Oodi Helsinki Central Library
Oodi Helsinki Central Library (Photo by NordForsk)

Nordic co-operation under the lens: A study on Nordic added value and its implications

The project “Nordic Added Value and Vision 2030” explores the conceptualisation of Nordic added value (nordisk nytta/nordiskt mervärde) across the work of the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers and its subordinate institutions.

Peter Stadius, professor at the Centre for Nordic Studies (CENS) at the University of Helsinki, is the leader of the project. He explains that it will provide systematic and research-based insight into what different meanings are connected to the concept of 'Nordic added value':

“We look at various actors in official Nordic co-operation, and the tensions between a reformist strategy discourse and a perhaps more traditional identity-based co-operation narrative. We identify this as a two-value system in Nordic co-operation. The aim is to bring clarity to the ways in which 'Nordic added value' can be practically operationalised in Nordic co-operation.”

The main research is conducted by Frederik Forrai Ørskov, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki, who will analyse steering documents, reports, websites, and other available materials, supplemented by interviews with key stakeholders. Other researchers at CENS will also contribute to the final report, which is expected in early summer 2024.

Peter Stadius, leader of the “Nordic Added Value and Vision 2030” project. (Photo by Peter Mydske/Stortinget)

Historical and cultural approach

Proceeding from a historical and cultural analysis of Nordic co-operation, the purpose is to identify current and future challenges and to discuss how (and whether) Nordic added value can continue to serve as a tool for the Nordic Council of Ministers to formulate its goals and activities.

The project will provide a new conceptual framework within Nordic co-operation, and a better, academically informed understanding of past and present visions for Nordic co-operation. This will help clarify the opportunities and challenges facing the strategic priorities connected to the Nordic Council of Ministers’ vision of making the Nordic Region the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. In addition, an important objective is to develop tools to help the Nordic Council of Ministers and other relevant actors formulate goals and activities.

Two parts

This project is part 2 of an analysis of Nordic added value. The first analysed Nordic added value in research and was carried out in 2022-23. The results from the first project were published as a report by Tuire Liimatainen, entitled Nordic added value in Nordic research co-operation. Concept and practice.


Guttorm Aanes. Photo: NordForsk

Guttorm Aanes

Head of Communications