History

Mid-Norway European Office (MNEO) was established in 2001 as a project with seven partners and has evolved to a broad cooperation for regional internationalization. MNEO is today a permanent representation in Brussels organized as an association with 12 members from regional businesses, public authorities and research & development actors from Trøndelag.

During the second half of the 1990’s there was a debate in Trøndelag as to whether a regional representation in Brussels was needed. The debate was due to Norway’s European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement with the EU, and its influence on business and social life in Mid-Norway. An invitation from Mid-Sweden to jointly establish offices in Brussels led the counties Nord- and Sør-Trøndelag to initiate a pilot project in 2001. The initial owners of the newly established office were: Nord- and Sør-Trøndelag County authority, Trondheim and Steinkjer municipality, Nord-Trøndelag University College, Sør-Trøndelag University College and Trøndelag R&D Institute.

In the early stages the focus was on internationalization and exports, and the office positioned itself particularly towards the enterprises in Trøndelag. Parts of these activities are today maintained by other organizations, such as Innovation Norway. This has led to a change of focus for MNEO, which today is mainly concerned with information activities directed to business, R&D institutions and social society in Trøndelag. This is exemplified by how the office promotes actors that are looking for partners in EU projects, representation tasks and participation in European cooperation through various programs.

In 2004, SpareBank 1 SMN and Nord-Trøndelag Elektrisitetsverk (NTE) became members. In 2005, the office went from having a project status to become a permanent representation, known from January 2006 as the association Mid-Norway European Office. Bioforsk Mid-Norway became a member the same year, and in 2007 SINTEF and NTNU joined the association. Steinkjer municipality was a member from 2001 to 2012, and NTE was a member from 2004 to 2013. Stjørdal municipality was a member from 2012 to 2014, and Innherred the joint municipality Innherred became a member in 2013. Husbanken region Mid-Norway, joined 1 January 2014. 1 June 2015, four nordtrønder municipalities became members: Snåsa, Inderøy, Verran, and Steinkjer. 1 April 2016, Orkdal Region joined as a new member of the Mid-Norway European Office. This development has led to the broad policy focus of the Mid-Norway European Office today.