Northern Dimension

Finland participates in the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Wellbeing (NDPHS) to prevent widespread health problems and promote healthy lifestyles. Cooperation focuses on

  • preventing social exclusion
  • healthy lifestyle promotion
  • HIV-AIDS prevention
  • developing occupational health care
  • TB prevention in prisons.

Partnership involves governments, NGOs and the Commission

The Partnership was set up in 2003. It is a joint undertaking by nine governments (Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Russia, Estonia), the European Commission and eight international organisations.

The organisations involved are:

  • Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC)
  • European Commission
  • Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS)
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM)
  • International Labor Organization (ILO)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Nordic Council of Ministers
  • United Nations HIV/AIDS Program (UNAIDS)

Partnership organisation

The Partnership has a two-member secretariat in Stockholm. The activities are coordinated by the Committee of Senior Representatives (CSR), which meets twice a year. At the political level, the activities are steered by the ministerial Partnership Annual Conference (PAC).

The core of the partnership includes following expert groups which were agreed when the new strategy was adopted in 2015:

  1. HIV, tuberculosis and related infections Basic healthcare
  2. Substance abuse
  3. Non-communicable diseases
  4. Antimicrobial resistance
  5. Occupational safety and health
  6. Prisoner healthcare

Finland is responsible for coordinating two expert groups: HIV & tuberculosis and Occupational safety and health.

Relevant ministries in each country appoint members to the group. The groups are active in, for example, exchanging information, promoting projects, providing and disseminating information, and raising issues that they consider important to the political discussion.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health participates in annual partnership meetings at ministerial level and public servants' level. Partnership expert groups include members from the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

Current issues

During 2016-2017 the partnership will be chaired by Estonia. A new partnership strategy was drawn up in 2015, and it will remain valid till 2020. Also action plans for the expert groups were approved in 2015.