Committee: International sporting events are a matter for Nordic co-operation!

The Committee for Knowledge and Culture is not satisfied with the response by the ministers of culture to its recommendation for a Nordic strategy for major sporting events. The ministers do not want to go ahead with the proposal, arguing that it is something the national federations should pursue and that some of them already work together. 

“There is a difference between co-operation and strategy. The Committee agrees with the ministers that co-operation should be with relevant national stakeholders but when it comes to drawing up a Nordic strategy, we believe that political coordination and support from official Nordic co-operation are required. It is a responsibility that we cannot impose on the sporting organisations in the individual countries,” says May Britt Lagesen, a member of the Social Democratic group. 

At its summer meeting in Iceland, the committee decided to request a political dialogue on the issue at the consultative meeting with the culture ministers in the autumn.
 

New partnerships and sustainable events

The committee has been pushing the issue of Nordic co-operation for several years and in a statement in 2019 it supported a Nordic application to host the World Cup football in 2027. As part of the processing of the question of a Nordic strategy, the proposal was sent out for consideration by a selection of sports federations in the Nordic countries, all of which backed it. Opportunities for exchange and new ways of working together – also at children’s and youth level – were mentioned, as well as Nordic values and the ability to arrange financially and socially sustainable events. Nordic co-operation also provides potential for raising international profiles and giving audiences new experiences. 

Nordic values

The committee believes that the strategy should cover more than just joint hosting of events, and that the Nordic Region must also assume greater responsibility for conditions at international events. 

“Right now, we are watching the success of the Nordic national teams at the women’s Euro 2022 in football and looking forward later this year to the men’s World Cup in Qatar, which has been discussed extensively because of issues with democracy and freedom of expression in the gulf state. The committee believes that the Nordic Region must take an international lead in promoting our democratic values and standing together in support of international conventions and human rights in a time of unrest and war. A Nordic strategy will help in this work,” says Camilla Gunell, chair of the Committee for Knowledge and Culture.