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Über dieses Buch

This book focuses on the Nordic countries through a European perspective and wishes to draw attention to their place in the new world order. The volume emphasizes the specificity of their cooperation within the region itself as well as within the European Union, and stresses the importance of the Nordic region as an area of possibilities and tangible chances resulting from the challenges of globalization.

The social, cultural, political and economic dimensions of these countries are characterized by cooperation among states, their collaboration with other regional organizations and within international projects, as well as exchange of viewpoints on the specificity of the current Norden issues.

The cooperation of the Nordic countries and their inhabitants as well as migrations between the Scandinavian states have been a trademark of the common and shared history of Norden.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. The Nordic Region (NORDEN) – History and the Present

Geographical proximity, shared historical experiences, similarity of national features and social processes, cultures and values, as well as the convergence of legal systems and organizational structures are the determinants bonding the Nordic countries and also deciding about the specific character of the region. This context also includes regional identity and the feeling of belonging to a broader, Nordic commonwealth.

Ryszard M. Czarny

Chapter 2. Norden as the Region of Cooperation

Cooperation of the Nordic Region states is a natural continuation of collaboration between those countries known for centuries. Noteworthy are multiple institutions that formalize the cooperation as well as the principles and areas of it, always keeping in mind that “cooperation of the Nordic countries and their inhabitants, as well as migrations of the population within the Nordic states are integral part of the shared history of these countries.”

Ryszard M. Czarny

Chapter 3. The Phenomenon of the Őresund Region

The Öresund Region develops because of its importance on the political map of Europe. It is a significant player both in Euro-regions and the organization of regional cooperation. Trans-border relations in the region are present in all fields of economic and social life there and they take on various forms – from casual collaboration to deep integration. In terms of cooperation development, the Öresund Region clearly surpasses all trans-border initiatives in Europe.

Ryszard M. Czarny

Chapter 4. Problems and Challenges of the Nordic “Welfare States”

Welfare state has performed an extremely important function in the economic and social system of the Nordic states. Due to the emergence of new conditions and determinants (e.g. ageing of the society, globalization, growing number of people on welfare, declining number of working people), there is a need of introducing reforms in various aspects of the concept itself and its practice. The reforms of welfare state in Scandinavian countries, however, are not a departure from its fundamental principles but an adaptation to new conditions and challenges.

Ryszard M. Czarny

Chapter 5. The Contemporary and Future Society of Norden

The image of a typical Scandinavian is a favorable one in our part of Europe. If a typical Scandinavian exists at all, he/she – in our opinion and in accordance with the functioning stereotype – should be a modern person, disciplined, hard-working, tolerant, highly-educated, and at the same time considered to be somewhat devoid of emotions. This person is a proponent of universalism and full equality, and subjecting everybody to the same rules, while no exceptions are allowed.

Ryszard M. Czarny

Chapter 6. Social Equality in the Nordic Region

In comparison to other countries, the Nordic states on the average have higher or even decisively better statistics as regards participation of women in the economic, social, and political life. Some people claim it is praiseworthy and a model to follow. The clearly visible differences in the status of women in the Nordic countries and the rest of the world seem to be the result of the Scandinavian social policy which followed a somewhat unique path there.

Ryszard M. Czarny

Chapter 7. Ecology as Trademark

Over the past four decades, the Nordic countries by working together have registered significant achievements in environment protection, combining economic growth and welfare development with ambitious environmental policies in the Nordic Region and beyond. This gave birth to promotion of sustainable consumption and production, environmentally friendly technologies and green economic growth.

Ryszard M. Czarny

Chapter 8. The Region of Knowledge-Based Economy

A knowledge-based economy is characterized primarily by the above-average investment in human capital, development of ICT networks and assigning a leading role of innovative solutions to all areas of social and economic life. The full implementation of these objectives is the main indicator for creative and entrepreneurial societies and competitive economies. The Nordic countries are nearing the full realization of these principles of the new, open, conducive to innovation, and technologically driven advanced economy.

Ryszard M. Czarny

Chapter 9. Energy – Political and Economic Implications for the Nordic Countries

North European countries are world leaders in renewable energy. As a whole, Norden represents a very wide-ranging spectrum of competencies and technologies within the scope of efficiency and use of new energy sources, from bioenergy through solar and wind power to geothermal energy. Their energy policy is based on a comprehensive approach which presupposes combining joint production of electricity, heat and cooling, the energy efficiency and its storage systems, as well as modern intelligent grid technologies, and minimal impact on health, environment and climate.

Ryszard M. Czarny

Chapter 10. Norden Locally and Internationally

The Nordic Region has engaged in cooperation to a large extent driven by and based on the shared tradition, cohesion and experience. It draws much of its strength from flexibility and its ability to adapt to the changing needs. This creates an increasingly positive image of the Nordic countries as leaders in many key areas in the contemporary world. These are the states perceived as distinct communities functioning in a way which shapes the specificity of the Nordic Region.

Ryszard M. Czarny

Chapter 11. The Importance of the High North for the Nordic Countries

The complexity of interactions between all the actors in the High North has a decisive influence on the region’s geopolitics. Great interest and substantial engagement of the countries of Norden in the High North are only natural. It appears that the Nordic states, due to their rich experience and competencies, are particularly equipped to play a leading role in research on and knowledge about development in this part of the world. Therefore, the objectives specified in their respective policies towards the High North are of key importance.

Ryszard M. Czarny

Chapter 12. The “Export Products” of North European Countries

The high level of engagement of Scandinavians in peace-promoting initiatives and a great demand for their services as mediators are clear proof of their abilities and achievements. Mediation has become a specific export product there and representatives of the Nordic countries have for years worked diligently to earn the image of impartial, honest and competent mediators. Not only are they good but also willing to aid the third-world countries and support the rebuilding of a given region once the conflict is resolved.

Ryszard M. Czarny

Chapter 13. Security Policy – The Specific Approach of Norden

The Nordic states are a very important element of the sub-regional and European security system. Alongside with the membership of some of them in the North Atlantic Treaty and the presence of Denmark, Sweden, and Finland in the European Union structures, since the end of the Cold War, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden have been consequently building their own “Nordic” security system (including the military security), which is in accord with the structures of NATO and EU.

Ryszard M. Czarny

Chapter 14. Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region

The political reorientation of the countries of North-Eastern Europe has started a process of change which brought forth a new unit – the Baltic Sea Region. With all its complications, challenges but also opportunities, the Region may serve as an example of a multifaceted European cooperation through which the Baltic no longer divides but unites the nations and communities inhabiting the area.

Ryszard M. Czarny

Chapter 15. Poland and the Nordic States

The prospects of cooperation between Poland and the Nordic countries are based on significant economic compatibility and convergence of political interests within the frame of the European Union, with the notable exception of the relations with the Russian Federation. Given the import and potential of the regional cooperation, the relations between those countries may exhibit alongside convergence and common interest also a significant divergence of interest as a result of economic competitiveness.

Ryszard M. Czarny

Chapter 16. Conclusion

A Modern Nordic Saga: Politics, Economy and Society is a result of long fascination, intellectual and political sympathies, attempting to place the fundamental phenomena connected with the functioning of the Nordic states in the international, social, political, economic, historical and ecological surroundings. In other words, it is not unlike Norden 101 based on the fundament of general knowledge pertaining to broadly understood social and economic processes, including European integrative ones.

Ryszard M. Czarny
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