided by national and administrative regional boundaries. Dealing with these boundaries is part of our daily lives. I think that is a strength for us. We can use our experience of cross-border work in the project, she says. The project is also important from a broader European perspective. Åsa Larsson Blind believes that it is a question of democracy. – The Sámi are recognised as a people in Sápmi on a national level. It follows that we should be able to participate with our own voice in decision-making forums. This is the basis of EU cooperation; it is based on democracy and inclusion. 2022 will be a busy time for everyone involved in the project. The EU strategy will finally be formulated and launched and the Sámi EU Week will be held in Brussels. – It feels incredibly inspiring, Åsa concludes. Did you know… Filling the EU-Sápmi knowledge gaps was one of the selected finalists in the REGIOstars Award 2021. REGIOstars is an annual competition organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy. The competition is open to EU-funded projects that work with regional development in an innovative and inclusive way. The project Filling the EU-Sápmi knowledge gaps will create a knowledge-platform on EU-Sápmi relevant topics. The aim is to develop a strategy for how Sámi issues can be promoted in a more structured, common, and goal-oriented way in EU policy development.