The Nordic Council Presidium is the highest decision-making body between the annual assemblies, the Sessions, and has the authority to make decisions on behalf of the Council. The Presidium leads and co-ordinates the work between the councils' various bodies, has responsibility for the overall political and administrative issues, draws up activity plans and budgets as well as taking responsibility for overall foreign and security policy matters.
The Presidium may set up temporary sub-committees or working groups for specific tasks. One of these is, e.g. the Budget Group which holds discussions with the Council of Ministers about the Nordic budget.
The meetings of the Presidium are not open to the public, but the Presidium may hold question sessions to seek expert advice on a matter or organise seminars, to which both experts and guests are invited, to invoke opinions or participation in the debate on a Nordic problem.
National and international contacts
The Presidium is also responsible for the co-ordination of contacts between the national parliaments and other regional and international organisations. The Presidium has a particularly close co-operation with the corresponding body in the Baltic Assembly, which is the parliamentary co-operation body in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
All countries and party groups should be represented
The Presidium consists of 11 members as well as a President and a Vice-President. All countries and party groups should be represented. These are elected for one calendar year at the Ordinary Session in the autumn. The President and Vice-President come from the country whose turn it is to host the Ordinary Session during in the year in which they are elected to run the Presidency.
A proposal presented by a member, or a group of members, is referred to one of the committees or to the Presidium for consideration. The Presidium can choose to send the proposal to a hearing in various authorities in the different countries or in some other way to procure the basis for support either for or against the proposal.
The Presidium can make decisions on behalf of the Session
The Presidium's proposal, in the form of a white paper, is presented at the Session, for a decision on what recommendation should be made to the Nordic governments or the Nordic Council of Ministers regarding the proposal. In some cases the Presidium can make a decision on behalf of the Session. This could, for example, be about a matter that the Presidium would bring up as soon as possible.