Collectively, the nations of the North Atlantic make up a very large geographical area. Being the smallest member country, the Faroe Islands territory grows from 1,400 sq. km to almost 30,000 sq. km when its sea territory is included. The vast blue sea is to the West Nordic Countries what green fields and woodlands are to other countries.
The Faroe Islands and Iceland were populated by Norse vikings from around the 9th century whereas the history of Greenland dates back more than 5000 years. The Norse settlers arrived in Greenland in around 982 where they lived for almost 500 years.
In more recent times contacts between the West Nordic Countries have been firmly established, particularly in the fishing business. Living conditions in these three countries were often rough. Small communities were surviving in very isolated conditions. The three countries thus share historical and cultural bonds as well as the basic natural and economical conditions.
The special cultural and geographic conditions of the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Iceland were subject to political discussions of the early 1980s. Subsequently, the West Nordic Countries agreed to establish a joint parliamentary organisation. The chief aim would be to cooperate on common problems and to conduct positive and constructive cooperation regarding West Nordic, or North Atlantic, issues with the Nordic Council as well as other organisations.
The West Nordic Parliamentarian Council of Cooperation was formed in 1985.
I 1997 the name was changed to the West Nordic Council as the member parliaments approved the Council's present Charter.
The parliaments of the Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands each appoint six representatives to the West Nordic Council - i.e. a total of 18 members.
The Annual General Meeting constitutes the West Nordic Council's supreme authority. The Council's general work and activities throughout the year are organised and conducted by the Presidium.
The Presidium, consisting of one member from each delegation, is composed of the president, the 1st vice president and the 2nd vice president.
The West Nordic Council's work is realised through recommandations, which are presented to the parliaments of the member countries. Subsequently, the recommendations are passed on to and executed by the appropriate minister.