Nordic Council Definition
Nordic Council is an organization, formed in 1952 for promoting inter-parliamentary cooperation among the Nordic countries. It has 87 representatives from Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland.
The representatives are Members of National Parliament and are nominated by the party groups. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland each have 20 members. Among them, two Danish representatives are from the Faroe Islands and two are from Greenland. Two representatives from Finland are from Åland. Seven representatives are from Iceland. Finland joined the council in 1955, the Faroe Islands and Åland joined in 1970 and Greenland in 1984.
A Little More on What is the Nordic Council
The council bodies consist of the Plenary, Presidiums, and Committee. The Plenary is the highest decision-making body and when the Plenary is not sitting, the Presidium has the equal power to make decisions.
The council holds two annual meetings-ordinary sessions and the theme session. In the meetings, the members discuss issues related to the member countries except for national defense. The council takes decisions on the issues and asks the respective governments to implement it. The decisions are implemented by the legislature of the respective countries.
Ordinary sessions are held in every autumn and the President, Vice-President, and members of the Presidium for the next year are elected in the ordinary session. The President is elected from each country in turn. The session is held in the country from where the President is elected. The theme sessions are held in spring in the country of the President of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
Committees and party groups are formed to run the ongoing political work. A secretariat serves the Nordic Council and each member country has their national secretariat. The Nordic Council Secretariat shares the premises with the Secretariat to the Nordic Council of Ministers in Copenhagen.
The Secretary-General assisted by the staffs of the secretariat leads the Nordic Council. They are responsible for preparing the business procedure of the council. Secretariat prepares it in discussion and collaboration with the national delegations and party groups. The Secretary-General reports to the Presidium. The Secretary-General in consultation with the President sets the agenda for the Presidium meeting and prepares decision items on the agenda. The Presidium may authorize the Secretary-General to take certain decisions.
The Nordic Council has four committees: The Committee for a Sustainable Nordic Region, the Committee for Growth and Development in the Nordic Region, the Committee for Knowledge and Culture in the Nordic Region, and the Committee for Welfare in the Nordic Region. The committees prepare business in their own area of expertise and then it is passed by the council.
Party groups are formed by the elected members and each group must have four members from at least two different countries.
Three Continental Scandinavian languages are used as the official working languages of the council, but materials are also published in Finnish, Icelandic and English. The citizens of the Nordic countries are allowed to interact with the official bodies in other Nordic countries in their native language without incurring any translation or interpretation costs. The languages they are permitted to use are Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Icelandic.
While the Nordic Council focuses on inter-parliamentary cooperation, the Nordic Council of Ministers, formed in 1971, works for inter-governmental cooperation. The Prime Ministers of the Nordic countries have the overall responsibility for the cooperation, but most of the responsibilities are delegated to the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation and to the Nordic Committee for Co-operation. The day-to-day works are done by these two bodies.
References for Nordic Council
Academic Research on Nordic Council
Sthe candinavian grassroots: from the peace movement to Nordic Council, Larsen, K. (1984). Scandinavian Journal of History, 9(2-3), 183-200. This paper explains the Scandinavian grass roots from the peace movement to the Nordic Council.
Policy learning processes in international committees: the case of the civil servant committees of the Nordic Council of ministers, Nedergaard, P. (2009). Public Management Review, 11(1), 23-37. According to this study, an analysis for the first time learning of policy among most civil servants and literates in international organisations was carried out. By adopting the use of the Advocacy Coalition Framework as the starting point, a large amount of exploratory guesses as regards the learning of policy between international committees and countries as a subject which was only explained in few research papers was well discussed in this paper. A methodology which measures the policy learning was also explained in this research thesis and it concluded that learning of policies in these international committees increases when the avoidance of the fragmentation into coalitions are subjected to public opinions.
The Nordic Council, Dolan, P. (1959). Western Political Quarterly, 12(2), 511-526. This paper explains the Nordic Council as well as the scope. The advantages and disadvantages of this council were also explained in this paper.
