Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and the three autonomous territories, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland.
The United Nordic Federation would only have powers that are expressly ceded to it by its members. Foreign and defence policy would be federal matters; economic and labour-market policy would need to be co-ordinated; and research policy would probably also be best served at federal level.
Bringing the countries together in a federal state would not mean that all political decisions would be taken at federal level. The Nordic countries have a strong tradition of local autonomy – the local authorities and county/regional councils are responsible for many areas, especially social services, but equivalence is guaranteed at national level.
The Federation would work in the same way, as an arena for comparisons and co-ordination, without the need for decisions to be unanimous before they can be implemented. Most taxation would remain at national level, as would most social services, perhaps including social security, unless it is generally agreed that a joint system would be more beneficial.
The federal state would need a constitution, a legislative assembly and a government, the exact nature of which would be a matter for the member countries.
Establishing the Federation would undoubtedly be a long process, but it could start with the Nordic Council taking the initiative to launch a feasibility study of alternative forms of future co-operation.
The prospective members would then negotiate on the basis of the feasibility report. Later, the parliaments and the peoples of the Region would need to have their say about the outcome of the negotiations. By around 2030, the people of the Region would be ready to elect their first joint legislative assembly.
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