The Nordic Council of Ministers’ rules on disqualification

Pursuant to section 10, point k) of the Rules of Procedure for the Nordic Council of Ministers, as adopted by the Nordic Council of Ministers (in practice the Ministers for Co-operation (MR-SAM)) on 29 February 2016, the following is laid down:


Section 1. The purpose of the rules on disqualification is to avoid extraneous considerations from having any influence on the examination of individual cases or measures etc., to prevent any distrust of the activities of the Nordic Council of Ministers and also to forestall any doubts being raised regarding the impartiality of the Council of Ministers.

Appointment of members of collegiate bodies etc.

Section 2. It is incumbent on participants in activities of the Nordic Council of Ministers to be aware of the risk of repeated or persistent conflicts of interest, cf. section 3, when members are appointed to perform certain functions and to collegiate bodies etc.


Section 3. Grounds for disqualification exist in relation to a particular case if:

  1. The individual concerned has a particular personal or financial interest in the outcome of the case or is – or previously in the same case has been – the representative of someone with such an interest, including private individuals, legal entities and public authorities;

  2. The spouse or relatives of or other persons closely connected to the individual concerned have a particular personal or financial interest in the outcome of the case or represent someone with such an interest, including private individuals, legal entities and public authorities;

  3. The individual concerned is involved in the management of or otherwise has a close connection with a company, an association, another private legal entity or a body, including boards or working groups under the remit of the Nordic Council of Ministers, with a particular interest in the outcome of the case;

  4. The case concerns the exercising of monitoring or supervision activities in relation to a body, joint Nordic institution, working group, a joint Nordic institution’s expert committee or similar that falls under the remit of the activities of the Nordic Council of Ministers, and the individual concerned has previously participated in the decision or the measures to which the case relates to; or

  5. Circumstances otherwise exist that raise doubts about the impartiality of the individual concerned.

(2) There are, however, no grounds for disqualification if, as a result of the nature or strength of the interest, the nature of the case or the functions of the individual concerned, it cannot be assumed that there is a risk of the decision in the case being influenced by extraneous considerations.

Section 4. The provisions in section 3 do not apply:

  1. If significant difficulties or misgivings are associated with allowing someone else to take the place of the individual concerned (alternate) while the case is being examined; or

  2. If a collegiate body would thereby become inquorate, or if in respect of the body’s composition this would lead to significant misgivings should the member not participate in the examination of the case and the case cannot be postponed without significant detriment to the NordicCouncil of Ministers.

Personal scope

Section 5. Employees of the Secretariat to the Nordic Council of Ministers, members of the Council of Ministers, Committees of Senior Officials, working groups, steering committees, employees and members of boards and expert committees at joint Nordic institutions under the remit of the activities of the Nordic Council of Ministers are subject to the current rules on disqualification.

(2) The Nordic Council of Ministers may decide that individuals who manage financial resources from the Nordic Council of Ministers or who perform tasks on its behalf must comply with the substance of the provisions laid down in sections 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7.

Decision on disqualification

Section 6. Anyone who is aware that or uncertain whether circumstances mentioned in section 3(1) exist in relation to the individual concerned must inform their superior of this without delay, unless it is obvious that these circumstances are of no significance.

(2) With regard to the members of a collegiate body, including Committees of Senior Officials, working groups, steering committees and boards as well as expert committees for joint Nordic institutions under the remit of the Nordic Council of Ministers, this information should be provided to the chairman of the body.

(3) The question of whether a person is disqualified will be determined by the appointing authority or by the relevant body, cf. subsections 1 and 2.

(4) The individual concerned may not take part in the disqualification proceedings or the decision in that regard, cf. however section 4.

Legal consequences of disqualification

Section 7. Anyone who is disqualified in relation to a case may not make a decision, participate in the decision or otherwise contribute to the examination of the case in question.

(2) Anyone who is disqualified can be replaced by an alternate.

Entry into force

Section 8. These rules were laid down by the Nordic Committee for Co-operation (NSK) on 29 February 2016 and will enter into force on 1 March 2016.

(2) The Nordic Council of Ministers’ previous rules on disqualification are hereby repealed.