Ministers for Nordic Co-operation: Focus on obstacles to freedom of movement for an integrated Nordic Region

The Ministers for Nordic Co-operation are tasked with developing long-term strategies for Nordic co-operation. Their mission is to strengthen the common interests and values shared by the Nordic countries and ensure closer integration and co-operation within the region. The vision for the Nordic Region is for it to be the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. The co-operation within the Nordic Council of Ministers aims to serve this purpose, with a focus on a green, competitive, and socially sustainable region. 

A strong joint labour market

The Ministers for Nordic Co-operation began their 2024 summer meeting by participating in the 70th anniversary conference for the joint Nordic labour market, a collaboration between the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Åland.

The joint Nordic labour market promotes the free movement of labour between the countries. Established in 1954, this collaboration offers a range of benefits and agreements that make it easier for the citizens of the Nordic countries to work in another Nordic country. The focus is on improving working conditions, promoting gender equality in the labour market, and combating unemployment on a Nordic level. 

We will accelerate efforts to remove obstacles to freedom of movement and create better opportunities in our region. It should be easy to live, study, work, and run companies throughout the Nordic Region and across its borders

Jessika Roswall, Sweden’s Minister for European Union Affairs responsible for Nordic affairs

Active efforts to dismantle obstacles to freedom of movement

The Ministers for Nordic Co-operation also met with the Freedom of Movement Council, which works to identify and remove obstacles in respect of the Nordic borders. The focus of the work on mobility and obstacles to freedom of movement centres on issues of crucial importance for regional integration in the Nordic Region. This involves political anchoring and co-operation with national departments and authorities, as well as regional actors and the business community. An important part of this work is informing citizens and companies about their rights and opportunities in the Nordic countries.  

Together we are stronger

The many positive results of Nordic co-operation show that we’re on the right path. We can build on these results to strengthen our regional co-operation, whether it concerns the consequences of the climate crisis, a new pandemic, or other societal crises. 

We’re facing several simultaneous crises that pose real problems. The climate crisis, health crisis, threats to our democracies, and an ageing population. The Nordic partnership is crucial for us to find sustainable solutions together. We’re stronger when we work together than on our own

Karen Ellemann, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers

At their summer meeting in Malmö, the ministers agreed on common goals and priorities for Nordic co-operation up to 2030. The goals form part of an upcoming co-operation programme for Vision 2030 for the period 2025 to 2030 which will be announced in autumn 2024 in connection with the Session of the Nordic Council. 

More about Nordic co-operation Follow developments at:

Photographer
Ken Hermann

Photographer
Ken Hermann

Photographer
Ken Hermann

Photographer
Ken Hermann