Cooperation Agreement of the Nordic network to prevent extremism

Agreement signed by the Nordic network on 26th January 2015.

The Nordic cooperation is based on common values and a commitment to achieve results that contribute to a dynamic development and increase the cohesion and the close ties between the Nordic countries.

The Nordic countries have for several years worked for an effective prevention of extremism. Initiatives include early preventive efforts with direct interventions targeted at young persons who are vulnerable to radicalisation or persons who are involved in extremist circles, as well as exit strategies to help individuals break out of extremist networks.

The Nordic countries have over the years each built up an extensive knowledge of prevention of extremism and this knowledge can usefully be shared more systematically with the other countries. At the same time the Nordic countries face common new challenges where there is a need to develop targeted interventions. This development can be further qualified through enhanced cooperation on the development of effective methods.

The Nordic countries have agreed to systematise their cooperative effort to prevent extremism through the establishment of a formal Nordic network. This way, the potential for a further qualified Nordic cooperation can be put to use.

A Nordic network will supplement and support existing networks on the prevention of radicalisation and extremism within Europe by taking the close ties and the common values between the Nordic countries as a starting point. The network will provide the Nordic countries with a forum for common debates and discussions on policies concerning the prevention of extremism. Furthermore, there is a need for a common forum where ministers responsible for the preventive efforts concerning radicalisation and extremism can meet and carry out discussions regarding policies in the area.

The Nordic countries have therefore agreed on the following cooperation agreement:

Article 1: Objective

The objective of the network is to serve as a common forum for discussions on policies regarding the prevention of extremism, which will provide the Nordic countries with ideas and inspiration on how to strengthen effective preventive efforts. The network will furthermore strengthen the systematic knowledge sharing between the Nordic countries in relation to research and method development, as well as to strengthen the exchange of experiences concerning preventive efforts and their practical implementation including the involvement of civil society actors and other local cooperation partners.

Article 2: Areas of cooperation

The parties shall cooperate on the basis of the following elements:

  • Policy: Enhanced discussions and debates on policies regarding e.g. early preventive efforts.
  • Vivid knowledge network: Strengthened exchange of experience concerning preventive efforts and their practical implementation, including the involvement of civil society actors and other local cooperation partners, e.g. by sharing nationally conducted reviews and evaluations of preventive efforts.
  • Research: Enhanced knowledge sharing across the Nordic countries on existing and new national and international research.
  • Method Development: Strengthened cooperation on the sharing and development of new effective approaches and interventions concerning the prevention of extremism, e.g. by the development of resources and approaches for different actors to deal preventively with extremism.

Article 3: The cooperation and organisation format

The network consists of representatives from the responsible ministries in the Nordic countries. The parties may agree to invite other relevant guests to their meetings. The network is chaired by each of the Nordic countries alternately, and the chairmanship of the network shifts between the parties annually. The country holding the chairmanship is responsible for the overall management of the network with the joint formulation and ensuring of

  • clearly and precisely defined priorities
  • continuity of the cooperation

There will be an annual meeting at ministerial level with an assessment of the cooperation and biannual meetings between state officials from the countries' relevant ministries. These meetings will enable discussions of relevant topics at both the political level as well as the level of state officials. Furthermore, the meeting between state officials will follow up on the ministerial meeting and the results hereof.

It is the responsibility of the country in chair to ensure the practical organisation of the annual meetings. The distribution of the expenses related to the chairmanship is further outlined in Article 4 below.

The network's working language is English. Referring to the Declaration on a Nordic language policy signed in 2006, the parties may share relevant materials and documents in Scandinavian languages with each other. The parties are not obligated to translate all relevant materials into English but may decide to do so if deemed favorable.

Article 4: Economy

Each country undertakes its own expenses related to the chairing of the network and to the implementation of new methods and initiatives nationally. The annual meetings referred to in Article 3 will be held in the country that chairs the network. The country in chair will therefore be responsible for and undertake the expenses related to; the planning and organisation of the meetings including the invitation of participants, coordination of responses, distribution of agendas, the expenses related to the meeting venue, provision of food for the participants, and remuneration of external guest speakers if invited.

The country in chair will not undertake the participants' travel expenses or expenses related to their accommodation and daily allowances when attending the meetings, as this will be the responsibility of the participants' own country.

Article 5: Cooperation implementation

It is each country's responsibility that the cooperation is embedded in and disseminated with the national, professionally relevant institutions and partners.

Each country decides on its own provision and management of knowledge and results from the network, which should be handled through national channels.

Article 6: Commencement and audit

The Cooperation Agreement is effective upon signature of the parties and may be terminated by each party with 3 months' notice.

The Cooperation Agreement is revised annually for correction and adaptation of content and utility.

Any change or amendment to this cooperation can be done through a written agreement between the parties.

The Cooperation Agreement is not legally binding.

 

Oslo, January 26th 2015

 

Alice Bah Kuhnke
Minister for Culture and Democracy
Sweden

Manu Sareen
Minister for Children, Gender Equality, Integration and Social Affairs
Denmark

Anders Anundsen
Minister of Justice and Public Security
Norway

Paivi Rasanen
Minister of the Interior
Finland

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