The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Espen Barth Eide (Lab) believes that Nordic foreign policy has been developing positively in recent years: "I would say that we are definitively on the way into what we might call a new spring for Nordic co-operation. And it will be at its most successful if we understand that a pragmatic approach – doing more when more is needed – is what leads to progress".
A delegation from the Presidium of the Nordic Council is to meet with the Presidium of the Baltic Assembly in Riga on 18 January. At the meeting, the President of the Nordic Council will call on the Nordic and Baltic countries to follow-up on the work already done together on defence and security policy.
Jamaica is the 40th country with which the Nordic Region has made an agreement for information exchange. This makes it possible for Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland, as well as Greenland and the Faroe Islands, to add additional tax millions to the billions that have already been collected thanks to Nordic co-operation to combat tax evasion.
The first "Global Meeting of Regional Organizations" was held as a fringe event at the World Economic Forum's "Summit on the Global Agenda 2012" in Dubai, 12-14 November. The President of the Nordic Council, Kimmo Sasi, and leaders of a dozen other regional organisations from all over the world attended the event.
The Nordic countries have signed yet another information exchange agreement with an off-shore financial centre, this time with Panama. The latest success for the Nordic campaign to curb international tax evasion is an agreement reached on Monday 12 November between Panama on the one hand and Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands on the other.
There could be a common intellectual property licensing environment, a shared agenda to boost research cooperation, a strategy on human development and a brand new branch of tourism – occupational tourism. These are just a few of the visions expressed by Baltic and Nordic experts in a newly published book titled ‘More is better: Nordic-Baltic cooperation 1991-2031’.
The Nordic Council opted to look forward, not back, to celebrate its 60th anniversary. It commissioned a book – "Nordiska Gemenskaper" by Johan Strang of the Centre for Nordic Studies (CENS) at the University of Helsinki – in which Strang presents visions for the future, including a number of new and ground-breaking ideas.
A Nordic currency union or a Nordic federation is not the obvious choice for the Nordic countries to get through the economic crisis. According to Kimmo Sasi, President of the Nordic Council in 2012, the way to future Nordic welfare is through a unified foreign and defence policy and closer economic co-operation.