Kristina Háfoss from the Faroe Islands chosen as new Secretary General of Nordic Council

14.12.20 | News
Kristina Háfoss
Ditte Mathilda Joensen
At its meeting on 14 December, the Presidium of the Nordic Council appointed Kristina Háfoss as the new Secretary General of the Secretariat to the Nordic Council in Copenhagen. Háfoss was born in 1975 and is a member of the Faroese parliament, the Lagting, where she represents the Tjóðveldi party. Alongside her involvement in politics, she has enjoyed a career in the insurance industry. She went on to serve as the Faroese Minister of Finance from 2015 to 2019 and is an economist and lawyer.

The position of Secretary General of the Nordic Council will become vacant from 1 February when the current Secretary General, Britt Bohlin, leaves the role.

Háfoss is looking forward to her new position.

“The Nordic countries have several important tasks ahead of them in the coming years. It’s a huge honour for me to have the opportunity to work with the Nordic Council and the Presidium,” says the future Secretary General, citing in particular the post COVID-19 recovery, the Arctic, digitalisation, and climate change.  

“I’m really looking forward to working on overcoming these challenges together with the Nordic Council,” says Háfoss.

Bertel Haarder, who will become President of the Nordic Council from 1 January, is very pleased about Háfoss’s appointment.

“In Kristina Háfoss the Nordic Council is getting a well-educated and well-versed director, with a wealth of experience in public administration, not least in the field of digitalisation, which we have an ever increasing need for as we travel less and hold fewer physical meetings,” says Haarder.

“I’m also incredibly pleased that in this highly qualified parliamentarian from the Faroe Islands, we have our first Secretary General of the Nordic Council from the unity of the realm – that is to say the Kingdom of Denmark.”

First Secretary General of the Nordic Council from the Faroe Islands and from Denmark

Under the Helsinki Treaty – the basic charter for Nordic co-operation – the Faroe Islands, Åland, and Greenland are not fully equal to the region’s five nation states of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland.

“Fortunately, despite this, there is nothing to prevent us from handing over the responsibility for our entire administration to someone from the Faroe Islands,” Haarder emphasises. “This is a great example of the spirit of co-operation within the Nordic Council. Co-operation is much needed during this pandemic, and continues to be tested to its limits,” he says.

The current President of the Nordic Council, Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, agrees with Haarder.

“Within the Nordic Council, we’re very happy to have Kristina Háfoss as part of our community,” she says.

Kristina Háfoss will take over as Secretary General of the Nordic Council on 1 February.