Nordic-Baltic Eight

Nordic-Baltic Eight ( NB8 ) is a regional co-operation format that includes Denmark , Estonia , Finland , Iceland , Latvia , Lithuania , Norway , and Sweden . The Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Ministers, Foreign Ministers, Foreign Ministers, Foreign Ministers, Secretaries of State and Political Directors of Foreign Ministries, are the representatives of the Balticand Nordic countries. reviewed. [4]


Historically the countries of the region have been interlinked and interacted for centuries, with mutual trade being the decisive factor facilitating this interaction. The most profound bond, however was created during the 1990s.

The Nordic Council first contacted Baltic parliamentarians in around 1989. Official co-operation began in November 1991, when the Nordic Council attended the inaugural meeting of the Baltic Assembly in Tallinn. A formal co-operation agreement between the Nordic Council and the Baltic Assembly was signed in 1992. [5]

The Nordic countries were among the strongest supporters of the Baltic countries‘ independence and their first to open their borders, introducing visa-free schemes with the Baltic countries. [6]

When Baltic countries regained their independence and during their integration into the European and transatlantic structures, they were strongly supported by their Nordic neighbors. The Nordic-Baltic co-operation took place in various levels: networking and cooperation were established among politicians, civil servants and civil societies. The Nordic countries actively supported the Baltic countries in their preparations for integration into the European Union and NATO . [7]

Named as 5 + 3 in the beginning of cooperation (five Nordic countries plus three Baltic States), the format changed its name and scope of cooperation. During the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Baltic States and the Nordic Countries on 30 August 2000 in Middelfart (Denmark), the Ministers decided that the meetings of the Ministers of the Baltic States and Nordic Countries will be called NB8. [8]

Nordic-Baltic countries today

Northern Europe: these are Nordic, Baltic and Baltic Sea Region. [9]

The Nordic – Baltic region has some 32 million inhabitants, and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of close to $ 1.5 trillion, which makes it the tenth-largest population and fifth-largest economy in Europe. Furthermore, the region features relatively low levels of corruption; with the Nordic countries some of the least corrupt countries in the world. Also, the countries of the region place themselves in various international freedom rankings, with several of the states at the absolute top. The Nordic-Baltic countries also make surveys that measure the ease of doing business and creating new companies. The Human Development Index places many of the countries in the region among the most developed in the world. [10]

The Nordic-Baltic region is diverse, with a wealth of natural and cultural heritage, communities, destinations and resources. The region hosts a total of 42 World Heritage sites that are experiencing increasing pressures from tourism. [11] The Baltic states are described as having an extensive coastline, mediaeval old towns, and beautiful natural scenery, the Nordic countries own spectacular scenery of mountains, lakes, archipelagos, glaciers, geysers, forests, waterfalls and volcanoes. There is much wilderness, including extensive arctic tundra.

Coordinating countries

The coordinator’s role of the NB8 was formally assumed by the country holding the chairmanship of the Nordic Council of Ministers for the respective year. From 2008 onwards, the Baltic States have also been involved in coordinating the NB8 foreign ministry co-operation. NB8 format and number of meetings. Each year the coordinating country also issues a Progress Report. [12]

Coordination schedule:

  •  Estonia 2020
  •  Iceland 2019
  •  Sweden 2018
  •  Norway 2017
  •  Latvia 2016
  •  Denmark 2015
  •  Estonia 2014
  •  Sweden 2013
  •  Lithuania 2012
  •  Finland 2011
  •  Latvia 2010
  •  Iceland 2009
  •  Estonia 2008

In 2013 the task of NB8 coordination was transferred to Sweden . The following sections of the report have been prepared by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, [13] The focus of the focus is on: 1. Focus on the Eastern Partnership and joint agenda for the NB8 before the EU-summit in Vilnius, November 2013. 2. Cooperation within the field of mutual interests, especially in the field of energy-related issues. The task of arranging most of the NB8 meetings and events in Sweden was assigned to the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. [14]

In 2014, the NB8 co-ordinator was Estonia with priorities for cyber co-operation, Eastern Partnership , energy co-operation, and security co-operation. In 2014 Estonia was also the coordinator for Baltic Cooperation and Council of the Baltic Sea States . These three formats are named after the Baltic Sea Year .

In 2015, Denmark’s NB8 priorities are energy security, media in relation to Russian-speakers, the Ukraine conflict and the Eastern Partnership.

Banner of the Baltic and Nordic Cooperation Year chaired by Latvia in 2016. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia

In 2016, Latvia’s NB8 priorities were the strengthening of security, the promotion of strategic communication, the fight against hybrid threats, and support for the EU Eastern Partnership . [15]

In 2017, the coordinating country is Norway . The priorities are in regional issues (regional security, hybrid and resilience issues, cybersecurity, open and free media, strategic communication, energy security and energy markets, EU Eastern Partnership , attention to the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU , economic development , synergies and innovation, synergies among Nordic 5, NB6 and the Nordic Council of Ministers The other set of priorities is based on (Transatlantic Relations ( United States , NATO , Euro-Atlantic Bonds), the future of the European Union , Brexit , migration, the Bratislava process), Russia,UN issues (including the Security Council ) and terrorism.

