Nordic co-operation strong at this summer’s democracy festivals

28.05.19 | News
Joshua Tree Photography
Young people are demonstrating for the climate throughout the Nordic Region. They are exercising their democratic rights and are demanding a sustainable future. Others are worried about our security and democracy. We’ve listened to them, and we want to hear more. Do you?

The Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers will be in attendance at 45 events across six countries to find out what we need to do to ensure sustainable development in the Nordic countries, together as a region and individually.

What about the younger generations more generally? Is there any cause for concern for our Nordic democracies? What opportunities does the increase in digitalisation afford, and what should we be critical of? What does integration actually mean? And how can we make a success of it? To put it simply, we would like to discuss how we can equip ourselves for the society of the future and all the opportunities and challenges that it entails. The Nordic countries share many of the same challenges, and together we can become much, much wiser.

We will be represented at democracy festivals in six Nordic countries throughout the summer, starting in Åland in June and finishing in Iceland in September. Between the two is Folkemødet – The People's Democratic Festival in Bornholm, Almedalen Week in Gotland, SuomiAreena in Pori, followed by Arendalsuka in Arendal.

You can find out more about each of the festivals and read the programmes here. We look forward to meeting you!

Åland: Alandica Debatt 2019, 9 to 11 June

Alandica Debatt is set to offer lots of discussions with a Nordic perspective. On the Monday, the Swedish Minister for Nordic Co-operation Ann Linde will take part in a discussion on free trade with her Ålandic colleague, Minister for Co-operation Nina Fellman. The Nordic Council of Ministers will host a discussion on to proceed with increasing mobility and integration in the region, a debate based on the Swedish publication “Nordens nya relevans” published in the spring of 2019 by the Swedish parliament’s committee for the future. The Nordic Welfare Centre will host a debate on digitalisation and welfare, and the event will conclude with a discussion on honour-related violence: Can the Nordic countries work together to counter honour-related violence?

Denmark: Nordic tent at the People's Democratic Festival, 13 to 16 June

There will be a strong Nordic presence at the 2019 People's Democratic Festival, with 14 debates and prominent voices in Danish and Nordic discussions. Can democracy go the distance? How do we win over superbacteria? Can we make clothes out of seaweed and fish skin? And what’s the situation with security and digital trust?

These are just some of the topics that will be discussed in the Nordic tent at this year’s People's Democratic Festival. The UN’s sustainable development goals serve as the framework for the entire event, with a fundamental emphasis on the perspective of young people on social development.

Sweden: Nordic debates during Almedalen Week, 30 June to 1 July

The Nordic tent in Visby will play host to several discussions on some of the most pressing social issues of our time: Are freedom of speech and democracy worth fighting for? How quickly can a recently arrived refugee enter employment? Perhaps our Nordic neighbours have a better idea of how to go about this? How is Sweden perceived in Russia and vice versa? Have we marginalised young people? What are the consequences of this?

A robot called Naomi will also join us in the Nordic tent, so come along and meet her!

Finland: Nordic discussions at SuomiAreena, 15 to 19 July

Nordic issues will also be discussed extensively at this year’s SuomiAreena in Pori, Finland. The Nordic Council of Ministers’ big debate will take place on Wednesday 17 July on the topic of the Baltic Sea. How can we use innovation, hard work, and Nordic-Baltic co-operation to save the world’s most polluted sea?

In addition, we’ll look at several key social issues from a Nordic perspective, including the myths on immigrant women and how we can improve their integration and access to the labour market. Together with the Youth League of the Finnish Norden Association, we’ll also be organising a discussion on young people and mobility in the Nordic Region.

Norway: Nordic tent at Arendalsuka, 12 to 17 August

This year, we’ll have our own Nordic tent at Arendalsuka for the first time, boasting an exciting and varied programme across four days. This year’s programme is based on Iceland’s presidency and the UN’s sustainable development goals, discussing topics including sustainable consumption and production, sustainable tourism, and young people and education. We’ll be visited by Árni Páll Árnasson, who will present his review of Nordic co-operation in the field of social affairs. A total of ten events are due to take place in the Nordic tent, including discussions on digitalisation and the participation of immigrant women in the labour market.

Iceland: Nordic programme at LÝSA in Iceland, 6 and 7 September

LÝSA will take place in Akureyri, Iceland, on 6 and 7 September and celebrates its fifth anniversary this year. The Nordic Region in Focus and the Norden Association are offering an exciting programme of Nordic events on both days. The programme focuses on the agenda of Iceland’s presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers, as well as Agenda 2030. Lectures and debates are scheduled to discuss topics such as sustainable tourism, the blue economy, sustainable consumption, and the social well-being of young people. In addition, we’ll look at topics that are high on the Nordic agenda this year, such as the Nordic Region, the EU, and Brexit. Finally, we’ll offer some quality cultural events in co-operation with the Nordic Council prizes.

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