Girl fishing on a boat in the sun rise

The Nordic Region

Our work in the Nordic region aims to strengthen and develop the Nordic bargaining model, and this region is the main focus of our work. The Nordic Model is unique both from a European and global perspective. It is based on collectively bargained agreements and compromises between the social partners – employees and employers. Thanks to the Nordic Model, we have been able to create the conditions for both competitiveness and a strong welfare state in the Nordic region.

The Nordic countries are small, open economies with a significant share of foreign trade. Structural transformation has happened quickly in the region, which has an industrial sector based on modern technology and well-developed businesses in the service sector.

Our work in the Nordic region has three main aims:

  • To strengthen and further develop the Nordic Model
  • To strengthen the common Nordic labour market and do away with obstacles at national borders
  • To create more fair and decent jobs within a socially and environmentally sustainable economy

We develop and maintain good contacts with politicians and public servants through the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Nordic Council. In our relationships with these institutions we have an independent mandate to promote trade union matters that are of relevance to our member organisations. We also raise relevant EU or EEA matters in different Nordic contexts, for example foster a common line both in the design and implementation of EU directives between the Nordic countries.

Our goal is to establish a constant, functioning and dynamic structure for the Nordic tripartite dialogue with the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Nordic Council. However, this requires coordinated employer representation on the Nordic level, which does not currently exist. This is one of our challenges.

We work actively within a number of important areas and organisations in the Nordics.

The Nordic Council is the forum for parliamentary cooperation in the Nordic region. The Nordic Council meets several times a year to take decisions concerning joint Nordic priorities and forms of cooperation. We participate in these meetings in order to influence discussions on the future of the Nordic region and to maintain good relationships with Nordic members of parliament.

The Nordic Council of Ministers is the official cooperative structure for the governments of the Nordic region. The Council of Ministers consists of several councils for different fields, where the countries are represented by their respective relevant ministers. We also meet with the General Secretary of the Nordic Council of Ministers regularly to raise and highlight important topics from the world of work.

We attach particular importance to our cooperation with the Nordic Council of Ministers for Labour (MR-A). The MR-A covers issues concerning the common Nordic labour market and consists of the ministers for labour and employment.  Our leadership participates in MR-A ministerial meetings in order to present our priorities and provide the workers' perspective on matters discussed. We have constant cooperation with the MR-A secretariat, in order to actively participate and influence discussions on matters relevant to the common Nordic labour market.

The Freedom of Movement Council is another important partner of ours when it comes to matters of mobility on the common Nordic labour market.

Info Norden is the information service of the Nordic Council for matters of freedom of movement. Although Nordic societies have much in common, it may be challenging to establish oneself in another Nordic country or to work in border regions, especially with regard to social services such as unemployment insurance, health care, social support or taxation.

Nordic Information on Gender (NIKK in its Scandinavian acronym) does work on gender equality in the Nordic region and on the Nordic labour market.

There are other relevant organisations linked to state-level Nordic cooperation, for instance NVC ­– the Nordic Welfare Centre, Nordregio, and NEF – Nordic Energy Research.

For any questions about our work in the Nordic region, please contact our General Secretary Magnus Gissler at