In a society where the international world has become more important than the national one, smaller nations, like the ones in the northern parts of Europe, have difficulties with making their voices heard. Recently, some people have been proposing a more intense cooperation between the five Nordic countries. I believe that the Nordic nations should unite, since a confederation between the five nations would be highly beneficial for Nordic business, culture, language, international politics and many other matters.
The five nations Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Finland have plenty of things in common; Very similar political systems, almost identical cultures and very similar languages (apart from Finnish). Most alike are the three Scandinavian languages Swedish, Norwegian and Danish, which are mutually intelligible, almost to be considered as dialects of one another. If a Nordic Union would be created, there would be as many as 25 million people speaking a Nordic language, within the same borders. This would improve the status of these languages remarkably, especially if the more similar ones went under the same name, maybe Scandinavian? Moreover, the Nordic culture would, just like the language, get an enormous swing from being promoted by 25 million people altogether. With this large population and also vast land mass, a Nordic Union would also get an international position of power. As one of the strongest economies in Europe and the tenth strongest economy in the world, the Nordic Union would be allowed to attend meetings with the most powerful nations and could truly affect the international politics, far more than the separate Nordic nations do today.
Something particularly relevant today is the immigration issue in Europe. In a Nordic Union, the diversity of the population would hopefully lead to a higher acceptance of people from other countries and cultures, and the Nordic Union would go far in the work against xenophobia. During the latest century, the very openness between the Nordic people has increased rapidly too. Swedes and Danes may have the world record in wars fought between two nations (12-36 depending on how you count), but when it comes to it, these are historical events. Mostly, it is the Swedes who have been acting like bullies to the others during the years, but Danes have events to be sorry for as well. We should leave these historical events behind and instead look forward towards a united future.
Some people claim that the differences between the five nations are too big, especially when it comes to Finland joining the union. They mean that the Finnish people share less bonds with the North-Germanic people compared to other ethnic groups of people living further away, such as Englishmen or even French people, both in a cultural, linguistic and genetic way. The truth is, that the Finns are just as important to include as any of the other Nordic people. Finland was a fully integrated part of Sweden for almost seven-hundred years. These two countries are the ones with the most alike structure of society and a 5% minority of the population in Finland even speak Swedish as their mother tongue. Swedes and Finns have influenced each other heavily throughout the years, and except from their differences in language and genetics, they are probably the ones most similar to each other of the five. Furthermore, the opponents of a Nordic union say that the current nations get along better on their own, but the fact is, that the five nations would complete each other in many ways. For example, Norway has a strong economy, oil and a big fish market, but not many industries. That, on the other hand, exists in Sweden, known for its technological inventions. All of the Nordic countries have their strengths and their flaws, but together the five nations complement each other well.
It would not be the first time that the Nordic countries came together in a union. The idea is not new, but the conditions for creating a confederation have never been better. With a Nordic union, we would strengthen our voice internationally, preserve our culture, decrease xenophobia and build a nation with an extensive welfare. What are we waiting for?
Jana Paegle | 11 Mar
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