New President of the Nordic Council

09.11.2010
Henrik Dam Kristensen, a former Danish minister, was elected President of the Nordic Council on the 4th of November in Iceland. The new President wants to strengthen the Region‘s role in Europe and bring Nordic co-operation closer to the people.
Kristensen was elected President at the annual Session of the Nordic Council in Reykjavik, 2-4 November. He takes up the position in January 2011.

The new President wants to promote parliamentary co-operation in the Nordic Region, both internationally and on the home front. Internally, the Nordic welfare model is under pressure and the Council has to help secure its future. Externally, the EU is particularly high on the Council’s list of priorities.

”All of the Nordic countries are linked to the EU, either directly or indirectly, and all of them derive great benefits from sticking together. We must be a positive player in the Europe of the Regions, which is gradually emerging. In a globalised world, you need fixed points, and the Nordic countries are each others’ closest allies.”

”The Arctic is another priority, especially when it comes to improving safety at sea there and preventing environmental disasters. My other priority is to that Nordic co-operation should be on a level people can relate to,” he adds. ”We should be closer to the national decision-making processes and make it clearer to people that there is a Nordic dimension to many of the issues they hear about in the media. After all, we developed the Nordic welfare model together and it’s now under pressure, so we need to find joint solutions to the question of what our society should look like in a globalised world.”

The new President’s aims are greater topicality and a clearer Nordic voice, e.g. by reducing the time it takes Council committees to process issues and injecting a far greater Nordic dimension into national debates.

He also sees it as his job to strengthen the Region‘s role in the world. ”We have so much in common and can make a positive contribution to bodies like the UN, the IMF and the World Bank. The Nordic countries enjoy a high level of credibility and far greater impact than our size would normally warrant. Even better co-ordination on international issues would make that impact even greater,” the new President of the Nordic Council stresses.

By norden.org, read more here: Nordic Council to protect welfare model

Photo by Johannes Jansson, norden.org
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