The programme area consists of the core region, adjoining regions and major economic, social and cultural centers.
The programme core region consists of the regions of Kainuu, North Karelia and Oulu in Finland and the Republic of Karelia in Russia.
The adjoining regions are Lapland, South Karelia, North Savo and South Savo in Finland and Leningrad, Murmansk and Archangelsk in Russia. Partners from adjoining regions are eligible if it is required by the nature and objectives of the project and they bring to the project expertise or know-how not available in the core region.
The major economic, social and cultural centers are Helsinki in Finland and cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow in Russia. From Helsinki and Moscow only national-level public entities that do not have their structural units in the Programme core region can act as project partners. Partners from St Petersburg may participate in projects where it is required by the nature and objectives of the project. Partners from St Petersburg have to bring expertise or know-how that is not available in the core area.