There could be a common intellectual property licensing environment, a shared agenda to boost research cooperation, a strategy on human development and a brand new branch of tourism – occupational tourism. These are just a few of the visions expressed by Baltic and Nordic experts in a book titled 'More is better: Nordic-Baltic cooperation 1991-2031'. "Although it seems as if we here in Northern Europe have fared relatively well in the current gloomy economic times, we have every reason not to close our eyes to the fact that there is still much to do in the Baltic Sea region in order to create an economic basis for reducing the economic and social disparities between countries," states Halldór Ásgrímsson, Secretary-General of the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) in the foreword to the book, a project initiated by the NCM offices in the Baltic States.
The title of the book refers firstly to the turbulent year of 1991 when the Nordic countries decided to open NCM offices in Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius. In 2011, the offices celebrated their 20th anniversary – the right time to look two decades into the future i.e. 2031.
In the book, the specialists were asked to express their personal views on the challenges of the future in order to contribute to the debate on what the Nordic and Baltic countries can do better together in future in the Baltic Sea region.
Among others, the floor is given to Norwegian MP and former finance minister Per-Kristian Foss, internationally acknowledged IT advisor to several governments Linnar Viik, awarded gender equality expert Margarita Januskaite and researchers from the Copenhagen Institute of Future Studies. Among others also three latvian experts: environmental scientist Jānis Brizga, director of the Cultural Education and Intangible Heritage Center Dace Melbārde and Latvian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark Gints Jegermanis.
"But part of the cooperation around the Baltic Sea is also about economic sacrifice for the sake of the common environment," says Foss. "Not all countries are ready to make such efforts, given the tough economic times."
Nordic and Baltic foreign ministers present their opinions on NB8 cooperation in the near future at the end of the book.
The online version of the book is available in English and in Swedish