A particular focus area of Nordic co-operation in 2018 is the marine environment in light of Norway’s presidency of the Nordic Council this year, whose programme includes activities to promote co-operation between the Nordic countries with regard to the “regulated and sustainable use of marine resources”.
The President of the Nordic Council Michael Tetzschner points out that the marine environment is of huge importance to many people in the Nordic Region since all the Nordic countries border a sea or ocean. He stresses the importance of clear international rules given the increase in shipping traffic in northern waters.
“We’re seeing the launch of new shipping lanes to Asia, for example. Going forwards this means that the Nordic Region will be closer to international trade routes, and so we must ensure that development is regulated. Although coastal nations have a huge responsibility in this regard, they also have many opportunities. We should regulate the use of marine resources in order to prevent overfishing and to regulate the exploitation of mineral deposits and anything else that can be found on the ocean floor,” says Tetzschner.
Our oceans – a key topic on several agendas
The marine environment will feature on the agenda in several different contexts during the theme session. All four committees of the Nordic Council and the Presidium will address marine issues, and on 10 April a joint plenary theme debate on the oceans will take place. The starting point for the debate is milestone 14 of Agenda 2030, which addresses the marine environment.
As a basis for the debate, politicians will receive a progress report on the Nordic Council of Ministers’ efforts in relation to milestone 14.
Two days of meetings
The Nordic Council theme session in Akureyri will last for two days (9 and 10 April). The first day is primarily devoted to party group meetings, followed by the theme session on the second day.
The Nordic Council arranges theme sessions in April each year, each on a specific topic. The Nordic Council, which is a parliamentary co-operation body, has 87 members from all five Nordic countries, as well as Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Åland.