Regional co-operation within the Nordic Council of Trade Unions and across the Baltic Sea, Skulason, A., & Jääskelainen, M. (2000). Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, 6(1), 78-91. This paper explains the evolution in the trade union cooperation and within the Nordic Council of Trade Unions (NFS). This paper explains that the sole aim of the NFS is to strengthen the already closed relationship between the Nordic national trade union movement in a text where various Nordic counties make approaches to the EC. However, a peculiar change on the geopolitical map of Europe has had a profound effect on the cooperation between several Nordic unions and in respect giving a push to the development of more sophisticated and extended patterns of the trans-national union engagement.
Negotiations for the Nordic Council, Anderson, S. V. (1963). Nordisk Tidsskrift Int’l Ret, 33, 23. According to this paper, negotiations between the Nordic council were mad and this negotiation in one way or the other has an effect on the economy and the whole community at large.
Reorganization processes in small international organizations: The Nordic Councils and the Council of the Baltic Sea States, Etzold, T. (2007, May). Management Reforms in International Organizations (pp. 149-162). Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG. According to this research paper, the process of re-organisation in the small international organization was taken as a case study in explaining the Nordic Council and the council of the Baltic sea states. This paper explained in details the Baltic sea states and the Nordic council before the establishment of the correlation between them.
The West Nordic Council in the global arctic., Níelsson, E. Þ. (2014). According to this research thesis, the west Nordic council in the global artic region of the world was taken as a case study to explain the effect of the Nordic Council on an economy. The Arctic region is however different from other regions.
Functionalism in practice: Nordic lessons for the British-Irish Council, Qvortrup, M. (2001). Functionalism in practice: Nordic lessons for the British-Irish Council. Regional & Federal Studies, 11(1), 27-38. This paper explains the achievements and history of the Nordic Council and several assumptions were made after this explanation. This paper, however, argues that the Nordic Council and the council of ministers were the process of a functionalist development which means they were developed by David Mitrany. These two councils have been seen as a successful example of cooperation between dependent territories and neighbouring countries.
Bargaining Power of Nordic-Baltic coalition in EU Council Negotiations, Ruse, I. (2011, August). In ECPR Conference, Reykjavik (pp. 24-27). This paper argues that the cooperation found among institutionalized groupings helps to improve the bargaining power of its participants via three basic mechanisms which include the exchange of information which is opposite of the asymmetries in the distribution of information basically in the pre-negotiation stage, actions that gives more power to normative justification which may later lead to a normative problem for other members in other states and the exchange of expertise which allow the sharing of resources among member states more rampant and also provide a common argumentation. This paper also explains the limitations of the regional cooperation within the EU policy that rises from the heterogeneity preference of the policy.
The Nordic Council and the 1962 Helsinki Agreement, Anderson, S. V. (1964). Nordisk Tidsskrift Int’l Ret, 34, 278. According to this research thesis, the Nordic Council and the 1962 Helsinki agreement were studied and the relationship between them was vividly established after a clear description of what they are unitarily about to have been fully established.
The Conception of Administrative organs in the Nordic Council of Ministers, Drzewicki, K. (1980). International Review of Administrative Sciences, 46(4), 341-353. This paper explains the scope/conception of the administrative sector in the Nordic council of ministers.
… countries and considerations on possible needs for enhanced inter-Nordic cooperation: Final report from an NKS-B activity commissioned by the Nordic Council …, Andersson, K. G., Brewitz, E., Magnússon, S. M., Markkanen, M., Physant, F., Popic, J. M., & Ulfbeck, D. G. (2015). According to this report, a final assessment on the project commissioned by the Nordic Council of ministers for the NKS which studies the current situation in the Nordic countries with respect to the non-clear radioactive waste management. The main aim of this paper is to access if there are any needs which could be seen as regards the enhanced Nordic operation in that area. Although, more scientific research work was assumed to be suited for a case application for the upcoming NKS call for proposal in the autumn of 2015.