Blog: Trust – The Nordic Gold

As Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, I have the pleasure of telling people from across the globe about the Nordic Region and Nordic co-operation. The responses that I get have shown me that there is one topic in particular that is always the subject of their fascination – the trust that we have in one another in our part of the world.

Generalsekretærens Blogg

Dagfinn Høybråten, Secretary General

Political co-operation in the Nordic Region has a unique degree of transparency and has helped to forge close ties between our countries. Such transparency at government level is possible because our region has the highest level of social trust in the world.  Quite simply, we trust one another to a greater extent than the global norm.

Today, the new analysis unit here at the council of ministers has published a new report on the subject. The report Trust – The Nordic Gold surmises that trust is the resource that has generated the most value in our society. The whole of the Nordic model is built on mutual trust between authorities and citizens.

Rapporten har fått tittelen Tillit – det nordiske gullet, da tillit kanskje er den ressursen som har skapt størst verdier i våre samfunn.

The Nordic model has helped to give our region one of the strongest economies in the world. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, we have created an economy that is especially resilient to economic crises and fluctuations. Democracy, low crime rates, and happiness are also values that can be linked to high levels of social trust.

Highlighting the value of trust

There are small amounts of gold dotted around much of the Nordic Region, such as in the mountains. Most of the gold contained in the bedrock is so finely distributed that it’s invisible to the naked eye, despite there being a considerable quantity overall. The same is true of trust in the region. Although it imbues society and the way in which we live, it is seldom visible in the public debate.

The council of ministers would like this report to highlight the value of the trust we have in one another, especially considering that living in a society with a high degree of trust is far from guaranteed given the world situation we currently face. Gold is a soft and pliable metal, and I hope that Nordic trust will prove to be just as malleable.