NB8 format

On the political level, co-operation in the NB8 format is primarily in the form of annual meetings of the Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers. The Foreign Ministers‘ meetings have taken place since 1993. In addition to the foreign ministers and prime ministers, other ministers and ministers are also meeting on a regular basis. In the realm of foreign policy, there are many meetings held in addition to the annual meeting of the foreign ministers. The secretaries general, political directors, and experts in various fields of foreign currencies, and there are frequent meetings of diplomats in foreign representations within the NB8 format. [16]

During the past few years the Baltic and Nordic countries have developed a cohesive network of cooperation in political, military, economic, environmental, cultural and other aspects. After the dual EU and NATO enlargement in 2004 the cooperation is Becoming Closer thereby activating the vast potential for development in the Baltic Sea region. This paper presents a number of examples of such issues in the work of the NB8 Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings and the creation of the Nordic – Baltic Education and Research Area.

On the other hand, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden have signed a cross-border agreement on financial stability. The Nordic-Baltic Cooperation Agreement on Cross-Border Financial Stability Enhanced Co- operation by Establishing Routines and Procedures for Information Sharing and Coordination. The aim is to reduce the risk of a cross-border financial crisis spreading, and to increase the chances of reaching an efficient crisis management. By signing the agreement, the public authorities in the Nordic and Baltic countries increase their preparedness to handle problems in cross-border banks. The NB8 is the World Bankand International Monetary Fund . The Baltic states are members of the Nordic Investment Bank .

The Baltic States – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia – have achieved an exceptional level of trilateral co-operation, which, by its depth and intensity, can be compared to the Nordic co-operation. Three Baltic states-have Established Baltic Council of Ministers as well as Baltic Assembly , whereas the integration of the Nordic countries HAS Achieved an Unprecedented level in the past forty years since the Nordic Council of Ministers -have-been Established in 1971. The Cooperation entre les Parliamentarians of the Baltic Assembly and the Nordic Council dates back to 1989.

The Baltic capitals ( Tallinn , Riga and Vilnius ) published in 1991 in the Nordic Council of Ministers offices in Baltic capitals ( Nordic-Baltic co-operation.

Guidelines for the Nordic Council of Ministers‘ Co-operation with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from 2014

The Nordic Council of Ministers‘ co-operation with Estonia , Latvia and Lithuania is directed by guidelines Agreed by the Nordic Ministers for Co-operation in July 2013 and adopté by the Nordic Council in October 2013. These express a desire to Develop Nordic-Baltic co-operation in areas of common interest and a strong economy in the Baltic Sea Region. [17]

The Nordic Council of Ministers has a special interest in developing certain key areas which include the following central themes in particular:

  • Education, research and innovation
  • Business, cluster co-operation and creative industries
  • The environment, climate and energy, including environmental conditions in the Baltic Sea and the promotion of effective environmental technologies and renewable sources of energy
  • The international challenges faced by welfare societies. Possible areas of co-operation include combating human trafficking and the spread of HIV / AIDS; improving co-operation between police forces and public prosecution services; developing hospital services; and labor markets in relation to, eg labor-market policy.
  • Cross-border regional co-operation to promote joint fundamental values, such as democracy, good governance, gender equality, freedom of speech and tolerance – both under the Nordic-Baltic auspices and in relation to other neighboring countries, including Belarus.

NB8 Wise Men Report

During the co-ordination of the co-operation among the NB-8 Foreign Ministries in 2012, Latvia initiated the preparation of a comprehensive analysis and recommendation to advance the Nordic-Baltic co-operation. Latvia, presiding over the Baltic Council of Ministers in 2010, and Denmark, chairman of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2010, nominated two high level representatives (rapporteurs) – train Latvian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Valdis Birkavs representing the Baltic countries and train Mr Søren Gade representing the Nordic countries – to provide the respective analysis. Before the NB8 Co-operation Report ( NB8 Wise Men Report), which was completed in August 2010, the rapporteurs made a very intensive consultation process with representatives of all the NB8 countries. Practical implementation of the Wise Men 38 recommendations is ongoing. [18] Concrete suggestions were made in the following fields:

  • Foreign political dialogue.
  • Cooperation on diplomatic representations.
  • Civil security, including cyber security.
  • Defense cooperation.
  • Energy.
  • The NB8 brand.

The Birkavs – Gade report with the initial recommendations for the NB8 Ministerial meeting in Helsinki on 26-27 August 2011. A number of other Birkavs.

