The Nordic Council of Ministers for Labour (MR-A)

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The remit of the Nordic Council of Ministers for Labour (MR-A) covers employment issues, the labour market, working conditions and labour law, and is based on the 1954 “Agreement Concerning a Common Nordic Labour Market” and the 1989 “Nordic Convention Concerning the Working Environment”.

ministers for employment and labour. Its remit covers employment issues, the labour market, the working environment and labour law.

MR-A focuses on promoting Nordic synergies in the following key areas:

  • stimulating the supply of labour and reducing structural unemployment
  • minimising exclusion from the labour market and promoting lifelong learning
  • promoting health and welfare at work to improve productivity
  • protecting the Nordic labour-market model and the ability to adapt to new circumstances.

The MR-A also focuses on analysing the consequences of globalisation for the labour market of the future, providing the workforce with the qualifications needed for the labour market of the future and ensuring that labour-market policy, actively seeks to balance supply and demand on the Nordic labour market.

Forums for co-operation

MR-A meets once a year to discuss the main topical challenges faced and encourage a Nordic approach to the areas where joint action and policy will supplement national efforts.

The Nordic Committee of Senior Officials for Labour (EK-A) consists of civil servants from the ministries of labour and employment in the Nordic countries and the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland and meets twice a year. It takes care of the practical work and preparations for meetings of the Council of Ministers.

EK-A has set up three committees to cover work in its sector: the Labour Market Committee, the Working Environment Committee and the Industrial Relations Committee.

Each committee has its own secretary and meets twice a year to follow up on decisions taken by EK-A, supply input into EK-A, allocate project funding, discuss particular themes, etc.

The Department for Knowledge and Welfare (KV) at the Nordic Council of Ministers' Secretariat in Copenhagen is responsible for co-ordinating work on labour and employment issues.

It prepares the questions to be discussed by the MR-A and EK-A, and ensures that decisions made in these forums are implemented.

Nordic institutions

The MR-A funds one institution: Nordic Institute for Advanced Training in Occupational Health (NIVA).

NIVA plans and runs courses, seminars, etc. of a high international standard on subjects relevant to the working environment.

Contact information