Together we are stronger

Nordics back in Narva The Estonian border city of Narva has a long Nordic history. Today, Narva is mostly populated by Russian speaking people. In January, the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Estonia is opening a branch office in Narva in order to also make the Nordic way of life better known in this part of Estonia. The programme includes both cultural events and discussions on current affairs
Supporting democracy in Belarus For many years, the Nordic Council of Ministers has been supporting the development of democracy in Belarus. The Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Lithuania has helped the Exiled Belarussian university, EHU, to function in a free and democratic environment through administration of the university’s Trust Fund. Since 2011, the office has also coordinated support to NGOs and independent media in the country, via the Civil Society Stability for Belarus programme project.
We share brains Knowledge and networks pave the way to success. In 2009, the Nordic and Baltic countries jointly initiated mobility programmes in order to boost cooperation in the public sector, culture and business. The programme for public administration has initiated contacts between more than 2500 civil servants. Find out more at www.nb8grants.org. The deadline is March 30.
♂ = ♀ The office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman was established on 25 May 1999 in Vilnius. The office adopted the Nordic model of gender equality as a result of close collaboration with the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Lithuania. All the Baltic offices believe that for society to be equal, there must be no gender-based violence or any other similar form of discrimination. There’s still much to achieve.
We are all foodies In the wake of New Nordic Cuisine, Chef René Redzepi from Noma, one of the world’s best restaurants in Copenhagen, visited Vilnius to create a special menu for West Nordic cultural days. Ever since then, renowned chefs have shared their success and given the food around the Baltic Sea a brand new taste and experience. In June 2014, Estonia was included in the future activities of the New Nordic Food II programme.
Who to call? The Nordic Council of Ministers and the Baltic States have worked together in combating human trafficking since the early 2000s. An example of this valuable cooperation is the investigation of the first trafficking case in Iceland, which was solved with the help and experience of the Lithuanian police. The Nordic-Baltic Network of Policewomen has been a vital partner in these activities. Find out more at www.norden.ee/en/antithb
Express your opinion One of the core values of Nordic cooperation is openness, proximity to power and belief in everyone’s right to express their opinions. Democracy or political weeks in the Nordic countries, the oldest of them, Almedalen Week in Sweden, have inspired the Arvamusfestival in Estonia and LAMPA in Latvia, which offer a unique open platform for debates along with current hot Nordic-Baltic topics.
Go green! Business in the Baltic Sea region is becoming greener. There are now 17 companies (11 Estonian, 5 Latvian, 1 Lithuanian) in the Baltic countries certified with one of the world’s most successful ecolabels, the Nordic Ecolabel, commonly called “the Swan”. Find out more at www.nordic-ecolabel.org
Hej. Hei. Halló! Language is the key to really getting under the skin of a nation, its culture and society. The Nordic Council of Ministers’ Offices in Latvia and Lithuania introduced courses in Nordic languages in the 1990’s that proved to be extremely popular. Their mission was later taken over by the local universities.
Nordic Noir Culture – films, music, literature - has an essential role in building bridges. Nordic film screenings in Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius began in the autumn of 1992 in cooperation with Scandinavian Films. The Riga International Film Festival programme Nordic Highlights and Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, a category A festival, has grown out of Nordic film days and still screens a number of quality Nordic repertoire every autumn.
Enlightening stories It’s perhaps the gloomiest time of year. But not for the libraries, schools and kindergartens across the Baltic Sea that have taken part in Nordic Library Week ever since 1997. It’s seven days of exhibitions, readings, book presentations and discussions. In 2015, there were more than 2300 participants, 1004 of them from the Baltic countries. Join us this November: http://www.bibliotek.org/
Nordic Style far and wide Latvians didn’t have the choice to not get involved with the Nordics when the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia, in cooperation with VFS, launched the popular TV series Nordic Style. The 54 captivating, educational and thematically varied episodes were broadcasted during 2009–2013. The series has also been broadcast in Lithuania and Finland. Watch it at www.vfs.lv/ziemelu-puse/