POLITICAL INITIATIVE TO ENHANCE NORDIC-SCOTTISH CO-OPERATION
The possibilities to enhance Nordic-Scottish co-operation were explored at a seminar held in the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament on 19 November 2002. The deliberations reflected a political will to enter into a closer dialogue regarding issues/challenges which are typical for the Northern region (Nordic countries, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland), such as conservation of the maritime environment. Culture was stressed as a bridge for increased co-operation.
The Nordic Council of Ministers initiated the seminar which was organised in close collaboration with the Scottish Executive and the Scottish Parliament. The seminar attracted more than 100 committed participants (ministers, officials, MSPs/member of parliaments, representatives from local authorities/NGO's and the business communitry) to debate issues of cultural co-operation, good governance and sustainable development. The Nordic delegation was led by the Chairman of the Nordic Council of Ministers, Svein Ludvigsen. Also attending at political level were the newly elected President of the Nordic Council, Inge Lønning, the Icelandic Environment Minister, Siv Fridleifsdottir and the Faroese Co-operation Minister Høhni Høydal. Scottish participants including the Presiding Officer, the two Deputy Presiding Officers, Deputy First Minister, Jim Wallace and Allan Wilson, Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development and a number of MSPs, participated actively in the debate at the seminar.
The follow-up of this seminar includes preparatory work from both sides. Meetings at political level are expected to take place later on with the view to agree on areas where co-operation should be initiated/intensified.