“Finland and Sweden applying for membership of NATO is a historic shift for Nordic security policy and co-operation on defence. It makes it possible to see Nordic co-operation on defence in a broader and more binding context,” said Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister of Norway when he received his colleagues from Sweden, Iceland, Finland, and Denmark.
Security and green transition
There were three key points on the agenda of the Nordic prime ministers’ summer meeting: Co-operation on defence, the green transition, and the deteriorating condition of the seas surrounding the Nordic Region. At their joint press conference, the prime ministers stressed that these three issues are so pressing and serious that Nordic co-operation is more important than ever before.
Visit from the German Chancellor
Over the course of the morning, the prime ministers agreed on a joint statement on defence and security, before meeting with the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the afternoon to discuss energy security and green industrial development.
In terms of defence, discussions were centred around more concrete co-operation on air defence, logistics and supply, as well as joint exercises and training in the Nordic Region and within the context of NATO.
Renewable energy sources key to sustainability
Norway holds the presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers this year, and Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre made sure to use part of the meeting to follow up on the prime ministers’ vision for Nordic co-operation; that the Nordic Region should be the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030.
Among other things, they agreed to co-operate more closely in the exploitation of offshore wind in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, as well as other renewable energy sources.
“We need to strengthen and protect our countries in several ways. The Nordic countries should seize the opportunity to show the world that the green transition can be combined with economic growth and more jobs,” said Magdalena Andersson, Prime Minister of Sweden.
Oceans not just an environmental issue
The prime ministers delved into the fact that the marine areas around the Nordic Region are at threat through the loss of biodiversity, pollution, and climate change, and expressed how important it is to strengthen Nordic efforts in favour of sustainable ocean management.
“We can see that climate change has a huge impact on our seas, and we need to take a holistic approach when working on the solutions. It’s not only an environmental issue, but also a question of social sustainability and supply in a broader sense,” said Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland.