Nordic Council takes over Icelandic parliament

The Nordic Council’s spring meeting took place yesterday in Alþingishúsið – the Icelandic national parliament building.

It was the first time the Nordic Council had met in the building and 87 members from all the Nordic countries took over the debating chamber from its more usual inhabitants: Iceland’s 63 MPs. The council discussed the Nordic countries’ shared goals and aims in the Arctic.

The Nordic Council is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Yesterday’s meeting focused on Arctic issues with emphasis on the environment, equality and welfare.

The President of the Nordic Council is Kimmo Sasi, as Finland holds the rotating presidency this year. The session was opened by President of Alþingi, Ásta Ragnheiður Jóhannesdóttir, who wished councillors a good meeting and said she hoped it would be successful.

The Alþingi building has seldom seen such a day, with its chamber filled to the rafters with councillors from all over the Nordic region and live translations into Icelandic, Finnish and ‘Scandinavian’, RÚV reported.