Nordic Council of Ministers (NMR) is created by changing the Helsinki Treaty of 1962. The change was signed February 13, 1971 between Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. It was later revised on several occasions.
The reason for the formation of the Nordic Council of Ministers was the desire for strengthening of the Nordic cooperation between the Nordic Government members. Nordic Council of Ministers submits proposals for the Nordic Council sessions, continues the Council`s recommendations, reports to the Nordic Council on the results of the cooperation and direct the work within different subject areas.
Prime Ministers have overall responsibility for the cooperation. The cooperation is coordinated by the Nordic Ministers for Cooperation who are appointed by each country's government. The Ministers for Cooperation are assisted by a group of officials, the Nordic Co-operation Committee (NSK). In NSK seats one representative from each country and the autonomous territories. The Council of Ministers has different composition, depending on the cooperation issues under discussion. Each of Ministers have one or more committees of senior officials (EK`s) associated dealing with the cooperation issues within their field of study. EK`s work is coordinated by the NSK. The Council of Ministers and EK`s are assisted by the The Secretariat to the Nordic Council of Ministers.
The Nordic countries' governments and Åland Landskabsregering, Faroese Landsstyre and Greenlands Naalakkersuisut.
Greenland participates in the Council of Ministers with the rights to proposals and speech. With the support Nordic Council of Ministers the Department of Foreign Affairs has a section that coordinates Naalakkersuisut´s participation in the work, especially in relation to Ministers for Cooperation and Nordic Co-operation Committee. Greenland`s participation in the various councils of ministers and official committees are handled by the relevant departments. In autumn 2007, the Nordic Council of Ministers (Ministers for Cooperation) adopted "statement on the initiative could increase the autonomous territories participation in official Nordic co-operation", the Åland Document. The decision provides inter alia the right to join in Nordic institutions boards on equal terms with the countries. Furthermore they are given the opportunity to lead meetings in the Council of Ministers and in the committees of senior officials.
Institutions under the Nordic Council of Ministers
NAPA (Nunani Avannarlerni Piorsarsimassutsikkut Attaveqaat), which is the the Nordic Institute in Greenland is an institution under the Council of Ministers, was inaugurated in 1987. In 1997 Greenland`s Arts and Cultural Center, Katuaq, where a third of the budgeted construction cost is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, and NAPA took its premises in Katuaq.
NAPA has the following tasks:
- to promote and further develop Nordic cooperation, which focuses on high quality and Nordic profile
- to support, encourage and strengthen cultural contacts with the other Nordic countries, by providing information about Greenlandic conditions and vice versa. In short: "Greenlandic culture and Nordic culture in Greenland"
- to support and stimulate cultural life in Greenland by
- informing and administering Nordic funds that promote and strengthen the Nordic Culture, including Greenlandic culture
- engaging in events and activities that support and develop child and youth culture
- informing and guiding the community in Greenland about NMR core programs such as:
Nordic Culture Point