The Nordic Council of Ministers for Finance met in Oslo on July 2. They reiterated the need to continue to assume responsibility for the global economy and to commit to international co-operation on long-term economic policy. They also stated that additional measures to boost growth and competitiveness are crucial for the future.
Minister for Economics and the Interior Margrethe Vestager (Denmark), Minister of Finance Sigbjørn Johnsen (Norway) and Minister of Finance Oddný G. Harðardóttir (Iceland) meet the media after the meeting in Oslo.
"The future of the EU depends on the member states assuming responsibility for economic policy and restoring the credibility of the global economy. The Nordic countries have shown strong leadership and assumed that responsibility by maintaining tight control of public finances and financial stability. However, further efforts are required to improve competitiveness. We need to pick up the pace if we are to stimulate growth, create jobs and improve welfare provision," the Council of Ministers stressed in a statement issued after the meeting.
All of the Nordic countries pay particular attention to the problem of youth unemployment. The Council of Ministers decided that the spring 2013 edition of Nordic Economic Policy Review (NEPR) will be on the theme of "More young people in work in the Nordic Region". Publication will coincide with the early part of the Swedish Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers 2013.
NEPR addresses economic policy from a Nordic perspective, providing a platform for in-depth discussion of current economic policies.
The global financial and economic crisis has placed heavy pressure on the credit ratings of large numbers of banks and financial institutions and damaged confidence in the international financial markets. Nordic banks tend to have higher credit ratings than banks in some other countries but experience of the recent crisis suggests that they may need raise their capital requirements.
The Nordic countries are deeply involved in efforts to stabilize the financial markets and will continue to work together on regulation. This collaboration will become even closer once when the countries implement Basel III and the CRD IV/CRR framework.
"A joint approach to implementing the new EU regulatory framework is possible, and in many ways desirable," according to the Council of Ministers.
The Council of Ministers welcomes co-operation between the Nordic countries and the fact that – within the framework of national and EU legislation – they are discussing a joint position on new EU rules for liquidity requirements. It may also be worthwhile exploring the potential for a system of mutual recognition of capital requirements (known as reciprocity and host-nation regulation) as well as collaboration on the options for common criteria and practices for the approval of the methods that banks use to calculate capital requirements (both the standard and IRB methods).
The finance ministers also expressed support for developing proposals for the co-ordination of the work being done by key financial institutions to provide funding for green companies and investments. This work falls under the remit of the green growth mandate assigned to the Council of Ministers for Finance by the Nordic prime ministers in November 2011.