We, the ministers responsible of the construction and building policies in Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Åland Islands, hereby declare that the Nordic region should be the most integrated market for construction. We want to make it easier for enterprises in the construction sector to do business across borders in the Nordic region in order to create better and more cost-effective buildings in all parts of the region. We also share the common goal of promoting low carbon emissions in construction as part of a common climate policy and through sustainable development.
In a globalized world, the need for regional cooperation amongst the Nordic countries is increasing in order for us to maintain our competitiveness and ensuring a high level of welfare. By intensifying the cooperation on removing barriers within the construction sector we contribute to the vision of the Nordic Cooperation Ministers, that the Nordic region should be the most integrated region in the world. At the same time, we are contributing to the Nordic Cooperation Ministers’ initiative concerning the development of a comprehensive action plan for strengthening mobility in the Nordic countries.
One market for construction in the Nordic region
Today, we, the building- and construction ministers, declare that we will promote a stronger and more integrated construction market in the Nordic region through working towards the removal of barriers that restrict enterprises in doing business in the construction sector in other Nordic countries for the benefit of Nordic citizens as well as the real estate and the construction sector in the Nordic region. Our vision is to create one coherent construction market in the Nordic region, thus ensuring better and cost-effective buildings. The ministers emphasize the importance of better knowledge foundation, innovation as well as digitization as drivers for future development of building regulation.
In order to reach our goals we will
- Strengthen the cooperation on harmonization of building regulation between the authorities in the Nordic countries. This should be based on existing Nordic collaboration.
- Explore and possible initiate new Nordic research projects in order to ensure a better foundation for more harmonized building regulation.
- As the first area of Nordic cooperation concerning harmonization of building regulations, choose the area of accessibility as a pilot.
- Support a Nordic dialogue conference on construction standards during the fall of 2018 and further cooperation concerning this. The conference aims at improving the Nordic coordination within the construction standardization area, etc.
- Request the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers to strengthen the coordination and interaction with relevant actors such as the Freedom of Movement Council, the Nordic Council of Ministers for Sustainable Growth incl. Nordic Innovation, other Council of Ministers, the Nordic Council, etc.
We acknowledge that the Nordic Council of Ministers can play an important role in the realization of these goals, and we therefore request the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers to coordinate and further develop the cooperation as well as exploring the possibilities of co-financing the efforts. Finally, we want to ensure continuity by following up, and receive an update from the Secretary-General during 2019 as well as discussing new possibilities within the construction and housing area.