in the Nordic Region is co-ordination. One of the greatest challenges is in fact to co-ordinate legislation in the Nordic countries, emphasised Minister Ole Norrback, who will lead the new Freedom of Movement Forum with the General Secretary of the Nordic Council of Ministers, Halldór Ásgrímsson.
Obstacles for freedom of movement between the Nordic countries cause a great deal of problems for Nordic citizens – this applies, for example, to difficulties in transferring pension earned in one country to another.
“This is about removing the problems that already exist, but it is just as important to work to ensure that new obstacle do not arise,” stressed Norrback at the Nordic Council's January meeting in Stockholm on Tuesday.
He sent a message to all the members of the Nordic parliaments at the same time.
“When a new piece of legislation is presented, in order to avoid the creation of new obstacles, it ought to be compared to the existing laws in the other Nordic countries,” he pointed out.
The Nordic Forum for Freedom of Movement has been given a three-year remit by the Nordic Prime Ministers. The whole team has now been chosen. The line-up, in addition to Norrback and Ásgrímsson, consists of Larserik Häggman, Finland, Pia Kinhult, Sweden, Bjarne Mörk Eidem, Norway, Thomas Börner, Denmark, Guðríður Sigurðardóttir (Gudridur Sigurdadottir), Iceland and Gunnar Westerholm, Åland.
Ole Norrback wrote an extensive report on border obstacle in the Nordic countries at the end of the 90s. However, the remit that his team has now been given by the Prime Ministers is of a more practical nature. The objective is to take hold of specific obstacle which render life more difficult for Nordic citizens.
The work of removing obstacles to freedom of movement is one of the priority areas identified by Sweden during its Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2008.