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Nordic-Baltic Cooperation

On this page you can read about the Nordic-Baltic Cooperation

Nordic-Baltic cooperation

The ties between the five Nordic countries and three Baltic countries have grown increasingly stronger in recent years. The Nordic-Baltic cooperation (NB8) was established in 1992. The NB8 facilitates open discussions on international topics and topics vital to the Nordic-Baltic region. Over the years, this cooperation has evolved to include regular meetings between not only the Heads of State and the Foreign Ministers but also several other line ministers. Furthermore experts and civil servants from the NB8 countries also meet regularly. Every year the cooperation is coordinated by one of the NB8 countries.

Danish coordination of the Nordic-Baltic cooperation 2015

In 2015 Denmark coorddinated the Nordic-Baltic cooperation. The coordinator organizes and hosts most of the meetings and activities during the year. Furthermore, the coordinating country suggests focus areas for the cooperation which will be pursued at the high-level and expert meetings during the year. The NB8 focus areas in 2015 were energy security, media in relation to Russian-speakers, regional security and the conflict in Ukraine as well as the Eastern Partnership.

History of Nordic-Baltic cooperation

The Nordic-Baltic cooperation (NB8) is a regional cooperation format that includes Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Denmark. NB8 is a network for political dialogue and practical cooperation between equal partners, which in its essence is flexible and problem-focused. The focus is on concrete cooperation that delivers tangible results.

At the political level, annual meetings of Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers serve as the main format of cooperation. The first meeting of Prime Ministers was held in 1993. In addition to Foreign Ministers and Prime Ministers, line ministers, members of parliament and civil servants and experts also meet on a regular basis. At the foreign policy level, NB8 meetings are held among Foreign Ministers, State Secretaries, Political Directors, civil servants and experts.

Cooperation also exists between the Nordic and Baltic countries and the United States in what is known as the e-PINE format. Furthermore, cooperation between the NB8 countries and the United Kingdom has emerged, and so-called Northern Future Forum summits have been organized on a yearly basis since 2011. Regular consultations are also taking place among the NB8 and the four Visegrad countries.

The coordination of the NB8 cooperation rotates on a yearly basis between the eight countries. Lithuania was the coordinator in 2013, Estonia in 2014, Denmark in 2015 and Latvia is coordinating the cooperation in 2016.

An important document for the NB8 cooperation is the NB8 Wise Men Report (also known as the Birkavs-Gade), published in August 2010. It presents concrete recommendations for advancing the cooperation between the eight Nordic-Baltic countries. The report was compiled by former Latvian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Valdis Birkavs and former Danish Minister of Defence Søren Gade. The report is composed of two parts. The first part addresses the past, present and future developments of the NB8 cooperation and the second part presents specific recommendations for improving cooperation, including foreign political dialogue, cooperation on diplomatic representations, civil security, defence cooperation, energy and the NB8 brand.

Read the opening remarks by Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard at NB8 meeting "Balanced Russian Language Media" in Copenhagen on February 27, 2015 here