Norway

PODCAST: NATO membership for Finland & Sweden – the end of Baltic neutrality??

This podcast was produced after a fascinating online Nordic Horizons meeting in March 2022, eight weeks before the Swedish and Finnish premiers announced their intention to join NATO. It explores their fears about Russian intervention during the accession process when both states might be vulnerable to attack, their reasons for not originally joining NATO along with neighbours Denmark and Norway in the 1950s and fears that a change in US President might make NATO a less stable long-term bet than it currently appears. Nordic Horizons · NATO, Nordics and Russian Aggression Our speakers – 3 Nordic experts and one Scot discuss opinion polls suggesting most Swedes and Finns want to join NATO and predict whether that will happen. They consider how well Nordic non-alignment has worked for 7...Read More

NEW PODCAST Powerful pint-sized Nordic democracy

Since elections for the developed world’s largest local authorities in May 2022, there’s been much debate about coalitions and control. But there’s a bigger question – are Scottish councils with an average of 175 thousand inhabitants really local at all? And why does that not seem to matter? The EU average council has a relatively meagre 10 thousand inhabitants. And Vágur, on the isolated southern Faroese island of Suðuroy, has just 1377 folk. But they’re doing pretty well, self-building a 50m swimming pool to honour their local swimming champion, a Sports High School and witnessing a population boom after 70 years of decline. All pioneered by their ultra local municipality. And although the Faroes is tiny (just 55k population) and has its own devolved parliam...Read More

PODCAST – How Denmark & Sweden heat homes without mains gas

None of Scotland’s Nordic neighbours depends on gas for heating – but 85% of Scottish homes do. How did they jump this green hurdle & what can Scotland learn? Norway actually exports gas to Britain but uses its own clean hydro energy to heat its own Norwegian homes. So should Scotland fix its current energy crisis by installing district heating as Sweden and Denmark have done – or by going electric like Norway? That was just one of the big climate crisis questions answered in a Nordic Horizons event weeks after the 2021 gathering of activists and world leaders in Glasgow – COP26, the Nordic verdict. Now you can hear a 50 minute podcast of that online meeting with edited highlights of the lively, eye-opening conversation between Viktoria Raft, an energy journalis...Read More

Electric Dreams

Electric cars in Norway have risen to a record 54% market share, making this Nordic country the first in the world where the sale of electric cars has outstripped any other type for a full year. It’s quite a milestone for January 2021 and was forecast in a Nordic Horizons event just over two years ago. There’s nothing mystical about Norway’s electric car success – using taxes and giving leccie cars traffic priority have been big factors. Read more about the latest news via https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jan/05/electric-cars-record-market-share-norway. Watch the short video about Norway’s electric car strategy in the Nordic Horizons clip below. It features  Petter Haugneland, Communications Director, Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association. Vimeo V...Read More

Nordic Horizons guide to Celtic Connections 2020

So many fabulous Nordic performers are appearing at Celtic Connections in January 2020, it seemed a good idea to list them. Each year, Scotland’s largest traditional music festival presents a “showcase Scotland” partnership with a different nation. This year’s it’s Finland … so there are loads of performances featuring Finnish artists playing with top stars of the Scottish Trad Music scene. Get booking folks. Norway Jan 19th 7.30pm Mitchell Theatre Scots fiddler Sarah-Jane Summers is based in Norway, and is reprising Owerset, her New Voices commission that’s themed around Scots and Gaelic words originating in Old Norse. It features a six-piece ensemble on fiddles, trumpet, accordion, guitars and double bass. Sarah-Jane is playing with the fabulous Scots pianist, flautist and composer Hamis...Read More

The Nordic future of Scots childcare?

At long last, outdoor nurseries and kindergartens are getting some official encouragement in Scotland. Pioneers like the Secret Garden in Fife and about a dozen others have offered an alternative to indoor early life for over a decade. But now Inspiring Scotland’s been funded by the Scottish Government to work with eight councils setting up new outdoor play projects. The need to get kids moving and enjoying outdoor activity is urgent. Two years ago, a study of 38 nations ranked Scotland joint last for physical activity, while childhood obesity levels here continue to rise, with a quarter of five-year-olds deemed to be at risk of becoming seriously overweight. So what does the future look like? Maybe a bit like Norwegian kindergarten today – minus the snow. So here’s a sam...Read More

If trees grow along Norway’s fjords why not in Highland glens?

