“The economic restructuring of the Nordic Region, the challenges faced by Europe, and international developments remind us of the importance of our shared values, our unity, and our solidarity. Strategic Nordic co-operation is crucial,” said Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg as she presented the programme for the Norwegian presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2017 at the Nordic Council Session in Copenhagen today.
Erna Solberg at the Nordic Council Session in Copenhagen on 1 November 2016
The programme – which forms the basis for Nordic intergovernmental co-operation in 2017 – has three main themes:
Norway is also keen to pursue synergies through Nordic and Nordic-Baltic co-operation.
Minister for Nordic Co-operation and Norwegian Minister of EEA and EU Affairs Elisabeth Vik Aspaker was also in attendance at the presentation of the Norwegian presidency programme. As a Minister for Nordic Co-operation, she will be responsible for co-ordinating the Norwegian presidency.
“I’m looking forward to getting started on the Norwegian presidency in 2017. The Nordic Region needs a strong Europe, and a Europe that is at a crossroads such as this needs a strong and visible Nordic Region,” she says.
The Nordic Council of Ministers is the official body for Nordic intergovernmental co-operation. The presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers is held for one year at a time and rotates between the five Nordic countries. The country holding the presidency develops a programme to guide Nordic co-operation during that year.
Finland holds the presidency in 2016. This will be passed to Norway on 1 January 2017. Informal co-operation also takes place beyond the framework of the Nordic Council of Ministers, such as in foreign affairs and security policy, which is also led by the country holding the presidency.