Cities, migrants and tourism – Future growth engines for the Nordic countries. On 16 February, Nordregio and the Nordic Council of Ministers have invited a special guest, Alasdair Ross, The Economist, to give new insights on the strengths and weaknesses of the Nordic regions in relation to the rest of Europe and beyond. Mr Ross is editor of global trends and events section in The Economist special edition The World in 2016.
Tighter border controls between Denmark and Sweden have now been imposed. For the first time since 1954, Nordic citizens crossing the Öresund strait must present ID. “This will inevitably result in a setback to the co-operation that's promoting growth and development in the Öresund region,” says Henrik Dam Kristensen, President of the Nordic Council.
On 9 December, the International Energy Agency and Nordic Energy Research present the Nordic countries’ remarkable achievements in decarbonising their energy systems and decoupling emissions from economic growth. A key message from the Nordic Council of Ministers at COP21 is that low-carbon growth is possible and that the Nordic countries have been pioneers on green development.
The Nordic Ministers for Employment and Labour has presented the EU Commission with a joint declaration stating that it is of vital importance to change the rules governing unemployment benefits so that the differences in the levels of wages and living conditions across EU/EEA countries are reflected. - The EU-regulation needs to be perceived as fair and just by the population in our countries, and not as undermining the Nordic welfare systems, says Jørn Neergaard Larsen, Minister for Employment in Denmark.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg sent off the Nordic COP21 pavilion to a flying start by announcing a 500 million USD partnership with the World Bank to boost climate action in developing countries. The next two weeks will bring a total of more than 50 events and numerous other activities at the pavilion under the heading “New Nordic Climate Solutions”.
COP21 in Paris will be a defining moment for the development of life and human activity on our planet. The Nordic Council of Ministers hosts a common Nordic pavilion at the COP negotiation venue under the heading “New Nordic Climate Solutions”. The aim is to contribute to the climate dialogue – from a Nordic perspective, but with a global outlook. This issue of “Green Growth the Nordic Way” zooms in on the Nordic participation at COP21.
“Liberté, égalité, fraternité – liberty, equality, fraternity. Just as the national motto of France could also be the motto of the Nordic Region, so we see the attacks on the people of Paris as an attack on ourselves and on our values here at home,” says the President of the Nordic Council Höskuldur Þórhallsson, adding that opposing extremism has never been more important.
On Wednesday, the Swedish government decided to impose temporary border controls starting today, Thursday 12 November, at 12:00. The decision was made following a request from the Swedish Migration Agency and will initially be in place for ten days. As a consequence of this, free movement in the Nordic Region will partially cease.
The Nordic Energy Ministers have commissioned a strategic analysis of the future potential of the Nordic energy market. At the same time, the International Energy Agency heralds the Nordics as climate pioneers in the World Energy Outlook published on November 10. The ministers also discussed Nordic activities at COP21 and beyond.
Communiqué from a meeting of the Nordic ministers for energy in Copenhagen on 10 November 2015: On this the 100th anniversary of the first electricity connection between Sweden and Denmark, the Nordic ministers for energy have set their sights on Europe and discussed the integration of Nordic energy co-operation with the EU Energy Union, which focuses on matters such as the role of regional co-operation in Europe.
Christian Friis Bach, executive secretary of UNECE, urged the Nordic countries to stand up for the rights of migrants, to stand firm against racism and hatred, and to support more comprehensive approaches to the handling and resolution of refugee situations in his speech to the assembly at the Nordic Council Session.
Governments around the world are spending $550bn a year to subsidize the consumption of fossil fuels. That is four times more than spending on renewable energy subsidies. A new report from the Nordic Council of Ministers and the International Institute for Sustainable Development shows the way towards a cut of 10-20% in greenhouse gas emissions within 5 years.
The Nordic Council of Ministers has decided to set aside DKK 4.8 million for a media co-operation project titled “Journalism in a modern democracy”. The project includes courses, seminars and master classes for journalists from Northwest Russia and the Nordic Region. These focus on topics including objective journalistic coverage of elections and the professional use of social media.
On Tuesday 27 October at the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavik, the Nordic Council will award five prizes for literature, children and young people’s literature, music, film, and nature and environment. Nearly all the nominees will be present at the award ceremony, which will be hosted by Danish actress Charlotte Bøving and her Icelandic colleague Ólafur Egill Egilsson. The award ceremony will be broadcast by the Icelandic broadcaster RUV.
“We must urgently develop the tools to process asylum seekers and streamline our current process, which is often protracted and resource intensive. It could be to our advantage if we could jointly develop new and more efficient procedures for this purpose,” explains the President of the Nordic Council, Höskuldur Þórhallsson, who has great expectations of this year’s Session in Reykjavik from 27 to 29 October.
Speaking at the Nordic Nexus breakout-session at the Arctic Circle in Reykjavik, the President of the Nordic Council, Mr. Höskuldur Þórhallsson, stated “that we should preserve the open and pragmatic way of cooperating that has characterised Arctic politics since the end of the Cold War. With increasing tension in European geopolitics, the conciliatory role of the Arctic Council becomes even more important than before”.