It seems some folk are sceptical about how well trees would grow in the Highlands or on the fifth of Scotland’s landmass currently covered with grouse moors. There’s wind and rain and the soil is pretty degraded. So maybe the glens are just too barren for any other land use? On no, they’re not. Watch this excellent presentation including a 6 min video by Scots/Norway expert Duncan Halley of the Norwegian Institute of Nature Research, speaking at the Nordic Horizons event “Nurturing Nature” a few years ago. Then decide if Scotland is ready for a Norwegian-style reforestation programme with a wider variety of species – and a much, much wider variety of landowners. If you’d like to know more, here’s a brilliant article by Rewilding Britain with ...Read More

Next event announced – Charging Patients: managing demand for healthcare visits in Norway

Date and Venue Tuesday 27 November 2018 Grassmarket Community Project 86 Candlemaker Row Edinburgh EH1 2QA Tor Ingebrigtsen is professor of clinical neuroscience at the University of Tromsø, the Arctic University of Norway and senior adviser to the CEO at the University Hospital of North Norway (UNN) in Tromsø, Norway. Chaired by Lesley Riddoch, writer and broadcaster   Spending on health in Scotland is proportionally less than in other European nations, and our NHS is often overwhelmed. Last winter delayed discharge of elderly patients led hospitals to cancel scheduled operations and miss A&E targets. In Norway patients pay to see GPs and need referrals to A&E, and councils, which run hospitals, are charged for bed-blocking. This system was designed to boost doctors’ income, ...Read More

Brexit, Norway and the EEA

Brexit, Norway and the EEA ‘Brexit, Scotland & the EEA: The Nordic half-way house option’ Tuesday 20th March 6pm to 8pm Scottish Parliament Sponsored by Ivan McKee MSP  Brexit makes it more likely Scotland will soon be negotiating its own relationship with Europe. But what will that be? Full EU membership or the expensive “halfway house” inhabited by Norway and Iceland? What’s life like in the EEA? Frustrating – since decisions and regulations are made elsewhere. But worthwhile? Christophe Hillion is professor of European Law at the universities of Leiden and Oslo and researcher at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and at the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies. He has advised several European governments on EU legal issues. He discussed...Read More

People Sized Government : Lessons from Norway

Sponsored by Maree Todd MSP Supported by the Scottish Government Speaker: Frode Lindtvedt, Director of Local Democracy, International Politics and External Affairs at KS March 9 – 17.30 -19.30 at the Scottish Parliament Scotland has the largest councils in Europe, serving on average 170,000 people. The European average is 14,000. It’s thought that the remoteness of Scottish ‘local’ government contributes to our low turnout rates – 38% at the last council elections. Now the Convention Of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) have both called for large councils to be broken up. Can Scotland afford more genuinely local democracy? How would councils in economically deprived areas manage if they relied on their own localities for incom...Read More

Women’s Quotas and The Norwegian Experience – meeting notes

Women’s Quotas and The Norwegian Experience – meeting notes Women’s Quotas – The Norwegian experience NORDIC HORIZONS with Mai-Lill Ibsen and Arne Selvik Lecture Theatre Moray House,  EH8 8AQ    6pm  2nd  December 2014 In 2002 the Norwegian conservative Trade Minister announced a ‘Quota Law’ requiring publically listed companies to appoint 40% of the under-represented gender to their boards or face being closed down. Despite criticism the law came into force in 2006. Around 500 PLC’s were affected and during a two year transition period a hundred opted to delist from the Oslo Stock Exchange – some to avoid the quotas. Since then numbers of women on PLC boards has risen from 10% to 40%. Research suggests board selection is now more professional and international, and female boar...Read More

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