The accolade is given to people who have helped forge closer bonds between the two interparliamentary bodies. The Nordic Council and the Baltic Assembly have worked very closely together for decades, and the medal is a tangible sign of the close relationship.
Jānis Vucāns, the President of the Baltic Assembly, handed the medal over in Reykjavík. Inses Voika, a member of the Baltic Assembly, underlined the importance of Haarder’s dedication to the relationship at the ceremony.
“Bertel Haarder has supported the Baltic Assembly for 31 years. He has shown that the Nordic and Baltic countries can work together. Together we are stronger,” says Voika, a member of the Presidium of the Baltic Assembly.
Bertel Haarder is a long-standing Danish member of the Nordic Council and has also served as its President.
His acceptance speech focused on the importance of working with the Baltic countries.
“I find it extremely gratifying that our Baltic friends have awarded me this medal. It is important that we forge closer bonds and make the Baltic Sea region a safer place. We must continue to show solidarity with the Baltic states and do everything we can to promote democracy in the region.”
Haarder dedicated the medal to the late Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, the former Danish foreign minister, for his hard work promoting closer working relations between the Baltic and Nordic countries.
During its September meetings in the Icelandic capital, the Nordic Council met with the Baltic Assembly and hosted an international summit with representatives from Ukraine and the opposition in Belarus and Russia.
The parties looked at ways in which the Baltic and Nordic countries can promote positive developments in the region in the longer term.