The future of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ office in Russia will be high on the agenda when the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation meet next week. They will discuss what form co-operation with Russia will take in the future now that the office has been added to the country’s list of foreign agents. Diplomatic negotiations, including a meeting between the Council of Ministers and the Russian government in Moscow on 16 February, have failed to make any headway.
The Nordic Council of Ministers has launched a study of the climatic impact and commercial potential of using biofuels for aircraft. International aviation accounts for approximately two percent of global CO2 emissions, and this figure is rising. This trend is in stark contrast to efforts encouraging other industries to reduce their CO2 footprint.
Environmental and climate issues were high on the agenda when the Nordic Council’s Finnish delegation hosted a group of Russian MPs on 11 and 12 February. Soot emissions in the Barents Region and waste-water treatment capacity in Kaliningrad are two highly topical issues both for the Nordic countries and Russia.
The President of Iceland has formally launched a new Nordic cleantech incubator at Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. The office, opened under the auspices of the Nordic Council of Ministers, will provide a soft landing zone for Nordic cleantech companies that seek new business opportunities in the Emirates and the wider Gulf area.
Politicians from the Faroe Islands and Greenland pointed to their pragmatic dialogue with Denmark as an effective model for Europe’s autonomous regions during a peace seminar hosted by the Nordic Council on Åland. The Council is also discussing whether to include the Sámi Parliament in its work following an approach by the Sámi Parliamentary Council.
Representatives from the Nordic Council and the Baltic Assembly met MEPs from the Nordic and Baltic countries on Thursday to discuss the EU’s Eastern Partnership. There was a broad consensus that cooperation between politicians with regard to information could be more efficient, as could cooperation to take the sting out of the information war from the East.
Nordisk Ministerråds formandskabsland Danmark har i dag udsendt en pressemeddelelse, hvor Minister for Nordisk Samarbejde Carsten Hansen og Udenrigsminister Martin Lidegaard kommenterer meddelelsen om, at Nordisk Ministerråds kontor i Skt. Petersborg inkluderes på listen over NGOer, der betragtes som udenlandske agenter i Rusland - en beslutning taget i forgårs af det russiske justitsministerium.
On 20 January, the Russian Ministry of Justice decided to include the Nordic Council of Ministers’ office in St Petersburg on the list of NGOs considered as foreign agents in Russia. The Nordic countries have appealed against this decision. The decision was preceded by a letter from the local prosecution authorities in St Petersburg in which the Council of Ministers’ activities were classified as political.
- The human rights of victims of trafficking should be at the centre of all efforts against trafficking, and victims should be protected, assisted and empowered , said Sonja Mandt, Norwegian MP and a member of the Nordic Council, at the Nordic Council of Ministers knowledge forum on human trafficking in Riga.
A knowledge forum has been organised on 27-28 November in Riga, Latvia as part of the Nordic Council of Ministers' project for a smarter, faster and more effective fight against trafficking. The main focus of the forum is the social consequences of trafficking in the Baltic Sea Region, and in particular, the situation of the vulnerable victims.
Textile production requires enormous quantities of water. 1,400 litres are needed to produce just one t-shirt, which equals more than 10 bathtubs. The Nordic Council of Ministers focuses on ways in which Nordic consumers can minimize the negative environmental impact of textile production in a new consumer guide and video.
On Monday, members of the Nordic Council met with representatives from the Baltic Assembly, the Benelux Parliament and the Visegrád countries, as well as MPs from Georgia and Ukraine. On the agenda were the current situation in Ukraine and its regional and global ramifications. A range of measures were proposed to support democracy, security and stability in the country.