“Together with young people, we will create the future of Nordic co-operation. This is why I have chosen to engage in discussions with young people as my first activity of the Danish presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers. My main priority over the coming year will be to strengthen the Nordic community, especially among young people,” says Minister for Nordic Co-operation, Mogens Jensen. Chair of the Danish Youth Council, Chris Preuss, is positive towards the minister’s announcement and the debate itself:
“It is we young people who have to live the longest with the decisions that are made, so I’m glad that the presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers is speaking with us, not just about us.”
Young people will be involved
At the meeting, the minister met some 35 enthusiastic youth organisations from the Danish Youth Council, among others. They highlighted several key issues that they would like the presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers to focus on. At the top of the list were sustainability and the climate, closely followed by culture, language, gender equality, and vulnerability and exclusion. Common to all of these was the desire to involve young people in Nordic political co-operation – co-operation which Preuss also has some expectations for going forwards:
“The Nordic Council of Ministers is an example of strong cultural and political co-operation which can help to create a common future direction for the Nordic countries in areas such as the climate.”
My main priority in the coming year will be to strengthen the Nordic community, especially among young people.
Civil society must play more of a role
Denmark holds the presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers for 2020. Nordic minister Mogens Jensen wants to use the presidency to focus on young people and public engagement.
“I want to restore public engagement in the Nordic Region. After all, it’s public co-operation that forms the basis for our political co-operation in the Nordic countries. It’s important that we make it easier for people in the Nordic Region to come together, be this in the classroom, in organisations, or in businesses. In our work towards achieving the Nordic Council of Ministers’ new vision, I want to strengthen support for interpersonal networks. I also want to strengthen the direct involvement of civil society in Nordic activities, and so we must engage young people in particular. We’ll do this by reprioritising the agendas that pique their interest, such as the environment and climate,” says Jensen.
A green, competitive, and socially sustainable Nordic Region
During the presidency, action plans will also be adopted for a green, competitive, and sustainable Nordic Region. In addition, there will be a number of specific activities relating to areas such as young people, biodiversity, and renewable energy. Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands hold the presidency jointly and have presented a joint presidency programme focusing on a green, competitive, and socially sustainable Nordic Region.