Ministers and representatives of Nordic countries gather for summit

Tuesday, 01 November 2011

Põhja- ja Baltimaade peaministrid 2011Today, 1 November 2011, marks the start of the session of the Nordic Council or Nordic Summit in the Danish capital Copenhagen. The main theme of this year's summit is open society in northern Europe. Issues related to the theme, which was selected in light of the elections that have been held in the region over the last year and the tragic events that unfolded in Norway in summer, will be discussed by the prime ministers of all five Nordic countries as well as representatives of the other states forming part of the Nordic Council.

During a meeting yesterday ahead of the summit, the prime ministers of the Nordic countries and Baltic States (the NB8) confirmed that while cooperation in the region remains strong, there is an ever-increasing need to work more closely together. The topic of interest most widely discussed by the government leaders was Europe's financial crisis. Finnish prime minister Jyrki Katainen said that both the Nordic countries and Baltic States had coped well with the crisis. "We are a region of good performers when it comes to economic matters, and we are all in the same boat, no matter which currency we use. But we must also all work hard to maintain this position - especially if we are to continue to attract investment to the region", he said.

"The Nordic countries and the Baltic States share the same values," said Estonian prime minister Andrus Ansip. "The region as a whole, in an economic sense, is our home. All of Estonia's biggest trade partners are sitting right here at this table."

Ansip expressed his hope that future working meetings would allow them to deal with high-priority issues for all of the countries in the region, such as the common market, including fostering the development of a single digital market.

As part of the session of the Nordic Council, which will run from 1-3 November, Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg will unveil his country's plans for 2012, when Norway will assume the presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The summit is not only being attended by the prime ministers of the countries involved, but also by the foreign ministers and defence ministers of the Nordic countries.

A gala ceremony will be held on the evening of 2 November to recognise the recipients of the Nordic Council awards, who this year are:
- Literature: Gyrdir Elíasson (Iceland, for the short story collection Milli trjánna)
- Film: Svinalängorna (Sweden, directed by Pernilla August, written by Pernilla August & Lolita Ray and produced by Helena Danielsson & Ralf Karlsson)
- Music: Mats Gustafsson (Sweden, composer and saxophonist)
- Nature and the environment: Scandic Hotel chain (all Nordic countries)

All of the recipients will receive a cash prize of 350,000 Danish kroner (ca EUR50,000).

The Nordic Council of Ministers is also represented in Estonia, where its office is marking its 20th anniversary in 2011.

For further information please contact:
Triin Oppi
Communications adviser
Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Estonia
Mobile: +372 52 13 226
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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