Climate as the main theme of the Finnish Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2011

Finland will hold the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2011. The Presidency’s number one theme will be comprehensive management of climate change. The aim is to improve the Nordic countries’ role as a strong and unified player in climate issues.
With the programme, Finland will focus on three priority areas: management of climate change, consolidation of the Nordic globalisation initiatives, and status of grassroots action as the cornerstone of Nordic cooperation. The programme also includes sector-specific plans and objectives.

The Nordic countries have the required expertise and will to be at the forefront of efforts to curb climate change. They are also dedicated to promoting the efforts on both national and international levels. To be successful, work on climate change calls for comprehensive and cross-sectoral commitment and cooperation. A stronger link should be established between environmental aspects and economic decision-making. At the same time, it is necessary to consider ways with which to improve our standard of living while reducing emissions. Green growth is the trend for the future.
Finland will continue, develop and finalise existing concrete globalisation initiatives with a view to reinforcing the green profile of the Nordic countries internationally. The Nordic countries’ top research initiative is the biggest ever Nordic research and innovation investment. Among the first target areas are climate, energy and the environment. Finland stresses that the science community must be equipped with the best possible tools and conditions to deliver new state-of-the-art research and expertise.
Annual globalisation forums have been organised since 2008 and Finland will continue the tradition. The forum offers a platform for the Nordic prime ministers and representatives of business life, research circles, politics, the media and different organisations to jointly discuss the strengths and common challenges of the Nordic region.
Finland will strive to encourage active citizenship and improve concrete opportunities for wide involvement in grassroots action. To ensure continuity, it is especially important that young people become committed to Nordic cooperation. This can be achieved by strengthening their Nordic identity and knowledge of the Nordic languages.
Work to remove border barriers will continue. The mandate of the Nordic Border Barrier Forum, led by Minister Ole Norrback, has been extended for the period of 2011-13. The effective work of the Forum to remove existing border barriers and improve coordination to avoid new barriers will be supported.