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The Finnish delegation to the Nordic Council has prepared a member's proposal, according to which a student exchange programme for Belarusian students should be established for the Nordic countries. The chairman of the Finnish delegation, MP Erkki Tuomioja (Social Democratic Parliamentary Group), presented the member's proposal at a virtual meeting of the Nordic Council on Tuesday, 29 June. The proposal was the subject of a referral debate, after which the matter will be taken up by the Council Presidency.
According to the Finnish delegation, the political situation in Belarus has long been challenging and students are also directly affected. In the member's proposal, the delegation highlights the need for concrete assistance, especially for students. In his introductory speech on Tuesday, Tuomioja reminded that the common goal of the Nordic Council is to promote political dialogue between the Belarusian opposition, non-governmental organisations, and the ruling parties. Tuomioja emphasized that building a dialogue with the future generation of Belarus is essential. "Investing in future generations is key in many things, including here," Tuomioja added. For years, the Nordic Council has paid special attention to the problems of democratisation in Belarus.
The Nordic Council gathered for its annual Theme Session on 28-30 June. Due to the pandemic, the session was organised as an online event this year. Cyber security and hybrid threats were the subject of the topical debate on 30 June.
The Nordic Council is the official body for formal inter-parliamentary co-operation. Formed in 1952, it has 87 members from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland. In the Nordic Council meetings, Nordic politicians make decisions on issues that they call on the Nordic governments to implement. Finland joined the organisation in 1955. 18 Finnish MPs are members of the Nordic Council which has also two representatives from Åland. The members of the Finnish delegation to the Nordic Council participate in the work of the Nordic Council's Committees and Presidium throughout the year.
Further information on the Nordic Council and its annual Theme Session on 28-30 June