NATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council

07.09.21 | News
Natos generalsekreterare Jens Stoltenberg
Co-operation on defence has become an increasingly central element of Nordic co-operation. It will also be one of the topics discussed and debated at the Session of the Nordic Council in November, where NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will be a guest speaker. He will give a speech at the Session on 3 November.

The President of the Nordic Council Bertel Haarder expects the Secretary General’s speech to inspire a lively debate on the need for further focus on pan-Nordic security and crisis strategies.

Several matters directly connected to crisis preparedness were discussed at the September meeting of the Presidium of the Nordic Council. The President notes that this is now the rule rather than the exception. 

He stresses that it is of great symbolic importance that NATO’s Secretary General speaks in the Nordic Council.

“During the Cold War, it would have been unthinkable to discuss defence policy and invite NATO’s Secretary General to the Nordic Council,” says Bertel Haarder. “However, the importance of co-operation on defence has grown. Today, Nordic co-operation on defence is organised within Nordefco. The North Atlantic and the Arctic have become increasingly important in our co-operation in terms of the environment, traffic, and not least security. It will be exciting to hear Jens Stoltenberg’s thoughts.”

Vice-President of the Nordic Council Annette Lind also has expectations ahead of the Secretary General’s visit.

“Nordic co-operation creates value for the countries and is based on our shared values. As the world burns, the Nordic Region must leverage its global position and be a role model. I therefore look forward to the Nordic Council having the opportunity to discuss defence and security policy with the Secretary General of NATO at the Session in Copenhagen,” says Lind.

As former Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg obviously has in-depth knowledge of the Nordic Region and the prevailing conditions here.

“The Nordic Region is characterised by peace and stability,” says Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “NATO is a contributing factor in this, together with our allies and close partners.”

COVID-19 has increased interest in crisis co-operation

“The coronavirus pandemic has made us even more aware that we really have good reason to streamline our joint crisis preparedness,” stresses the President of the Nordic Council. “The next crisis may look completely different to this one, and it’s obvious that we can better deal with problems that arise by working together.”

“The Nordic Council agreed on a social security strategy in 2019 and has since worked hard to ensure that the proposals included in it are implemented,” says Haarder. Ideas such as a pan-Nordic emergency preparedness warehouse were discussed at the Presidium meeting. This is one proposal that is completely in line with the ideas contained in the strategy.



Budget negotiations between the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers

Negotiations currently underway between the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers regarding the budget for 2022 were also discussed at the Presidium meeting. The Nordic Council opposes the cuts to funding for culture and education, among other things. The final budget proposal will be presented to the Session of the Nordic Council in November.