First and foremost, the Nordic Council’s politicians are driven by the desire to make the Nordic region one that people want to live and work in. This is also the primary objective of the ideas and proposals for co-operation that are borne out of the Nordic Council.
The Council has 87 elected members. Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden each have 20 members. Of these, two of the Danish representatives are from the Faroe Islands and two are from Greenland, while Finland has two representatives from Åland. Iceland has seven members.
Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden were the founding members of the Nordic Council when it was formed in 1952. Finland joined in 1955, the Faroe Islands and Åland in 1970, and Greenland in 1984. The Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Åland have exerted greater influence on Nordic co-operation since the Åland Document was adopted by the Ministers for Nordic co-operation in Mariehamn, Åland, on 5 September 2007.
The members of the Council are members of the national parliaments and are nominated by the party groups. There is no procedure for direct election to the Nordic Council.
The Nordic Council, which is run by a Presidium, comes together at two annual meetings – the Ordinary Session and the Theme Session, at which the Nordic politicians make decisions on issues that they call on the Nordic governments to implement.
The President, Vice-President, and members of the Presidium for the forthcoming year are elected at the Ordinary Session every autumn . The Presidency alternates between the countries. The Ordinary Session is held in the country holding the presidency of the Nordic Council. The Theme Session is held every spring in the country holding the presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
The on-going political work in the Nordic Council is conducted through committees and party groups.
The Nordic Council is served by a secretariat that shares its premises with the Secretariat of the Nordic Council of Ministers in Copenhagen. There is also a national secretariat in each of the Nordic parliaments.
The Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers have a joint Department for Administration and Law (AJ).
Information activities are managed by a joint Communications Department.