The Nordic countries consist of Denmark Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, as well as the Faroe Islands and Greenland that are both part of the kingdom of Denmark, and Åland which is part of the republic of Finland.
There is a strong spirit of co-operation deeply rooted in centuries of shared history, cultural traditions and geography as well as in similar living conditions and societies.
It is impossible to state the exact date when Nordic co-operation began. However, a formal co-operation emerged in the aftermath of World War II, when it was motivated by a desire to find joint solutions to the challenges faced in the Region at that time.
The Nordic countries all have different relationships with other European and global bodies such as the EU and NATO, but all are members of the Nordic Council, established in 1952 and the Nordic Council of Ministers formed in 1971. The councils are the official joint co-operation body for the Nordic governments. Sweden held the presidency in 2008 and today the Nordic countries engage in the most comprehensive regional co-operation to be found in Europe.
The UK enjoys excellent political and economic relations with the Nordic countries, co-operating closely in EU (with three), NATO (three) or UN (all five). The Government would like to gain more from these relationships, especially now that the Nordics are strengthening their own co-operation on foreign and security policy. So, as part of the ‘Europe Change’ agenda, the five British Embassies in the Nordics (Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo, Reykjavík and Stockholm) have, since 1 April 2008, been working together regionally as a single ‘Nordic Network’.