She has been a member of the Nordic Council's Swedish Delegation for almost 15 years and has been chair of the delegation since 2006. Sinikka Bohlin takes over from Erkki Tuomioja from Finland.

“It is a challenge to be elected at a time when we are witnessing how much the global financial crisis means to our Nordic community. The Nordic region has been drastically affected and we must question how our Nordic welfare model will be influenced by it. Nordic co-operation will be even more important in the light of the financial crisis,” said Sinikka Bohlin.

In her acceptance speech at the session in Helsinki Sinikka Bohlin emphasised three areas to which she and the Swedish Presidency will attach particular importance:

- Community: we have an extremely old Nordic spirit of community which we must uphold

- Neighbourhood: particularly with North-west Russia, the Baltic Sea and the Arctic

- Globalisation: with focus on the climate change conference in Copenhagen in December 2009

Kent Olsson was elected as vice-chair. He has been a member of the Nordic Council since 1998. He is the chairman of the Conservative group and a member of the Presidium. He has previously been chairman of the Control Committee and the Business and Industry Committee.

“It will be tremendously stimulating as Vice-President to be able to work with important Nordic matters such as freedom of movement and globalisation. I consider Nordic co-operation to be very important in the global world we are now living in," said Kent Olsson.

Photo: Sinikka Bohlin elected new President of the Nordic Council
Johannes Jansson/

Nordic Council Session 2008: