International operations in Kuopio


The goal of international operations in Kuopio is to create wellbeing for its residents. The operations are based on professional and goal-oriented interaction. This includes, for example, sharing and exchanging information and views with international professionals and knowledge organizations, as well as cultural exchange, student and teacher exchange and creating new business possibilities for companies in the Kuopio region.

Multiple networks and various sectors are working for international cooperation. The city of Kuopio is a knowledge organization whose employees are participating in other knowledge organizations’ operations in addition to their assigned tasks and benchmark the best practices from all over the world to be implemented here in Kuopio as well.

Internationalization is one of Kuopio’s three main objectives stated in the strategy for 2030. According to the strategy:

“Internationalization is opening doors and allowing one’s partners access to networks already created, making the knowhow and strengths of the area known as well as cooperating with other professionals. In addition, we need to take care of our organization making sure it is prepared for more international partners and residents.  We also need to have responsible integration programmes and a general atmosphere of tolerance. 

International thematic networks


In practice, professional networks are working for internationalization.  The City of Kuopio is a member of the following international networks, for example:

  • The WHO European Healthy Cities Network, which consists of nearly 100 European cities committed to promoting health and sustainable development. The Service Area for Wellbeing Promotion manages the communication between the network members.
  • ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. The Service Area for the Urban Environment coordinates the network communications.  
  • XARXA FP is a European non-profit association bringing together 26 cities from 11 countries with a goal to promote Vocational and Education Training (VET) as well as mobility and innovations. XARXA FP’s network partner in Kuopio is the Savo Consortium for Education.

Representation in the EU

The East and North Finland EU office in Brussels promotes the interests and needs of Finland’s eastern and northern regions. In close collaboration with the regional councils, the EU office aims to improve the competitiveness of regional businesses and to increase awareness about the special conditions in East and North Finland within EU institutions and with other relevant stakeholders.

On a practical level, international cooperation is carried out in specialised networks. The City of Kuopio is a member of the following international networks:

  • The WHO European Healthy Cities Network, which consists of nearly 100 cities committed to health and sustainable development. The Service Area for Wellbeing Promotion manages communication with the other Network members.
  • ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. The Service Area for the Urban Environment coordinates communication with other members.
  • Xarxa FP is a European non-profit association bringing together 26 cities from 11 countries with the purpose of promoting vocational education and training mobility and innovation. The actor and cooperation partner in Kuopio is the Savo Consortium for Education and Training.

EU Representation

The East and North Finland EU office in Brussels promotes the interests and needs of the eastern and northern regions of Finland. In close collaboration with the regional councils, the EU office aims to improve the competitiveness of regional businesses and to increase awareness within EU institutions and among other relevant stakeholders of the special conditions in East and North Finland.

Representation of East and North Finland to the European Union in Bryssel operates as a publicist of EU-funded project activities and region’s connection to the Europe. It also aims to promote the special knowledge and knowhow of East and North Finland.

Other networks

In addition, the Service Areas and individual employees have a wide range of international networks and contacts the city of Kuopio can make use of. New contacts are constantly being generated as employees are participating in International projects and cooperation, exchanging experiences by working abroad or participating in international conferences.

The schools in Kuopio have a wide range of international projects and contacts as well. One can also find new contacts by getting to know the international networks of the cooperation partners in the Kuopio region. Traditionally the institutes of higher education have the widest international contact networks.