Nordic cooperation: Finland holds the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2021

Finland holds the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2021. The main task of Finland’s Presidency is to advance the vision adopted by the Nordic Prime Ministers: the Nordic region will become the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. The priorities of the vision are:

•    a green Nordic region
•    a competitive Nordic region
•    a socially sustainable Nordic region.

The Nordic Council of Ministers works in 12 individual councils of ministers focusing on different policy areas. Matters in the Ministry of the Interior’s branch of government are not directly covered by the mandate of the Council of Ministers, but the Ministry is actively involved, for example in meetings organised by the Ministry of Justice. Many topics of these meetings are also closely related to the Ministry of the Interior’s branch of government. During the Presidency, the Ministry of Justice will particularly promote digitalisation in the justice sector, and focus on the prevention of corruption, money laundering and human trafficking.

One of Finland's priorities during the Presidency is to intensify cooperation in the area of security of supply and preparedness in the Nordic countries. The Ministry of the Interior will contribute to putting the priority into practice through its own Nordic cooperation networks.

Projects to be supported by the Finnish Presidency will focus, among other things, on circular economy in construction and on cross-border digitalisation. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, topical themes of cooperation will include promoting free movement between the Nordic countries and ensuring security of supply and preparedness for future crises.

In Finland, intergovernmental Nordic cooperation is coordinated by the Secretariat for Nordic Cooperation in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Nordic cooperation in matters related to rescue services and migration

The Ministry of the Interior is active in Nordic cooperation outside the Nordic Council of Ministers. For example, the ministers responsible for civil preparedness and rescue services meet regularly in the framework of the Haga cooperation. Finland acts as chair of the Haga cooperation in 2021. The Nordic ministers responsible for migration also meet regularly to discuss topical issues.

Finland and Sweden are strengthening their cooperation in the field of civil preparedness. In February 2021, the interior ministers of the countries signed a letter of intent on closer cooperation in the field of civil preparedness. This year, Finland and Sweden will also launch a new crisis preparedness programme, the Hanaholmen initiative. It aims to strengthen their preparedness and capacity to respond to various crises. Finland and Sweden are also planning to deepen their police cooperation in 2021.