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The situation in Belarus and the consequences of Brexit were in focus when the Nordic Council participated in the Benelux Parliament's conference on Friday 2 October. Chair of the Finnish delegation to the Nordic Council, Member of Parliament Erkki Tuomioja (Social Democratic Parliamentary Group), attended the meeting digitally.
In the debate on Belarus, Erkki Tuomioja, the Nordic Council's rapporteur for Belarus, stated that the Nordic Council is strongly behind the opposition Belarus. Democracy, the rule of law, equality and human rights are an important priority in the Nordic Council's international strategy. Tuomioja stated that the Nordic Council wants to show its support for the opposition and help the Belarusian people. In September, the Nordic Council also held a meeting with Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaya.
The debate on Brexit and the future of Europe was attended by Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, President of the Nordic Council, and Oddný Harðardóttir, Vice President of the Nordic Council, as well as representatives of the Baltic Assembly.
The Nordic Council, the Baltic Assembly, and the Benelux Parliament have a long history of co-operation. The three parliamentary assemblies share the same values and all work to strengthen democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in Europe.
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. Finland joined the organisation in 1955.