Please note that this text is not an official version and that the text should not be used for legal purposes. The Nordic Council of Ministers takes no responsibility for the contents of the text including eventual errors in the text.
The Governments of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden,
Considering that it is a fundamental right for nationals of the Nordic countries to be able freely to take up employment and settle in another Nordic country,
Agreeing that they should be able to do so under known economically and socially secure conditions,
Having as their goal the maintenance of full employment in their respective countries and intending to co-operate for that purpose,
Also endeavouring through Nordic co-operation to achieve balanced regional development both within their own countries and between the different countries,
Considering that co-operation between the countries should be conducted in such a way as to support the measures taken by each individual country to guarantee the harmonious development of employment, and to ensure that migratory movements between the countries do not create any imbalance in the labour market and that, as a whole, it is beneficial for the economic and social development of those countries,
Endeavouring to ensure equality in the working life of women and men,
Considering that the determination of educational opportunities in each country and co-operation to that end constitute an important part of the effort to establish a balanced labour market,
Referring to the Agreement of 22 May 1954 concerning a common labour market,
Referring to the Protocol of 22 May 1954 concerning the exemption of Nordic nationals from the obligation to have a passport or residence permit while resident in a country other than their own,
Having concluded an agreement concerning co-operation (the Helsinki Agreement) on 23 March 1962, which was amended on 13 February 1971 and 11 March 1974,
Having concluded the Convention respecting social security on 15 September 1955, which was renewed on 5 March 1981,
Having regard to the developments that have occurred since the conclusion of the 1954 Agreement, have concluded a new agreement on a common Nordic labour market, reading as follows:
None of the contracting countries shall require a work permit in respect of the nationals of any other contracting country.
The regulations concerning the labour market in each individual country may not place the nationals of the other contracting countries in a worse position than that country's own nationals.
Nationals of one contracting country who are employed in another contracting country shall be treated in the same way as that country's own nationals with respect to remuneration and other conditions of work.
The employment services of the contracting countries shall, in their co-operation and by means of national measures, endeavour to ensure that both persons seeking employment who wish to work in another Nordic country and employers wishing to recruit labour from another Nordic country make use of the official placement services.
To that end, the authorities may jointly decide on measures to strengthen the assistance of the placement services in migration between the countries so as to increase their capacity to provide for the security of the individual in connection with migration.
In that connection the placement services shall provide comprehensive, objective and up-to-date information and other services for persons seeking employment and for employers.
The authorities of the contracting countries shall also co-operate with a view to ensuring safe conditions for return migration.
The authorities of each country shall regularly provide the authorities of the other countries with information on employment, vacancies and unemployment, forecasts of anticipated trends in the labour market, information on planned measures to maintain or achieve full employment and information on working and living conditions.
The authorities shall similarly provide information on regional or national development plans that could imply major changes in the demand for labour from another contracting country.
The countries shall, if necessary, confer with each other on preventive and other measures to ensure that imbalances on the labour market in one country do not create problems on the labour market in another country.
Within the framework of this Agreement, special agreements may be concluded between two or more contracting countries. Before such an agreement is concluded by the countries concerned, the other contracting countries shall be given an opportunity to state their views.
The provisions of this Agreement shall also apply to occupational groups covered by special agreements concerning recognition of such activities in another contracting country.
Questions concerning the application of this Agreement shall be dealt with by the Nordic Labour Market Committee. The Committee shall also be the preparatory body for the Nordic Council of Ministers (Ministers of Labour). Two representatives of each contracting country shall serve on the Committee. They may call in experts as necessary.
The principal functions of the Nordic Labour Market Committee shall be as follows:
(a) To observe the trends in the labour market in the Nordic countries and discuss labour market policy measures and other measures to ensure full employment;
(b) To submit proposals for measures of common interest to the labour market in the Nordic countries;
(c) To observe migratory movements between the Nordic countries and to formulate a policy for co-operation between the labour market authorities;
(d) To make regulations for the exchange of information under this Agreement;
(e) To promote comparability between the labour market statistics of the different countries;
(f) To maintain contact with the parties to the labour market in the Nordic countries on matters concerning Nordic labour market co-operation.
The Nordic Council of Ministers (Ministers of Labour) shall regularly consult with the parties to the labour market on matters concerning the labour market and employment in the Nordic countries.
