In 2015, it will be Denmark’s turn to hold the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers and lead the way in this important form of collaboration, which for many decades has served to nurture and enhance the strong sense of affinity between our nations.
The people of the Nordic Region have close ties as a result of their shared history and values, on the basis of which a partnership has evolved that serves as a rich source of mutual inspiration and support. It has also given rise to ways of working together that provide relevant and topical answers to the challenges that we all face.
One example of this is the long-standing commitment to promoting crossborder freedom of movement between our countries, which is crucial if Nordic companies and ordinary people are to reap the benefits of our geographical proximity, shared attitudes and sense of cultural affinity. This will continue to be a key component of Nordic co-operation. Nordic co-operation has celebrated many successes over the years, but we mustn’t rest on our laurels. It is crucial that we continue to generate real added value and come up with tangible solutions to new challenges as they arise.
This is particularly important as we start to recover from the global economic crisis, which had a major impact on our countries. The crisis forced us to make a series of difficult decisions – not least in order to protect the Nordic welfare systems. The latter may well have proved robust but have not emerged unscathed.
In the next few years, it will be of paramount importance that that we put the crisis behind us for good and cement the foundations of a society that will remain dynamic and innovative. We need to keep creating opportunities for those able to take advantage of them, and provide a safety net for those who find it difficult to cope on their own.
The Danish Presidency will concentrate on four themes designed to strengthen and focus the Nordic partnership. We will turn the spotlight on growth and employment; we will uphold Nordic welfare; we will enhance knowledge of Nordic values by bolstering the Nordic “brand”; and we will focus on the Arctic.
We look forward to a close and rewarding partnership with our Nordicneighbours and friends throughout 2015.
Copenhagen: Nordisk Ministerråd, 2014. , 27 p.