Nordic Council of Ministers

The Nordic Council of Ministers is the official body for inter-governmental co-operation in the Nordic Region. It seeks solutions with visible positive effects for everybody who lives in the Nordic countries.

Nordic Council of Ministers

Ministers for Co-operation (MR-SAM)
Although the prime ministers have formal responsibility for Nordic inter-governmental co-operation, in practice they delegate it to the Ministers for Co-operation (MR-SAM).
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The Nordic Committee for Co-operation (NSK)
The Committee for Co-operation is responsible for the day-to-day work of Nordic co-operation and for the Council of Ministers’ Secretariat in Copenhagen. It is composed of senior civil servants from the Nordic countries.
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Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Greenland (GL)
Faroese Government, Nordic Co-operation
Nordic Co-operation Office (ÅL)
Nordic Secretariat, Nordic Co-operation
The Foreign Ministry, Nordic Co-operation, (FI)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nordic co-operation (NO)
Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Nordic co-operation (SV)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Secretariat for the Minister for Nordic Co-operation (DK)
Expert Group for Sustainable Development
The Expert Group advises the Nordic Co-operation Committee and the Ministers for Co-operation on sustainable development.
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Arctic Expert Committee
An Advisory Expert Committee was established in conjunction with the adoption of the new Arctic Co-operation Programme in 2002. The Arctic Expert Committee is made up of Nordic members of the Arctic Council and representatives from the autonomous territories. In Nordic Council terms the Arctic Expert Committee will offer advice to the Ministers for Co-operation and the Nordic Co-operation Committee on matters relating to the Arctic.
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Secretariat for the Arctic Expert Committee
The Freedom of Movement Council
The Freedom of Movement Council is a politically appointed body, set up by the Nordic governments to promote freedom of movement in the Nordic region for people and companies. It started work in 2014. The chair rotates annually between the national representatives in line with the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers. The chair and the Secretary General of the Council of Ministers have the overall responsibility for work on freedom of movement.
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Freedom of Movement
Efforts relating to freedom of movement are a key area of Nordic co-operation and are included in the efforts to fulfil the vision of the Nordic prime ministers to make the Nordic Region the most integrated region in the world. These efforts are overseen by the Freedom of Movement Council, which was established in January 2014. Based on the renewal of the Freedom of Movement Council’s mandate in 2018, there is a quantitative goal of removing between eight and twelve obstacles to freedom of movement each year within the labour market, society, education, and business and industry.
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Informationstjenester

