Since the beginning of 1990s, when the Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8) cooperation framework was established, the outlook of the Baltic Sea region as well as the international geopolitical situation has significantly changed. The EU and NATO have been enlarged and numerous regional institutions and initiatives have been established. It is essential to adjust the Nordic-Baltic cooperation to the changing international and global environment.
In the capacities as the presidencies of the Baltic Council of Ministers and the Nordic Foreign Policy Cooperation Latvia and Denmark have decided to nominate two high level representatives - former Latvian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mr Valdis Birkavs representing the Baltic countries and former Danish Minister of Defence Mr Søren Gade representing the Nordic countries to provide a comprehensive analysis and recommendation on how to advance the Nordic-Baltic cooperation in order to strengthen relations and address common regional and international challenges more efficiently. The intention is to have a report with the initial recommendations ready for the NB8 Ministerial meeting on August 26-27 in Latvia.
Background: The Nordic and the Baltic foreign ministers have decided to establish a Nordic-Baltic "wise-men" group to look into ways to strengthen the Nordic-Baltic cooperation. The group is headed by former Latvian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mr. Valdis Birkavs and former Danish Minister of Defence Mr. Søren Gade.
Mr Aivis Ronis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia
Ms Lene Espersen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Denmark