Nordic Cooperation

Nordic Council of Ministers

Research Networks
and Associations

To the door

The Nordic countries are Denmark with the self-governing Faroe Islands and Greenland, Finland with the self-governing Åland Islands, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Nordic cooperation has a long historical tradition. In its present form it started as an academic movement in the first half of the 19th century. Until the First World War this cooperation had its main strongholds among academics, the labour movement and educationalists. In the 1920s the Norden Associations were established, enabling cooperation on a larger popular scale. At Government level, informal cooperation was initiated in the 1920s and 1930s through various ministerial meetings. In the early 1950s a parliamentary counterpart, the Nordic Council, was established. It met for its first session in 1953. The basis for cooperation today is a treaty between the Nordic countries, known as the Helsinki Treaty, which came into force in 1962. This treaty laid out the character and framework of the Nordic Council's working procedures and fields of activity.

To promote cooperation in specific fields, additional agreements have been signed, among them the Nordic Cultural Agreement under which NIAS operates.

Through the revision of the Treaty in 1971, the Nordic Council of Ministers was established, and at the same time the procedures and rules for cooperation were amended correspondingly.

The Nordic Council of Ministers operates within the entire range of Nordic cooperation, and is authorized to make binding decisions within the framework of the cooperation agreements in force. The Council of Ministers is assisted by a number of Senior Officials' Committees, each of them responsible for a specific field. The Council of Ministers Secretariat is located in Copenhagen.