The Committee for the Nordic Atlantic Cooperation (NORA) consists of national delegations elected by the governments of Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Norway.
Delegation members are elected for a four-year term. The first elections took place in 1995.
Each delegation has one single vote in the Committee.
Delegation members must have a background within politics, economics, technology or societal development. It is also important that members have ties to the relevant authorities at a central or regional level.
The Nordic Council of Ministers’ Secretariat is entitled to observer status in the Committee.
The Nordic Atlantic Cooperation aims to help strengthen cooperation in areas where participants have clear common challenges, opportunities or interests. NORA seeks to achieve this by initiating and supporting projects that promote cooperation between actors in the individual countries/regions as well as between the North Atlantic region and the rest of the Nordic region, including adjacent areas.
The cooperation can be between businesses, authorities, institutions and individuals.
§3 Economic Foundation
NORA’s operations are financed with annual grants from the Nordic Council of Ministers. The participating countries are required to work actively towards contributing to the overall economic objectives.
NORA formulates a multi-annual strategy plan, which establishes the overall priorities regarding NORA’s activities. The organisation also prepares an annual action plan outlining current activities in accordance with the approved strategy programme.
NORA spends its funds on its outward-facing activities and administration.
The outward-facing and strategic activities are divided into three sections:
- Project Support: in accordance with the relevant application procedures, NORA supports cooperation projects between actors in the North Atlantic and Arctic regions.
- Agenda Setting: NORA uses a variety of methods to put relevant topics from e.g. NORA’s project activities and the Committee’s own programme on the political agenda in the North Atlantic and Arctic regions.
- Forming Alliances: NORA seeks cooperation and synergy with other actors and organisations active in the North Atlantic region, with the aim of strengthening joint efforts.
NORA’s accounts are to be entered in the currency used by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The financial year is aligned with the calendar year. Annual accounts must be audited by a state-authorised public accountant and should be sent to the Nordic Council of Ministers Secretariat following approval by the Committee at the annual meeting.
The annual accounts and the annual report must also be sent to the governments that have appointed the delegation members of the NORA Committee.
§5 Committee, Working Group and Administration
The Committee meets up to twice per year.
The Committee has a quorum of at least one member from each delegation.
No decisions must be made prior to reviews and negotiations. The principle of consensus should be applied in negotiations whenever possible. For decisions of principle to be approved, none of the delegations must oppose the decision.
At meetings, the Committee must:
- Approve annual accounts and annual reports for the previous year.
- Assess the implementation of the action plan for the current year.
- Discuss the action plan and the budget for the coming year.
- Approve support for projects.
- Negotiate other cases raised to the Committee.
- Elect the chairman of the Committee for one year at a time in accordance with the rota system implemented by the member countries.
The budget, action plan and chairmanship follow the calendar year.
The record of decisions is approved at the Committee meeting or by ‘silent procedure’ no later than two weeks after the meeting.
The committee may delegate decision-making authority to the working group and/or the administration.
The Working Group (WG)
Each national delegation elects one single member to the working group. The chairman of the Committee is also the chairman of the WG. The members of the WG coordinate their viewpoints with those of the respective national delegations.
WG meetings are mainly held as virtual meetings.
The WG’s task is to take part in the preparation of the Committee meetings, and to make decisions in cases referred to the WG pursuant to §5.
The decision-making principles for the WG are identical to those applicable for the Committee.
The WG may delegate decision-making authority to the administration.
The administration consists of the main secretariat, with agreed secretarial assistance from each member country. Greenland and Iceland have each appointed one contact person for the task. Norway has appointed two contact persons. The Faroese secretarial assistance is administered by the main secretariat by appointment with the Faroese government.
The main secretariat is responsible for the preparation of all cases submitted to the Committee and the WG.
The contact persons are tasked with contributing to the preparation of cases, especially project applications, contributing with local knowledge and contacts, and attending meeting as necessary.
The main secretariat is managed by a director, who is responsible for NORA’s day-to-day activities. The director’s job description is approved by the Committee. The AU nominates candidates for the position as director to the Committee, which makes the final decision.
The director hires necessary staff for the main secretariat.
Job descriptions are approved by the Committee.
The Committee may delegate decision-making authority to the main secretariat, which in consultation with the chairman of the Committee may grant amounts of up to DKK 60,000 per project, though with a maximum total amount of DKK 240,000 per year. The Committee is informed in each case.
The decision on the location of the main secretariat is reviewed every four years.
§6 Project Administration
The Nordic Council of Ministers’ rules for project administration apply.
The support should not exceed 50% of the total cost of a project.
Contracts are concluded between NORA and the main partner, who is legally responsible for the project.
Support can only be granted for one year at a time. For multi-annual project, support applications must be submitted for subsequent years.
§7 Amendments to the By-laws
Proposals for amendments should be submitted to the Nordic Council of Ministers for approval.
These by-laws were approved by the Nordic Council of Ministers (EK-R) on 15 March 2017.