The five Nordic countries hold the Presidency in the Nordic Council of Ministers for one calendar year at a time.
The Presidency alternates in accordance with an agreed rota which begins with Denmark, followed by Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland. The plan can be changed by special agreement if there are strong reasons for doing so. The same country never holds the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and Presidency of the Nordic Council in the same year.
The Presidency actively leads the work in the areas of co-operation. To support this a Programme for the Presidency is drawn up in which the political priorities for inter-governmental co-operation during the year to come is presented.
The Programme is presented by the prime minister of the next country to hold the Presidency at the Nordic Council's annual meeting, the Session. The programme is available both electronically and in a printed version.
The country which holds the Presidency in the Nordic Council of Ministers also holds the chair for the Nordic Prime Ministers' meetings throughout the year. The same applies for the meetings of the foreign ministers and the ministers of defence. These ministerial meetings always take place outside of the formal Nordic co-operation. The Nordic meetings of senior officials are also chaired by the country presently holding the Presidency.