Nordic Council and Gender Equality

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Official Nordic co-operation is channelled through two organisations: the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers.
Nordic parliamentary co-operation aims to promote political, economic, environmental, social and other developments in the Nordic countries and in northern Europe.

The Nordic Council

The Nordic Council was formed in 1952 and is the forum for Nordic parliamentary co-operation. The Council has 87 chosen members, representing the five countries and three autonomous territories. The members of the Council are members of the national parliaments, who are nominated by the parliament on the recommendation of the party groups. There is thus no direct election to the Nordic Council.

The Nordic Council of Ministers

The Nordic Council of Ministers, formed in 1971, is the forum for Nordic governmental co-operation. Overall responsibility for the Nordic Council of Ministers lies with the respective Prime Ministers. In practice, responsibility is delegated to the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation (MR-SAM) and to the Nordic Committee for Co-operation (NSK), which co-ordinates the day-to-day work of the official political Nordic co-operation.

The Chairmanship of the Council of Ministers, which is held for a period of one year, rotates between the five Nordic countries. Decisions made in the Council of Ministers are unanimous. The Nordic Prime Ministers meet regularly - such as before meetings of the European Council, in the circle of European heads of state and government. The ministers for foreign affairs and defence hold their regular meetings outwith the formal framework of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Gender Equality

The purpose of Nordic co-operation on gender equality is to promote the opportunities and rights of women and men, boys and girls, in Nordic society. The equality sector works both with special equality initiatives directed towards women or men and with gender mainstreaming. Mainstreaming is the process of incorporating equality in any planned action, policies or administration on the Nordic Council of Ministers and in the countries covered by Nordic co-operation.

The Nordic Ministers for Gender Equality agree on annual action plans with particular focus areas. The overall framework for co-operation is laid down in 5-year co-operation plans. Gender equality work also involves research and co-ordination of co-operation between political institutions, NGOs, interest groups and international organisations within and outside the Nordic countries.


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