Informationstjenester under MR-SAM

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The Border Service
The Border Service is a border and cross-agency co-operation between Sweden and Norway. The Border Service's main task is to receive and deal with questions from people and companies that take part in some form of cross-border activities.
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Info Norden
Info Norden is the information service of the Nordic Council of Ministers. The purpose of the service is to make it easier for people to move between the Nordic countries.
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The Nordic Region in Focus
The Nordic Region in Focus gives a Nordic angle to the national debate. The Nordic Region in Focus offices organise seminars and exhibitions on current topics such as politics, the environment, business and culture. The main target groups are civil servants, politicians, journalists and interest organisations.
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Nordic Information Office in South Jutland/South Schleswig
The job of the Nordic Information Office is to provide information about formal Nordic co-operation and co-ordinate official Nordic activities in the border region between Denmark and Germany. It promotes Nordic culture via activities such as visits by authors, art exhibitions, concerts, reading groups and exchange visits to other Nordic countries. Its remit also includes enhancing knowledge of South Jutland and South Schleswig in the rest of the Nordic Region.
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Crossborder Tornedalen
Crossborder Tornedalen provides specific advice on border problems, provides information and guidance to individuals, businesses and organisations that have cross-border activities in the North Calotte area of Finland/Sweden and Finland/Norway. In addition, Crossborder Tornedalen aims to improve freedom of movement.
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Øresunddirekt
Øresunddirekt provides public service information from the authorities to citizens and businesses in the Øresund region. Øresund Direkt consists of a web editorial office in Copenhagen and an information centre in Hjälmaregatan 3 in Malmö. The Information Centre Øresunddirekt in Malmö is assisted on-site by staff from the Employment Service, Försäkringskassan (social insurance system), the County Board and Skatteverket (the tax agency) who provide information from the authorities from an Øresund perspective.
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The Nordic Committee for Children and Young People (NORDBUK)
NORDBUK is the Council of Ministers’ advisory and co-ordinating body for issues relating to children and young people.
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NORDBUK Secretariat
Exchange Programme for Nordic Civil Servants (TJUT)
This programme provides civil servants with the opportunity to learn how things are done in another Nordic country (or countries). A group consisting of one member each from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland allocates the money earmarked for the annual pool.
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Council of Ministers
Nordic Council of Ministers for Labour (MR-A)
The Nordic Council of Ministers for Labour (MR-A) consists of the national ministers for employment and labour. Its remit covers intergovernmental co-operation on employment issues, the labour market, the working environment and labour law.
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Nordic Council of Ministers for Sustainable Growth (MR-VÆKST)
Nordic Council of Ministers for Digitalisation 2017-2020 (MR-DIGITAL)
On 22 June 2017, MR-SAM decided to establish an ad hoc council of ministers for digitalisation (MR-DIGITAL) for the period 2017 to 2020. MR-DIGITAL has one minister each from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Åland. The following ministers have been appointed to MR-DIGITAL
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Committees of Senior Officials
Nordic Council of Ministers for Fisheries, Aquaculture, Agriculture, Food and Forestry (MR-FJLS)
Nordic Council of Ministers for Justice Affairs (MR-JUST)
The Nordic governments' co-operation in the area of legislation is led by the Nordic ministers of justice who make up MR-JUST. Legislative co-operation is a tool for the Nordic countries in the work to promote the fundamental common principles of Nordic legislation.
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Nordic Council of Minsters for Culture (MR-K)
The culture ministers from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland have the overarching responsibility for cultural co-operation within the Nordic Council of Ministers. The main objectives include encouraging diversity of cultural expression and promoting artists and their work.
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The Nordic Council of Ministers for Gender Equality and LGBTI (MR-JÄM)
Inter-governmental work on gender equality is the remit of MR-JÄM, which consists of the national ministers for gender equality. The shared culture, history and democratic traditions of the Nordic countries enable them to work closely and constructively together on gender equality.
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Nordic Council of Ministers for the Environment and Climate (MR-MK)
Nordic Council of Ministers for Health and Social Affairs (MR-S)
The Nordic governments' co-operation within the social and health care sector is led by the Nordic ministers for health and social affairs who make up MR-S. Nordic co-operation within the social and health care area is based on common values which constitute the basis of the Nordic welfare model.
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Nordic Council of Ministers for Education and Research (MR-U)
Inter-governmental co-operation on research and education is headed up by the education and research ministers, who make up the Nordic Council of Ministers for Education and Research (MR-U). The role of the Council of Ministers is to help ensure that the Nordic Region remains a world leader in knowledge and skills.
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Nordic Council of Ministers for Finance (MR-FINANS)
The remit of MR-FINANS consists of inter-governmental co-operation on economic and financial affairs. MR-FINANS meets once a year to discuss areas of fiscal policy where Nordic co-operation generates greater value than if the countries act alone.
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Committees of Senior Officials
Committees of Senior Officials
Working groups and committee
The Secretary General
The Secretary General and the right of initiative The Nordic governments appoint the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, whose job is to manage the Secretariat. Although the work of the Presidency and the Secretary General are subject to guidelines drawn up by the Nordic Committee for Co-operation (NSK), under the rules of procedure for the Nordic Council of Ministers the Secretary General also has the right and duty to present initiatives deemed necessary to develop co-operation. This prerogative is known as the right of initiative and applies to all of the work done by the Secretariat. In other words, the Secretariat does not just have a passive role as the practical coordinator of decisions taken by councils of ministers and committees of senior officials, it also puts forward proposals and plays an active role in driving co-operation forward.
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Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers
The Danish Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers 2020
Working Together on Solutions for the Future is both the title and the ambition for the joint Danish, Greenlandic and Faroese Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers 2020. The programme seeks to implement the Council of Ministers’ new Vision 2030, i.e. to make the Nordic region the most sustainable and integrated region in the world.
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Iceland’s Presidency 2019
Youth, sustainable tourism and the marine environment are the priority areas under the Icelandic Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2019. Nordic priorities for gender equality, digitisation, sustainable development and the UN's global goals are integrated into the projects of the Presidency.
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Sweden’s presidency 2018

An inclusive, sustainable, innovative, safe, and open Nordic Region forms the basis for Sweden’s presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2018. Digitisation is a recurrent theme throughout Sweden’s presidency programme.

