Chancellor A. Merkel Attends The Nordic Council
Strengthening Nordic And German Ties at the Nordic Council in IcelandAugust 21st, 2019
The Nordic Council was set up in 1952 groups together Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden as well as Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Its aim was to strengthen inter-parliamentary and inter-governmental cooperation among the member states. Iceland currently holds the presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
Annually the Nordic leaders meet for informal talks, and this year, held on Tuesday August 20th, Chancellor Angela Merkel was invited to attend. In addition, Merkel and Prime Minister Jakobsdottir held a joint press conference.
Merkel is a defender of liberal democracies in times where we are seeing a rise of many authoritarian populism movements, which are becoming pressing problems in Europe. It is therefor important to secure our welfare society, and values within social justice, human rights and the rule of law will be discussed at the meeting. Further, with Island loosing its first glacier due to global warming, environmental topics will hold for a large part of the agenda. Merkel explains how the nature in Island teaches it must be treated with care and shown humility towards. Germany has been very active in the Arctic Council as an observer, however more attention towards the strategic development of the Arctic area is being developed.
As Merkel says, “Germany and the Nordic countries have a lot in common when it comes to sustainability, sustainable economy, focusing on innovation and research, support for democracy and multilateralism. Merkel found it a welcome proposal to work together if we can make more efficient use of that”. As MP Erna Solberg from Norway says, she is “happy to enlarge the family today and have more emphasis on cooperation with the German countries to work together”.
The meeting between the Nordic leaders and Merkel is symbolic for the good bilateral relation that has existed between Island and Germany over decades and will continue to. The two countries share a common history and culture and a widening cooperation between the five Nordic countries and Germany was highlighted in Iceland on this day.