"For me one thing seems obvious: We have a security situation crying out for closer Nordic co-operation on defence and security." These were the opening words of Thorvald Stoltenberg's speech to the Nordic Council MPs at the annual Session in Stockholm. According to Stoltenberg, this cry should be answered by a Nordic defence and security commission.
To what extent should the Nordic Council take a position and act on matters of foreign policy and how should the Region's international responsibility be weighed in relation to Nordic advantage for its citizens? The member's proposal on a broader Nordic recognition of an independent state of Palestine led to an hour-long debate in the Nordic Council on Tuesday evening.
The defence and security situation in the Nordic Region will set the tone for the current affairs debate at the Nordic Council's Session in Stockholm next week. The guest speaker will be Thorvald Stoltenberg, former Norwegian foreign and defence minister and author of the much-discussed Stoltenberg report.
In the light of the ebola epidemic, the Nordic ministers for health and social affairs have called on the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers to look at the options for a co-ordinated Nordic response. The goal is to limit the risk of infection and provide access to resources and treatment, as well as Nordic co-ordination of safe medical evacuation of infected patients.
The Norwegian Minister of Defence, Ine Eriksen Søreide, spoke at a roundtable conference on defence in the Nordic Region hosted by the Nordic Council in the parliament in Oslo on 13 October 2014. "It is pleasing that the Nordic Council has started to play a more active role in discussions about security policy," she said. The minister also described Nordic-Russian relations as permanently changed as a result of the situation in Ukraine.
Where will New Nordic Food be in ten years? Does the Nordic kitchen live up to the ideals that started the whole Nordic food movement ten years ago? And how can we get more social advantage out of the potential inherent in "the Nordic"? The Nordic Council of Ministers will explore these questions in a series of workshops in the coming months.
Journalists can now apply for accreditation to the Session of the Nordic Council in Stockholm, 28-30 October. The annual autumn Session is the biggest Nordic forum of the year and attracts members of parliament, prime ministers, opposition leaders and government ministers from the whole of the Nordic Region.
"The Nordic Region needs well-informed citizens in the future who will be more demanding of their politicians - because a sustainable Nordic welfare model will require major decisions in the future and continued citizen trust", said the economist, Sixten Korkman, Professor at Aalto University in Helsinki.
Dr.David Halpern, the Chief Executive of the Behavioural Insights Team in Britain, is a key note speaker at the Nordic Council of Ministers conference “The pursuit of sustainable Nordic welfare” September 17th 2014 in Copenhagen. He will be giving the Nordic Countries a nudge towards nudging- which he describes as “encouraging public policy objectives, such as healthier choices, energy conservation, or saving for retirement but without mandating”.
The fight against climate change and the new paradigm connected with bioeconomy are often pitted against each other. Some see it as a struggle between those who want to preserve and those who want to extract. In this issue of “Green Growth the Nordic Way” we explore the synergies between these two agendas.
Five unique new films have been nominated for the Nordic Council Film Prize 2014, the Region’s most important and prestigious film award. The nominations by the national juries represent the most accomplished cinematic events of the year by the acclaimed directors Lars von Trier, Pirjo Honkasalo, Benedikt Erlingsson, Eskil Vogt and Ruben Östlund.
The Nordic governments' gender equality co-operation has contributed to successes that the Nordic Region can share with the outside world - but it is still a challenge to draw men into gender equality. Iceland's Minister for Gender Equality, Eygló Harðardóttir, Iceland's former President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir and Margot Wallström, former UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, formed a panel of well-known names at the Nordic gender equality co-operation's 40th conference in Reykjavik on Tuesday.
"We must avoid cold war conditions and work to open doors between our countries," said the Nordic Council's President, Karin Åstrøm at a large Baltic assembly in Poland. The meeting was held in the shadow of the Ukraine crisis and just before the summit meeting between Russia, Ukraine and the EU in Minsk on 26 August 2014.