Detailed provisions concerning the application of this Agreement are contained in the annexed Protocol which shall enter into force simultaneously with the Agreement and have the same effect and duration as the Agreement.
Any country wishing to denounce the Agreement shall give written notice to that effect to the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which shall so notify the Governments of the other Nordic countries.
The denunciation shall apply only in respect of the country giving notice thereof, and shall take effect from the beginning of the calendar year following the expiration of not less than six months from the date on which notice of denunciation is received by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Any contracting country may, with immediate effect, terminate the Agreement in respect of one or more of the other countries in the event of war or a threat of war or other extraordinary circumstances of an international or national character. The Governments of the countries concerned shall forthwith be notified of the decision.
This Agreement shall be ratified and the instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which shall transmit certified copies of the Agreement to the other contracting countries.
The Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of two full calendar months from the date on which the instruments of ratification of all the countries are deposited.
Upon the entry into force of this Agreement, the Agreement of 22 May 1954 between Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden concerning a common labour market and annexed Protocol shall cease to have effect.
In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorized by their Governments, have signed this Agreement.
Done at Copenhagen on 6 March 1982 in a single original in the Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish languages, all the texts being equally authentic.
On signing this day the Agreement concerning a common Nordic labour market, the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto, have agreed, as follows:
Each contracting country shall, within the framework of its legislation and subject to the provisions of this Agreement and of other agreements in force between these countries, take measures with a view to:
(a) Inducing nationals intending to seek employment in another Nordic country to apply to the employment services of the country in which they are normally resident;
(b) Giving nationals of one Nordic country who are staying in and seeking employment in another Nordic country the opportunity also to contact the employment services of the first-mentioned country;
(c) Inducing employers intending to recruit labour from another Nordic country to do so through the official placement services;
(d) Preventing employers from privately recruiting labour in another Nordic country.
The labour market authorities shall ensure that persons seeking employment who are normally resident in the area, regardless of their nationality and having regard to their personal qualifications, can be advised of vacancies before labour is sought from another contracting country.
In the placement of labour between the countries, every effort shall be made to ensure that persons seeking employment can be offered satisfactory housing and that information on language instruction, day-care facilities and schooling and other information of importance to employees and their families are given to the persons seeking employment before they are advised of vacancies.
The labour market authorities shall follow developments regarding the circumstances of the migrants and, where necessary, propose measures to be taken by other authorities in order to facilitate adjustment to the new working and living conditions.
Economic assistance in connection with migration from one Nordic country to another may be provided in accordance with principles established by these countries in a special agreement.
The countries shall establish the conditions for frontier workers in a special agreement within the framework of this Agreement.
The Agreement shall not prevent:
(a) Labour market policy measures from being reserved to a country's own nationals and nationals of the other contracting countries who have been resident for some time in or have become unemployed in the country;
(b) A country from making regulations concerning the employment of aliens in undertakings or activities for which a licence is required or in occupations requiring a permit;
(c) Special regulations from being made concerning employment in an area or an undertaking where special security or defence requirements make such a step necessary;
(d) National regulations from being made concerning the employment of foreign nationals in public service;
(e) The countries from making regulations concerning the duty of employees from another Nordic country to report;
(f) The Icelandic authorities from being entitled in exceptional cases and after consultation with the other contracting countries to require a work permit to prevent any imbalance on account of migration movements involving groups of employees or substantial individual migration movements directed towards particular regions, occupations or branches of the economy.
By an exchange of notes the Danish Government may, on the basis of a decision taken by the home rule Government of the Faeroe Islands or the home rule Government of Greenland, and subject to reciprocity, accede to the Agreement of today's date also with respect to the Faeroe Islands or Greenland.
The Swedish and Danish Governments agree that the Convention concluded between the two States on 18 November 1946 concerning the transfer of labour, etc., shall cease to have effect upon the entry into force of this Protocol.
In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly auhorized by their Governments, have signed this Protocol.
DONE at Copenhagen on 6 March 1982, in a single original in the Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish languages, all the texts being equally authentic.
The Protocol shall be deposited with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs which shall transmit certified copies to the other contracting countries.
Unless otherwise indicated, the translation of this text into English has been made by the Secretariat of the United Nations, See 1347UNTS22678.