Nordic Council seeks closer co-operation on emergency preparedness

22.03.22 | News
Lars Dareberg/
In addition to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, civil emergency preparedness was a key topic at the Nordic Council theme session in Malmö. The Nordic Council approved a recommendation calling on the Nordic governments to follow up the proposals in the so-called Enestam report on emergency preparedness. Furthermore, the report was subject to a plenary debate.

The Nordic Council wants governments to follow up on the proposals in the Enestam report as soon as possible. On top of that, as part of the continued process the Nordic Council is seeking to rank Enestam’s proposals in order of importance.

Of the report’s twelve proposals, the Nordic Council wishes to move forwards with eleven of them.

The Nordic Council’s recommendation, adopted unanimously in the plenary debate, proposes that the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation be given responsibility for co-operation in civilian emergency preparedness. Further proposals include the establishment of a Nordic network unit for civil emergency preparedness, a pilot project for the joint procurement of vaccines, and an exploration of the possibility of having shared warehouses for emergency equipment.

“Co-operation – the best way to tackle crises”

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine makes the Enestam report even more relevant. We can already see the consequences of the war, even though, of course, they can’t be compared to the terror which the Ukrainian civilian population is being subjected to. Co-operation between countries is the best way to tackle crises. The Nordic countries have a long tradition of working together in a number of areas, and we must now ensure that we work well together in times of crisis as well. The Enestam report is a good foundation for that,” says Erkki Tuomioja, President of the Nordic Council.

The Enestam report was also debated during the question time with the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation, who were represented by their chair for 2022, Anne Beathe Kristiansen Tvinnereim from Norway. In the debate, the members of the Nordic Council emphasised their desire to see concrete follow-up measures by the ministers in relation to the Enestam report.

During the debate, Enestam came up with another proposal. He reminded the participants that the Helsinki Treaty, the Nordic “founding treaty”, is 60 years old now and in his opinion, it’s about time to revise the agreement. 

Enestam report presented at 2021 Session

Jan-Erik Enestam, former Finnish minister, prepared the report on behalf of the Nordic Council of Ministers. He presented his recommendations at the Session of the Nordic Council in Copenhagen in 2021 and at a meeting of the Presidium in December 2021.

The Enestam report is largely in line with the Nordic Council strategy on societal security from 2019. The strategy contains several concrete proposals for co-operation on emergency preparedness. In recent years, the strategy has also served as the Nordic Council’s basis when putting pressure on governments to strengthen co-operation on civil emergency preparedness.