Closer Nordic co-operation in defence

Friday, 01 October 2010

There is broad support to increase Nordic defence co-operation. The Conservative group in the Nordic Council has presented a proposal for closer co-operation. In parallel, former minister of foreign affairs, Thorvald Stoltenberg, is working on a study of how co-operation can be improved.

"In recent years all countries have cut down on their defence budgets, since we have not seen any serious threats in our part of the world. We are now in the midst of a much more uncertain era", said Inge Lønning, Conservative and spokesman for the Nordic Council Presidium.
"This makes the question of increased defence co-operation of particular immediate importance. The Nordic countries can achieve considerably greater benefits together than on their own", stated Lønning and confirmed that the Nordic Council’s Presidium was calling for broader co-operation. Like several other speakers he is waiting with curiosity for the study on how security policy co-operation can be improved which Thorvald Stoltenberg will present at the end of the year.

Kent Olsson, Sweden, supports the proposal from the Conservative group.

"We can work together in many areas, in training, drills, surveillance, material co-operation and international operations. It is excellent that we stand united in the Nordic countries when confronted with new defence situations", said Kent Olsson.

The Danish Minister of Defence, Søren Gade, expressed his ambition that by the year 2010 there will be a joint Nordic UN force. Line Barfod from the Left-wing Socialist Green group referred to that and stressed that it was important for the Nordic countries to safequard the human rights convention and not to be involved in torture.

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