The focus of the summit at the 74th Session of the Nordic Council on 1 November in Helsinki will be on the future of the Nordic Region, both in terms of its role in a globalised world, and the security situation that has arisen following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The climate and energy crisis will also be in the spotlight, both of which are being clearly felt in homes and businesses right across the Nordic Region. In relation to internal co-operation in the Nordic Region, discussions will centre on security of supply, border challenges, and the future of the welfare model which came under tremendous pressure due to COVID-19. The summit is part of the future convention that the Finnish presidency of the Nordic Council has adopted for 2022.
Nordic people have spoken
For Erkki Tuomioja, President of the Nordic Council and Lulu Ranne, Vice-President of the Nordic Council, the aim has been to involve Nordic people in efforts to identify the best solutions for the future of the region.
“I hope that Finland’s presidency will affirm and streamline our close proximity with those living in the Nordic Region. We must also work together in the region to strengthen our economic resilience. Without a sustainable economy, no one is able to provide people in the Nordic Region with security and welfare,” stated Vice-President Lulu Ranne at the beginning of the year. As part of efforts to get closer to the Nordic people, the Nordic Council invited those living in the region and subject specialists to celebrate the Nordic Council’s 70th anniversary at all of the summer’s democracy festivals and to engage in discussions of what the focus of the Nordic Region should be in the future. Issues such as the climate, border challenges, and security topped the list.
The war in Ukraine and the acute security crisis
The points raised from the debates at the democracy festivals will now be put to the Session, where Nordic Council members and the Nordic prime ministers will discuss the possibilities for addressing them within the scope of Nordic co-operation. Although the summit will look at several important topics, the summit is likely to be centred on the war in Ukraine and the acute security crisis that this has created for Ukrainians themselves, the rest of Europe, and the world. Together with the prime ministers, the Nordic Council will therefore discuss the role of the Nordic Region in Europe, the expectations of an expanded NATO, and responses to ever more strained democratic values.