Reinforced diplomatic cooperation between the Nordic and Baltic countries

One of the Birkavs – Gade recom mendations a propos de que le sacramento de la visión de la bicicleta. At the same time, NB8 cooperation more visible. More should therefore be in the area of ​​joint diplomatic representation. A first step could be the setting up of an NB8 countries‘ diplomats. [19]

On August 30, 2011 the Nordic and Baltic Ministers of Foreign Affairs signed a Memorandum of Understanding on diplomats at each other’s missions abroad. The Memorandum made it easier for the Nordic and Baltic countries to maintain a flexible and effective international presence. This co-operation is co-ordinated with the twentieth anniversary of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania regaining their freedom and re-establishing diplomatic relations with other countries. The memorandum regulates the diplomatic and practical aspects of posting diplomats to the mission of other countries Nordic or Baltic country. [20]

NB6 – cooperation among Nordic and Baltic EU Member States

Since 1 May 2004, six Nordic and Baltic countries (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) are the European Union members. Regular informal NB6 Prime Ministers‘ Meetings on EU matters take up on the eve of Council meetings as well as Foreign Affairs Ministers of These six countries meet on the eve of General Affairs Council and Foreign Affairs Council meetings.

Enhanced Partnership in Northern Europe (e-PINE)

Launched in 2003, e-PINE [21] is a format in which the NB8 and the United States Political Directors of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs meet. Cooperation takes place in three major areas: cooperative security, healthy societies and vibrant economies.

Northern Future Forum

Main article: Northern Future Forum

The Northern Future Forum is an annual, informal meeting of Prime Ministers, policy makers, entrepreneurs and business leaders from the 9 nations of Denmark , Estonia , Finland , Iceland , Latvia , Lithuania , Norway , Sweden and the United Kingdom . Initially referred to as the UK-Nordic-Baltic Summit, the name of the Northern Future Forum was introduced at the second meeting in Stockholm. Northern Future Forum in London (2011), Stockholm (2012), Riga(2013), Helsinki (2014), and in Reykjavik(2015). In 2016, it was planned to be held in Stavanger, Norway, but it was postponed to take place in 2017.

NB8 and Visegrad Group

NB8 and Visegrad Group countries ( Czech Republic , Hungary , Poland , Slovakia ) The first meeting was held in Gdansk , Poland. In 2014 the ministers put in Narva , Estonia; in 2015 – High Tatras at Štrbské Pleso , Slovakia. In 2016, the meeting was held on the shore of the Baltic Sea in the city of Jūrmala , Latvia. In 2017, the meeting is planned to take place in Poland.

Strategic partners

  • Nordic Council of Ministers
  • Baltic Assembly
  • Nordic Council
  • Council of the Baltic Sea States

Further reading

  • Birkavs, Valdis, Gade, Soren „NB8 Wise Men Report“, 2010
  • Rebane, Mikk, Pajula, Merle „Nordic-Baltic Co-operation – Unity across borders“, 2009
  • Stoltenberg, Thorvald „Nordic cooperation on foreign and security policy“, 2009


  1. Jump up^ Birkavs, Valdis, Gade, Soren „NB8 Wise Men Report“, 2010
  2. Jump up^ Birkavs, Valdis, Gade, Soren „NB8 Wise Men Report“, 2010
  3. Jump up^ Birkavs, Valdis, Gade, Soren „NB8 Wise Men Report“, 2010
  4. Jump up^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia „Co-operation of Baltic and Nordic States“
  5. Jump up^ The Nordic Council „Nordic co-operation with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania“
  6. Jump up^ Birkavs, Valdis, Gade, Soren „NB8 Wise Men Report“, 2010
  7. Jump up^ Birkavs, Valdis, Gade, Soren „NB8 Wise Men Report“, 2010
  8. Jump up^
  9. Jump up^ Ari Tasanen, 2007 03 27.
  10. Jump up^ Human Development Reports (
  11. Jump up^ 8. Report from the Nordic-Baltic Workshop on World Heritage, Tourism & Development, Visby Oct. 2010.
  12. Jump up^ „Co-operation between the Baltic and Nordic countries“ . . Retrieved 2016-06-21 .
  13. Jump up^ Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden, Press release 20 February 2013, „Nordiskt-baltiskt samarbete (NB8), 2013 svenskt samordningsår“:
  14. Jump up^ Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden, Nordic-Baltic Cooperation (NB8):
  15. Jump up^ „2016 – Year of Baltic and Nordic Cooperation“ . . Retrieved 2016-06-21 .
  16. Jump up^ Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs „Nordic-Baltic Co-operation“
  17. Jump up^ „Guidelines for the Nordic Council of Ministers“ Co-operation with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania 2014 – Nordic cooperation “ . . Retrieved 2016-06-21 .
  18. Jump up^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia „Co-operation of Baltic and Nordic States“
  19. Jump up^ Birkavs, Valdis, Gade, Soren „NB8 Wise Men Report“, 2010
  20. Jump up^
  21. Jump up^ e-PINE