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Norwegian presidency 2017
Norway holds the presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2017. The programme for the Norwegian presidency focuses on the Nordic Region in transition, the Nordic Region in the world and the Nordic Region in Europe.
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The Finnish Presidency 2016
Finland holds the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2016. The main themes for the Presidency are water, nature and people.
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The Danish Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers 2015
Growth, welfare and values are the keywords of the 2015 Danish Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
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Icelandic Presidency Programme 2014
The green economy and security for the Nordic welfare state will be in focus during the Icelandic Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2014.
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Secretary of the Nordic Council of Ministers
Department for HR, Administration and Law (HRAJ)
The Department is responsible for recruitment, staff development, human resource management, for service functions (including IT, the reception and attendants) and for co-ordinating and preparing meetings of the Council of Ministers for Justice Affairs (MR-JUST).
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Department for Culture and Resources (KR)
The Department for Culture and Resources co-ordinates the work done by the Nordic Council of Ministers for Culture (MR-K) on art and cultural projects, media and the Nordic houses; the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation (MR-SAM) on children and young people (the Nordic Committee for Children and Young People); the Nordic Council of Ministers for Gender Equality and LGBTI (MR-JÄM) on equality and LGBTI, and the Nordic Council of Ministers for Fisheries, Aquaculture, Agriculture, Food and Forestry (MR-FJLS) on fisheries, aquaculture, agriculture, food, forestry and New Nordic Food.
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The Department of Knowledge and Welfare (KV)
The remit of the Department of Knowledge and Welfare covers education and research, social affairs, including health and welfare, labour issues, IT in the Nordic Region and Nordic language co-operation. The department is also responsible for inter-sectoral work on integration on behalf of the ministers for Nordic co-operation.
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Department for Growth and Climate (VK)
The remit of the Department for Growth and Climate includes co-ordinating Nordic co-operation on sustainable growth (MR-V), the environment and climate (MR-MK), financial policy (MR-FINANS) and multi-sectoral work, including on the Artic and sustainable development.
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Secretary General's Office (GSK)
Communications Department (KOMM)
Together with the head of communications, KOMM's information officers, website staff, interpreters, translators, publications staff, project workers, administrators and student helpers look after long-term and day-to-day communication and information work for the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers.
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Publications Department
The Publications Department serves as the publishing house for the Nordic Council of Ministers Secretariat. We produce about 200 publications a year. Some publications present the results of research projects that are wholly or partly funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, while some publications are commissioned by the Secretariat to the Nordic Council of Ministers and consist, for example, of policy programmes, action plans, and analyses. The Department also advises on matters concerning publishing and the Nordic Council of Ministers’ visual identity. All publications are available as free downloads from www.norden.org/NordPub.
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Interpretation and Translation Unit

The Interpretation and Translation Unit (TOLK) is responsible for translation and interpretation services at the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Nordic Council. The unit has five advisers and a student assistant.

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Web Editorial Office
The digital media office is responsible for the development and operation of www.norden.org, social media, and video, as well as the digital strategy. The editorial office consists of a digital editor, a digital advisor, a web developer, and three students. If you have any queries regarding our web pages, please contact the web editorial office by e-mail at: webredaktionen@norden.org
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Nordic Council of Ministers’ Baltic offices
Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Estonia
One of the office’s most important tasks is to pick up on new trends and look for new opportunities for joint Nordic-Estonian co-operation, in dialogue with the Nordic embassies, with which the office has a close working relationship. The office also works broadly as the advocate of all that is ‘Nordic’ and promotes Nordic co-operation in Estonia.
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The Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Latvia
The Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia is a part of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Secretariat and serves as a catalyst for the Nordic-Baltic cooperation in Latvia. The Office works closely with the Nordic diplomatic representations in Latvia and coordinates joint Nordic initiatives, as well as identifies trends and opportunities for the Nordic–Baltic cooperation.
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Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Lithuania
One of the office's most important tasks is to catch new trends and look for new opportunities for joint Nordic-Lithuanian co-operation, in dialogue with the Nordic embassies, with which the office has a close working relationship. The office also works broadly as the advocate of all that is 'Nordic' and promotes Nordic Co-operation in Lithuania.
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The Finance Unit (EKONOMI)
The Unit is responsible for the overall financial management, allocation of funding (projects, programmes, strategic partners and the Nordic institutions) and for the accounts, budgets, payroll, taxes and fees for the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Nordic Council and the Nordic Culture Fund.
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