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Author(s): Uffe Ostergård

Journal: Baltic Worlds
ISSN 2000-2955

Volume: VI;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 46;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: Norden | region building | identity | nation states

In the 1960s, the Nordic states demonstrated their incapacity and lack of interest in supporting Nordic culture and language. Today, the need is greater than it’s ever been since the two Nordic multinational states of Denmark and Sweden were separated into national states in 1809 and 1814. This separation process, at least in relation to Denmark, will not come to an end until the Faeroe Islands and Greenland have determined their political futures. The Nordic region is fascinating, multifaceted, and a worthy task for wise Europeans in the area we should perhaps call “Northern Europe” rather than the ideologically charged “Norden”. But there is little reason to conceive of the Nordic countries, or Norden, as constituting an exceptional region or a permanent alliance in the EU. We are European countries, for good or ill. And as the other EU member states become relatively smaller and more closely aligned while maintaining or accentuating their distinctive national characteristics, the special relationship between the Nordic countries will probably become less significant, provided that the European project does not disintegrate due to the financial crisis and the problems associated with the euro. Regardless of what lies ahead, the Nordic countries started down their separate paths in 1814, when the Oldenburgian state became the biggest European loser in the Napoleonic wars only a few years after 1809, when Sweden had for a short period been reduced to a small state in danger of being carved up by its neighbors.
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