Nordic Council’s international co-operation

Nordiska och baltiska flaggor
Johannes Jansson/
The Nordic Council is outward-looking and has close co-operation with numerous international, regional, and national parliamentary organisations. The Nordic Council prioritises co-operation in adjacent areas, namely the Baltic Sea Region, the Arctic, and Europe.

Overall responsibility for the Nordic Council’s international co-operation and issues concerning foreign affairs, security, and defence policies lies with the Presidium. International co-operation also constitutes a significant part of the portfolios of the Nordic Council’s committees. 

The Nordic Council works to strengthen co-operation among the Nordic countries in foreign affairs, defence, and security policies, including co-operation on civilian preparedness. 

In spite of borders and party-political differences, the Nordic Region is characterised by deep respect for democracy, the rule of law, equality, and human rights. Although we take these values for granted in the Nordic Region, that’s not the case in many other countries. The Nordic Council works to ensure that such values always remain high on the international agenda. 

The Nordic Council has three overarching priorities for international co-operation:

  • Security in the Nordic Region and neighbouring area
  • The rules-based world order and the Nordic model
  • Sustainable development: the Nordic Region and globally

The Baltic Region

The Baltic and Nordic countries are close partners, and the Baltic Assembly is a cornerstone in the international co-operation of the Nordic Council. 

Baltic Sea co-operation

The Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC) brings together parliamentarians, experts, and officials from the countries around the Baltic Sea (excluding Russia) and all the Nordic countries. The forum is an important platform for the Nordic Council.

Northern areas

The Northern areas have unique nature and are environmentally very vulnerable in a time of rapid climate change. Co-operation with the West Nordic Council and Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (CPAR) is highly prioritised within Nordic co-operation. 

Benelux countries

The Benelux countries share much of the Nordic Region’s value base, and the Nordic Council regularly exchanges experiences with the Benelux Parliament. 

The EU

The Nordic Council is involved with the EU’s matters of interest for the Nordic Region and works to strengthen contacts with Nordic stakeholders in Brussels. Particularly important is the contact between the European Parliament and the Nordic Council.

Germany and Schleswig-Holstein

Germany is a significant partner for all the Nordic countries. The Nordic Council’s contact with German parliamentarians occurs through co-operation in the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC), where both the German Bundestag and the state parliaments of northern Germany are represented. The north-German state of Schleswig-Holstein has a significant Danish minority, and there is close contact between the Nordic Council and the Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein. 

The UK and Scotland

The United Kingdom is an important partner for all the Nordic countries and, in recent years, the Nordic Council has strengthened its contacts with the UK Parliament and the Scottish Parliament. 

Canada and the USA

Canada and the USA are important for the Nordic Region, both in an Arctic context and within several other areas. Consequently, the Nordic Council is seeking to strengthen Nordic co-operation with North America. It’s important that the Nordic countries exploit the potential of the strong affinity many North Americans feel towards the Nordic Region.


All the Nordic countries are important supporters of Ukraine. The Nordic Council fully supports this and will help to keep Ukraine high on the agenda also in a long-term perspective. 

Democratic opposition in Belarus and Russia

The Nordic Council, often in co-operation with the Baltic Assembly, is working to support the democratic opposition in Belarus and Russia.

The UN

The Nordic Council supports the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Biodiversity Convention, and the Paris Agreement, and participates in the annual climate summits.