The West Nordic Council
The West Nordic Council is a parliamentary co-operation between Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. 18 Members of Parliament form the Council, six from each member country. The Council convenes twice a year, for its Annual General Meeting and its Theme Conference. The Council´s Standing Committee organizes and conducts the Council’s general work and activities throughout the year, with the support of the Council´s Secretary-General and the Secretaries of the three national delegations. The West Nordic Council´s Secretariat is located in Reykjavík, Iceland, within the International Secretariat of the Parliament of Iceland.
The West Nordic Council was founded in 1985 in recognition of the many common interests the three countries share in the region. The Council is one of the oldest on-going pan-arctic cooperation mechanisms in the world. Focus areas have included sustainable development, environmental affairs, natural resources, transport, infrastructure, search and rescue, climate change, free trade, security and defense, public health, culture, education, youth and Arctic affairs.
The West Nordic Council´s objectives are to:
- – Promote the common interests of the West Nordics.
- – Preserve the natural resourcesandculture of the NorthAtlantic in collaboration with the West Nordic
- – Strengthen cooperation between the West Nordic governments.
- – Promote West Nordic interests within Nordic cooperation.
- – Strengthen cooperation with and between other West Nordic organizations.
- – Strengthen cooperation with other parliamentary organizations, including the Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region and the European Parliament.
The West Nordic Council’s objectives are achieved by:
- – Adopting resolutions submitted directly to the three national parliaments for approval and subsequently implemented by the appropriate ministers in the governments of the three countries.
- – Cooperating with the West Nordic governments.
- – Actively participating and contributing to Nordic co-operation within the Nordic Council.
- – Facilitating interaction between and sharing information with other West Nordic organizations, including the West Nordic Foundation and the North Atlantic Co-operation Committee, NORA.
- – Observing and contributing to the work of the Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region and its Standing Committee.
- – Exchanging views with the SINEEA delegation of the European Parliament (EP) at annual meetings between the West Nordic Council and the EP.
- – Organizing conferences and meetings.
- – Sharing information on West Nordic issues, locally, regionally and internationally, with amongst others the general public, regional and international partners and the West Nordic governments.
Collectively the nations of the North Atlantic make up a very large geographical area including enormous sea territories. 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 populated with Inuits dates back more than 5000 years. The Norse settlers arrived in Greenland around 982 where they lived for almost 500 years. The special cultural and geographic conditions of the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Iceland were subject to political discussions in the early 1980s. Subsequently, the West Nordic countries established a joint parliamentary organisation. The chief aim is to cooperate on common challenges and interests in the West Nordic region and the North Atlantic, in collaboration with other countries and organisations.
The West Nordic Council’s Presidium
The West Nordic Council’s work and activities is organised and led by the Presidium, consisting of three representatives from the member delegations.
The Faroe Islands delegation
The Faroe Islands delegation of the West Nordic Council is appointed by the Faroese Parliament.
Kári Páll Højgaard
Delegationsformand og 1.vicepræsidentkariph@logting.fo
Joen Magnus Rasmussenjoenmr@logting.fo
Bárður Kass Nielsen, Heðin Mortensen, Katrin Kallsberg, Elsebeth M. Gunnleygsdóttur, Jenis av Rana, Bárður Nielsen
The Greenland delegation
The Greenland delegation of the West Nordic Council is appointed by Inatsisartut – the Parliament of Greenland.
Lars Emil Johansen
Delegationsformand og 2.vicepræsidentlarsemil@inatsisartut.gl
Jens-Erik Kirkegaard, Mala Kuko Høy, Kelly Berthelsen, Ineqi Kielsen, Jens Immanuelsen, Peter Olsen
The Iceland delegation
The Iceland delegation of the West Nordic Council is appointed by the Parliament of Iceland.
Lilja Rafney Magnúsdóttirlrm@althingi.is
Njáll Trausti Friðbertssonnjallf@althingi.is
Eva Pandora Baldursdóttir, Jón Steindór Valdimarsson, Páll Magnússon, Steinunn Þóra Árnadóttir, Valgerður Gunnarsdóttir, Þórunn Egilsdóttir
It is not possible for the West Nordic Council to grant direct financial aid or support to projects.