The Ministers for Nordic Co-operation are setting up a network to ensure that the voice of civil society is heard in work on its Vision 2030 for Nordic co-operation. The Finnish Minister for Co-operation, Thomas Blomqvist, is pleased that civil society will now be involved.
“It is really important that civil society is actively involved in the Council of Ministers’ work on Vision 2030. Co-operation must be transparent and relevant to civil society throughout the Region. That is why civil society is now being given a bigger role in the work of the Council of Ministers,” the minister says.
The Council of Ministers is now inviting applications for the new network, which will have up to 40 members from all parts of the Region.
Applications will be accepted from 7 April until 5 May. The process is open to all civil society organisations throughout the Nordic Region, and the selection process is expected to be completed in mid-June.
Co-operation must be transparent and relevant to civil society throughout the Region.
What is Our Vision 2030?
Vision 2030 articulates the ambition of making the Nordic Region the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. The Council of Ministers bases its work on the vision on three strategic priorities.
- A green Nordic Region – together, we will promote a green transition of our societies and work towards carbon neutrality and a sustainable circular and bio-based economy.
- A competitive Nordic region – together, we will promote green growth in the Nordic Region based on knowledge, innovation, mobility and digital integration.
- A socially sustainable Region – together, we will promote an inclusive, equal and interconnected region with shared values and strengthened cultural exchange and welfare.
The Council of Ministers has drawn up an action plan for 2021–2024 to help turn these ambitions into reality. It contains three strategic priorities and 12 overarching goals and lays out all of the work that the Council of Ministers will do during the period.
What does civil society mean for Our Vision 2030?
The new network will consist of representatives from national and Nordic civil society organisations. It will be interdisciplinary but also divided into sub-groups on the three strategic priorities. The idea is for civil society organisations to work more closely together on issues related to Our Vision and to make the work more coordinated and focused. Focusing co-operation will ensure that work on the vision is transparent and relevant and that the civil society is involved. The role of the network will be developed in dialogue with the Council of Ministers as needs and wishes are identified.
What membership entails
Members of the network will work with the Nordic Council of Ministers and each other in all of the Council of Ministers’ sectors, in all parts of the political decision-making process, and through sharing information, consultations and dialogue.
The work will include:
- One or two annual meetings at which the Council of Ministers will inform members of current issues related to the vision and discuss potential areas for co-operation with the network.
- The coordinator will maintain a dialogue with all of the Council of Ministers’ sectors to map out options for involvement before these are presented to the network, which will then decide on its own priorities for the year.
- The members of the network will be in regular contact with the Council of Ministers about the work they decide to prioritise at the start of the year.
It is estimated that members will spend 6–8 working hours per month on networking activities. The number of hours may vary from time to time.
How to apply to join the network
Representatives of national and Nordic civil society organisations are eligible to apply to become part of the network. They must fill in an online application, which includes:
- Information about their organisation
- Information about the individual who will represent the organisation
- Reasons for wanting to join the network.
The digital application form is available here:
The deadline for applications is Wednesday, 5 May 2021.
The selection process
The selection process will be completed one month after the deadline for applications. The network will have up to 40 members. The Nordic Council of Ministers will assess applications on the basis of the following criteria:
- Applicants must be a civil society organisation in one of the Nordic countries or a pan-Nordic association
- The applicants’ work must be linked to the three strategic priorities in Our Vision 2030
- Applicants must document their interest, commitment and motivation to enter into focused co-operation with the Nordic Council of Ministers on the work on Vision 2030 and as part of the Nordic civil society network.
The Council of Ministers will prioritise applications from national umbrella organisations and pan-Nordic associations. It will also seek to balance numbers evenly between the Nordic countries and the three strategic priorities and to base representation on a diversity perspective, including an even proportion of women and men and a good age spread.