"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.
Agriculture, forestry and fisheries have been, and will continue to be, important livelihoods for people in the Nordic countries as long as the sectors are able to adapt to the new climate conditions. This is shown in a new and comprehensive report from the Nordic Council of Ministers which was presented at the Nordic Council’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee's summer meeting in Lofoten earlier in the week. The report contains a number of concrete political recommendations.
At their joint meeting in May, the Nordic prime ministers called for strengthening Nordic bioeconomy co-operation and the Ministers for Food followed up on this at their meeting on 26 June. A major investment in the circular economy may protect the environment and also create local development and green jobs. New report indicates great biopotential in the Nordic Region.
At their bi-annual meeting in May, the Nordic Prime Ministers underlined the importance of Nordic cooperation on bioeconomy, which alongside green growth points towards the economy of the future. The new issue of "Green Growth the Nordic Way" looks at different paths to realize this new economy and a more sustainable society, with a specific focus on circular economy and cultural affairs.
At their summit meeting in Iceland on Tuesday, the Nordic Prime Ministers described the Nordic co-operation as a natural platform for the work involved in meeting the challenges facing the Nordic region, Europe and the rest of the world. They gave highest priority to the work of the Nordic Council of Ministers in areas such as bio-economy and health, and to strengthening the position and competitiveness of the region.
The Nordic Council of Ministers strengthens its efforts against trafficking in human beings. At a knowledge seminar in Estonia's capital Tallinn on 24 April 2014, the Council of Ministers' Secretary General, Dagfinn Høybråten, launched a new project for a smarter, faster and more effective fight against trafficking.
On 4 April, the Nordic Committee for Co-operation received a modernisation report New Nordic Region. Secretary General Dagfinn Høybråten is reporting back on the mandate given to him by the Nordic governments when he took up the post in the spring of 2013, to modernise, streamline, and renew Nordic co-operation, The Nordic governments will discuss the recommendations in the report at the Nordic Committee for Co-operation's meeting in April and at the meeting of the Ministers for Co-operation in June.
The current crisis in Ukraine, Nordic co-operation with Russia and the challenges facing democracy in Ukraine are expected to be topics in the opening debate at the Nordic Council Theme Session in Akureyri, Iceland on 8 April. The main focus of the theme session will be sustainable exploitation of natural resources.
The President and Vice-President of the Nordic Council, Karin Åström and Hans Wallmark from Sweden, have decided at short notice to visit Poland and the Baltic nations in order to offer their support in regard to the tense situation in the Ukraine. For this reason, the leaders of the Nordic Council recently cancelled a planned visit of a Nordic Council delegation to Murmansk which should have taken place this week.
On 13 March 2014, the EU, Norway and the Faroe Islands reached an agreement for this year's mackerel fishing which they have divided between them with quotas of over 1 million tonnes of mackerel. The agreement may lead to the mackerel catch in 2014 being much higher than the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) recommends, which the Nordic Council finds very unfortunate.
The new edition of Nordic Nutrition Recommendations is now available in its entirety both as an open access PDF document and as a value added e-book. For the first time ever, you can also buy individual chapters of the NNR - the guidelines that form the basis of the national dietary recommendations in the Nordic countries and stand as a corner stone in academic teaching on nutritional science in the region.
The President and the Vice-President of the Nordic Council, Karin Åström and Hans Wallmark from Sweden, call on the Russian Federation to take steps to de-escalate the tense situation: - It is up to the people of Ukraine in a peaceful way to decide on their own future. Ukraine, the Russian Federation and EU will all benefit from a peaceful solution instead of a sad conflict. The situation is unfortunately now so tense, that we must postpone a planned visit to Murmansk next week to later.