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Secretary General Høybråten will elaborate on the challenges facing the group of countries known as the “Nordics”. He will discuss their ability to adapt, the importance of Nordic cooperation, and their strong relationship with the United States. Remarks followed by audience Q&A.

While in many ways considered to be an example of success, The “Nordic Model” is under pressure. Global challenges are not just about security, economics, terrorism and migration, but also about climate change, environmental and social threats.

In early 2015 Nordic cooperation with Russia was challenged by the Russian decision to register the Nordic Council of Ministers as ‘foreign agents’.  Later that year the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen, was hit by a terrorist attack, one of many recent assaults in Europe. Last year most of the Nordic countries were confronted with an immense wave of refugees, challenging their fundamental values and their societies and bringing into question aspects of Nordic cooperation.

The economic model is also being challenged:  a slow-down of productivity and growth is a problem, as is the growing pressure on public expenditures in small individual economies with relatively large public spheres. Seen from the outside, it may look like the Nordic model cannot survive the challenges. However, it can be said that this is one of the world’s most innovative, resilient and cooperative regions, in a mode of constant renewal.

About our speaker:

Mr. Høybråten has been the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, an inter-governmental cooperative organ for Nordic cooperation on ministerial level, since 2013. Before the NCM, he has had a long experience in politics and government.

He was the leader of the Christian Democratic Party of Norway between 2004 and 2011, served as the President of the Nordic Council 2007-08 and has as well served as Minister of Health, Labor and Social Affairs over the years in various governments