Eastern Norway County Network
Eastern Norway County Network (ENCN) is a cooperation body between four counties in the southeastern part of Norway: Oslo, Viken, Innlandet, and Vestfold og Telemark
Established in 1993 as a county network, from January 2020 ENCN operates on the basis of a formal cooperation agreement adopted by the four county/city councils.
The purpose of the cooperation, as defined by the agreement, is to contribute to the development of Eastern Norway as a sustainable and competitive region in Europe, with balanced development throughout the region.
Internationally, ENCN works on the basis of its strategy, Eastern Norway 2030.
Eastern Norway consist of the counties Innlandet, Oslo, Vestfold og Telemark, and Viken. Together, these counties make up 30% of the land area and, with about 2.7 million inhabitants, approximately half the population of Norway. Eastern Norway is the national center of gravity in terms of both population and commerce. During the last decades, the population growth has been slightly higher than the rest of the country. The growth has been particularly high in the Oslo metropolitan area, the dominating center of the region.
Furthermore, Eastern Norway is also the Norwegian hub for road, rail, air and sea transport. Most of the urban settlements are located within the triangle between Lillehammer, Skien and Halden. Due to the setup of the railway system of Eastern Norway, the area is sometimes referred to as the «InterCity Triangle».
From an international point of view, Eastern Norway is a small region, located on the outskirts of Europe. Although the region enjoys high levels of development, it has significant drawbacks when faced with the strong competition of global markets. Infrastructure development is key for the competitiveness of a region, and the infrastructure of Eastern Norway is not satisfactory, neither from a national nor a European perspective.
- Support regional development through joint efforts to influence decision-makers, particularly at the national and international levels.
- Be a forum where the counties exchange knowledge and experiences.
- Help the counties achieve their goals more efficiently through joint projects and joint participation in partnerships and networks.
The Board of Representatives is the highest political body of ENCN. Each county is represented by two members on the Board, in most cases the Chair of the County Council or County/City Government and a representative of the political opposition.
The Board of Representatives may establish political committees or other political bodies for priority areas. Currently, the political setup beyond the Board of Representatives includes:
- The Political Committee for Transport and Infrastructure
- The Political Committee for Business Development and Skills
- The European Political Forum
The highest administrative body is the Executive Committee. Its members are the four County/City Executives/Director Generals or appointed deputies. The Executive Committee may also set up other administrative groups to support the political structures of ENCN.
Eastern Norway County Network has its own secretariat that assists, coordinates and executes the work of the board, committees and groups of ENCN.
The secretariat is located in the county administration of Viken.
Jon Petter Arntzen
Head of Secretariat
Ann Irene Sæternes
Head of European Affairs
Adviser Energy and Environment
Schweigaards gate 4
c/o Viken fylkeskommune
Postboks 220, 1702 Sarpsborg