Nordic cooperation top priority

The Prime Ministers of the five Nordic countries and representatives from the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland met in Iceland this week.

The Nordic cooperation is a natural platform for meeting the challenges facing the Nordic region, Europe and the rest of the world, the Nordic Prime Ministers say.


“We, the Nordic Prime Ministers, reaffirm our commitment to the strong cooperation that exists between our countries”, a joint statement from the ministers says.  “Nordic co-operation has long traditions and has produced important results in many fields, both within the formal framework of the Nordic Council of Ministers and in our informal co-operation.”

The Prime Ministers from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland met in Akureyri, Iceland on Tuesday for their annual summit. The Ministers discussed the cooperation of the five partner countries, but also about the situation in Ukraine and other issues regarding Europe.

“Developments in Ukraine, during the past few months, give reasons for grave concern, in particular for security and energy related issues, and in terms of respect for fundamental principles of international law. This new context calls for stronger Nordic as well as European and transatlantic co-operation.”

Commenting on the recovering European economy, the ministers noticed: “The economic crisis has once again demonstrated the viability and relevance of the Nordic model with open societies, thriving economies, highly developed welfare systems, small economic differences, equal opportunities and a flexible labor market. These hallmarks of our societies reflect our common values, which are based on democratic principles and respect for human rights.”

The Nordic Prime Ministers underlines that there is potential for more informal policy cooperation between the Nordic countries and for Nordic visibility and influence.

“The prime ministers’ explicit confidence in our work to reinforce and vitalize the ability of the Nordic cooperation to play an even greater political role, both in the Nordic region, Europe and the rest of the world, is naturally pleasing, and it boosts our vigor to contribute to a stronger Nordic region,” says Dagfinn Høybråten, Secretary-General of the Nordic Council of Ministers to the council’s web site.