Nordic Council

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Nordic Council,

international consultative body, created in 1952 by Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Finland joined the council in 1955. The territories of the Faeroes and the Åland Islands have been represented since 1970; Greenland gained representation in 1984. The council may take up any problem of joint interest except matters of defense. Among its accomplishments are the abolition of visas, the creation of a common labor market, mutual recognition of academic degrees, and mutual law enforcement.

Nordic Council


an organ of the parliaments of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Representatives of the various governments also take part, although only in an advisory capacity. The council may consider any questions; in practice, however, it does not discuss military and political questions.

The Nordic Council was established in 1952. Finland adhered in 1955. Cooperation between the member countries of the council is essentially based on the Helsinki Treaty of Nordic Cooperation, which was signed in 1962 and revised in 1971. The council consists of parliamentary deputies from the member countries; it makes recommendations to the Nordic governments.

The Nordic Council has dealt with such problems as social and legal standardization in the Nordic countries. It has promoted the creation of a common Nordic labor market and the expansion of economic and cultural cooperation. It regards some problems as beyond its competence—for example, the creation of an atom-free zone in Northern Europe and the delimitation of the fishing zone for Iceland, which has requested the council’s protection against British encroachments.

The Nordic Council of Ministers was established within the Nordic Council in 1971, and the Permanent Secretariat in 1972. The press organ of the Nordic Council is the monthly Nordisk Kontakt, which has been published in Stockholm since 1955.

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