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Nordic ministers and public officials cooperate closely on civil preparedness

Ministry of the Interior
Publication date 14.12.2021 11.35
Press release 159
The Nordic flags.

Today, ministers responsible for civil preparedness or their deputies from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland met via videoconference in the framework of so-called Haga cooperation. Finland’s Minister of the Interior Krista Mikkonen chaired the meeting, which ended Finland’s 2021 chairmanship of the Haga cooperation.

“The last year has shown that the Nordic countries’ capacity to prevent, manage and monitor different types of serious crises and incidents must be further strengthened. We can learn from each other, as our experiences of threats, risks and vulnerabilities are largely similar. Effective preparedness will be built on these experiences.  For example, climate change may lead to more and more extreme and unforeseen events in the coming years,” says Mikkonen.

Haga cooperation is political cooperation between Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland aimed at promoting Nordic cooperation on civil preparedness. The cooperation was launched in 2009 at Haga Palace (Haga slott) in Sweden, which has given its name for the cooperation. 

Implementation of lessons learned from the management of the COVID-19 pandemic to be discussed in the coming years

During Finland’s chairmanship, the Nordic countries continued their cooperation on forest fires, wildfires, CBRNE threats and emergency networks. CBRNE threats mean the misuse of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive materials.

In addition, there was closer cooperation with operational actors, and the future priorities of Haga cooperation for 2022–2024 were prepared with them. Over the next few years, the intention is to discuss the implementation of the lessons learned from the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in civil preparedness as well as in issues related to climate change and Host Nation Support. 

Nordic civil-military cooperation has intensified over the past year, and a joint Haga-NORDEFCO (Nordic Defence Cooperation) meeting was held in Helsinki in October. 

Questions related to civil preparedness have been discussed in several Nordic forums during the past year, especially in the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Nordic Council.  It is important to cooperate, if necessary, and coordinate these issues to avoid duplication of work.  

The meeting participants agreed to continue to strengthen and develop Nordic cooperation on civil preparedness during the Icelandic chairmanship in 2022.

Inquiries:

Wivi-Ann Wagello-Sjölund, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 488 640, wivi-ann.wagello-sjolund@govsec.fi
Jukka Vornanen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 40 593 6791, jukka.vornanen@gov.fi (interview inquiries for Minister Mikkonen)

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