Nordic companies want Nordic governments to act as bridge-builders in Europe and in transatlantic relations. They urge Nordic governments to recognize that Estonia is part of the “New Nordics” group.

Nordic West Office published a report called “New Nordics — Modern bridge-builders” at New America in Washington, D.C. on 18 December 2018. New America is an influential bipartisan think tank headed by Anne-Marie Slaughter.

The report is a part of a broader Nordic West Office initiative to promote co-operation between the US, Europe and New Nordics. Many significant Nordic companies are involved in the project. The report encourages Nordic companies and governments to “think big and be humble”. Thinking big means helping to solve some of the most difficult problems facing the West. Being humble means recognizing that small and big countries face challenges of different magnitude.

The Washington launch concentrated on transatlantic relations. The event was opened by Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO of New America, who emphasized the traditional like-mindedness of the US and the Nordic countries. Her intervention was followed by comments from representatives of Saab, Google and Equinor.

Casper von Koskull, CEO of Nordea, one of the participating companies, thinks the New Nordics can play a constructive role in European-US relations. “The transatlantic relationship is crucially important for European business and for European security. The New Nordics have extensive business and political connections with the US and are therefore well-positioned to be bridge-builders between the US and Europe.”

Iarla Flynn, Public Policy Director, Google Northern Europe and a participant in the Working Group sees a special mission for the New Nordics. “Nordics and like-minded countries could set the next EU digital agenda with ideas and a strong plan for the EU’s economic reform agenda.”

Toomas Hendrik Ilves, former President of Estonia, was the chairman of the Steering Group. The Steering Group members were CEOs of major Nordic businesses and experts. According to Mr Ilves, Estonia is a natural part of the New Nordics bloc. “In terms of values and affiliations, Estonia is clearly a Nordic state. It is encouraging to see that business has recognised this. It is time for politicians to do so, too.”

According to Risto E. J. Penttilä, CEO of Nordic West Office, this is just the beginning. “The New Nordics will make their case in Berlin and Brussels in January. In addition, there is an exciting new initiative that brings together New Nordic and US businesses to think about the societal implications of Artificial Intelligence. There aren’t enough bridge-builders in today’s world. It is time the New Nordics to step up.”

More information on the New Nordics as modern bridge-builders can be found here.

Contacts at Nordic West Office:

Risto E. J. Penttilä
+ 358 50 366 2395

Lauri Tähtinen
Head of Research and Analysis
+ 1 (617) 717-9385

Nordic West Office is a global affairs consultancy, a pan-Nordic think tank and a gateway to the US markets. We believe that New Nordic companies are good for the world.

Hanna Ojanen