The Nordic Council has repeatedly reiterated its wish for the governments to resurrect the Nordic Council of Ministers for Transport. It was wound up in 2005, and the prime ministers have rejected several calls for its reinstatement. Now, however, the Icelandic minister appears to have offered a way out of the impasse.
Jóhannsson doubles as the Minister of Transport and sees transport as crucial if the Nordic vision of being the most integrated region in the world is to be credible.
“We have worked on this at the Council of Ministers in Copenhagen. We have talked about it perhaps being necessary to set up a Nordic Council of Ministers for Transport. I agree that transport needs to be included under the umbrella of the Council of Ministers if we are to be the most integrated region in the world,” the minister told the Session of the Nordic Council in the Swedish Parliament.
I agree that transport needs to be included under the umbrella of the Council of Ministers if we are to be the most integrated region in the world
Somebody who has worked hard on this issue for several years is the transport rapporteur and member of the Committee for Growth and Development in the Nordic Region, Stein Erik Lauvås. He has repeatedly criticised the governments for being unwilling to work together on transport infrastructure. He now thinks that progress is being made.
“I am pleased that the Icelandic Minister of Transport now agrees with the Nordic Council that it is important to set up a Council of Ministers for Transport. I now expect the other transport ministers to support their Icelandic colleague,” Lauvås says.
He underlines that the Nordic Council also has the full backing of the business community for its position and for the need for a body to coordinate work on transport infrastructure throughout the Nordic countries.