Nordic cooperation on foreign and security policy

There is broad political and citizens’ support for Nordic cooperation on foreign, security and defence policy. This cooperation has expanded and developed in recent years . Nordic foreign and security policy cooperation is informal in nature and has not been part of the institutional structures of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The Nordic Foreign Ministers issued a joint statement on 12 February 2014 in which the Nordic countries commit themselves to strengthening foreign and security policy cooperation among others in issues pertaining to crisis management, activities in international organisations, climate change, sustainable development, Arctic issues and cybersecurity.

The statement is based on Nordic values and the broad concept of security. It takes comprehensive account of various global threats as well as the need for coordination in different policy areas. The statement brought visibility to the established, broad-based cooperation relating to security alongside defence policy cooperation.

In December 2013 the Nordic Defence Ministers approved a Vision statement that extends to 2020 and pertains among others to the development of exercise cooperation, the intensification of maritime and air surveillance cooperation, as well as rapid deployment in the framework of the EU, NATO and the UN.

The Nordic Development Ministers in turn, issued a statement in March 2014 on development policy priorities and the division of tasks for advancing them in international fora.

The Ministers for Nordic Cooperation adopted a statement in February 2014 where the aim, inter alia, is an outward-looking Nordic region.

In crisis management the Nordic countries strive to intensify their cooperation further, and greater cooperation in UN operations has also been discussed.

Cooperation in cyber security has been deepened through the establishment of the Nordic security authorities’ cooperation network (CERT). The Nordic countries seek to promote the strengthening of the Nordic voice in the UN and support Sweden in its candidature for the UN Security Council for the term 2017–2018.