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Estonia and Finland to Take Nordic-Baltic Co-operation to a New Level in 2011

12.11.2010

No. 353-E

Meeting with his colleagues from the Nordic and Baltic nations in Riga today, Foreign Ministry Secretary General Marten Kokk spoke about the future of the region and how the suggestions made in the Nordic-Baltic co-operation report could help to make co-operation in the region more effective.

The Foreign Ministry secretary general stated that Estonia will be the chairman of the Baltic Council in 2011. “Next year we are ready to work together with the co-ordinator of Nordic-Baltic co-operation, Finland, and we have made our goal the implementation of the ideas set forth in the report, thereby taking Nordic-Baltic co-operation to a new level,” he said.

According to the Foreign Ministry secretary general there are 38 concrete co-operation suggestions made in the Nordic-Baltic report, and at the meeting today it was decided which suggestions would be addressed first and which ones required more analysis. “For example, the Nordic and Baltic countries would like to intensify foreign and security policy dialogue and have greater co-operation in forming common positions. We could also have more active co-operation in the future among the foreign services of the countries in the region. For example, we could create a co-operation network among our diplomatic representations and co-operate in offering consular aid or exchanging diplomats,” said Kokk. “If we could better co-ordinate our foreign policy positions, it would certainly help to make our region more visible and increase our influence in international organisations,” he added.

Nordic-Baltic co-operation, or NB8, is a regional co-operation format that includes Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. It is a flexible co-operation network for promoting political dialogue as well as practical co-operation.

Photos from the meeting: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry/5169254344/

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