Active cooperation between the Baltic States and Nordic countries began alongside the process of restoration of the independence of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. Our countries are linked by common cultural, historical, political and economic ties. They share an interest in the provision of stability, security and welfare in the Baltic Sea region and beyond.

A regular political dialogue and practical cooperation has been established between the Baltic and Nordic countries, with a potential for further development. For the most part, cooperation takes place within the NB8 and NB6 formats; an active dialogue with the Nordic Council of Ministers is ongoing.

While strengthening its links with the Nordic countries, it is important for Latvia to facilitate people-to-people contacts, to support co-operation among local governments, academic, professional, cultural and non-governmental organizations and educational institutions, to promote tourism and expand economic contacts.

The NB8 (Nordic–Baltic Eight) format comprises Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Active cooperation between the Baltic and Nordic countries has been taking place since early 1990s.

The Baltic States have engaged in coordinating the NB8 cooperation on an equal footing since 2008. Meetings are held at the level of members of parliament, prime ministers, ministers, state secretaries, political directors of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, and experts to address issues high on regional and international agendas in various fields.

Rotational coordination

The NB8 format is coordinated on a rotational basis.

In 2024, the NB8 cooperation is coordinated by Sweden, which set the following priorities this year:

  1. reinforcing security policy cooperation in our region;
  2. reaffirming our unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s freedom, sovereignty, and territorial integrity
  3. reaching out globally in support for Ukraine. 

In 2023, the NB8 cooperation is coordinated by Latvia. During Latvia’s coordination year, the NB8 cooperation falls into three lines of action:

  1. strengthening the rules-based international order;
  2. strengthening military security and deterrence capabilities;
  3. strengthening resilience.

On earlier occasions, Latvia has been the coordinator of the NB8 two times – in 2016 and 2010. In 2022, the NB8 cooperation was chaired by Lithuania, in 2021 by Finland, in 2020 by Estonia.

NB8 Wise Men Report (2010)

2010 saw the publication of a report produced by high-ranking experts from Latvia and Denmark – Valdis Birkavs, ex-Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Latvia, and Søren Gade, ex-Minister of Defence of Denmark.  The report offered the analysis of current effectiveness of the NB8 cooperation; it also contained 38 recommendations on practical initiatives for its further strengthening.

Key purpose for the development of the report was to evaluate the effectiveness of former cooperation between the Baltic and Nordic countries and make recommendations on how to strengthen it., both appointed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of NB-8 countries.


In view of the global role of the NB8, a framework for consultations between the Baltic States, the Nordic countries and the United States, Enhanced Partnership in Northern Europe (e-PINE), has been active since 2003. The e-PINE format of meetings is put into practice through organizing regular meetings for 8+1 Foreign Ministry Political Directors and foreign policy experts, who discuss topics of current regional and international importance.

NB8 + the United Kingdom

Close relationship with the United Kingdom (UK) is very important for the countries in the NB8 region, especially in the areas of security and trade contacts. Originally, the NB8 + UK collaboration took place in the format of an annual informal meeting of the Baltic, Nordic and UK prime ministers, policy experts, businessmen and other leaders initiated in 2011. Latvia hosted the forum in 2013. The most recent Northern Future Forum was held in 2018 in Norway. Alongside cooperation in the framework of the NFF, meetings have been held between the Foreign Ministers of the NB8 and the UK.

NB8+Visegrad Group (V4)

The Visegrad Group of countries comprises the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. The NB8+V4 format has featured meetings of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs since 2013, when the Polish Foreign Minister, Radosław Sikorski, and the Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, came up with the idea to organise events in such a configuration. The meetings are co-organized by the two countries coordinating the NB8 and the V4 formats for the respective year. The most recent meeting took place in Finland in 2021.

The NB6 (Nordic–Baltic Six) format comprises Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden. The NB6 was established upon the accession of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania to the European Union on 1 May 2004.

Within NB6, informal visits take place at the level of Prime Ministers and Ministers of Foreign Affairs for an exchange of views on current EU-related issues. The NB6 Prime Ministers meet ahead of the European Council’s meetings, and the Foreign Ministers, for their part, align their gatherings with those of the EU General Affairs Council and EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels. Other meetings, for instance, of the Ministers for European Affairs, are also convened on a regular basis.