Literatures, Languages & Cultures

Forging language and cultural policy links with the Nordic Council

The Scandinavian Studies team have met senior members of the Nordic Council at the Scottish Parliament to talk about strengthening and promoting Scottish and Nordic languages.

Alan Macniven, Arne Kruse and Guy Puzey were invited to parliament to meet the delegation on 30th January 2020, the day before the UK’s departure from the European Union.

Photo of Nordic Council delegation with colleagues from Scandinavian Studies
Left to right: Alan Macniven, Hans Wallmark, Arne Kruse, Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, Oddný G. Harðardóttir & Guy Puzey at the Scottish Parliament

Formed in 1952, the Nordic Council is the official body for formal inter-parliamentary co-operation between Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland.

The delegation on a fact-finding mission to Edinburgh included new President, Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, her deputy, Oddný G. Harðardóttir, former President, Hans Wallmark, and several senior administrators, including the Secretary General, Britt Bohlin.

A prominent role in the development of Scottish-Nordic relations

Strengthening and promoting the Nordic languages is one of Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir’s three main policy priorities for her term in office. While attending the Scottish Parliament, she and the Council members were keen to gauge Scotland’s position on promoting its own languages, as well as how links could be forged around Nordic language learning.

Alan, Arne and Guy gave four presentations: Scotland's Nordic Connections - Cultural, Economic and Historical; The Scandinavian Dimension of Scots English; Strengthening Scotland's Languages - Context & Policy; and one on their teaching, research and public engagement at the University of Edinburgh. Discussion focused, in part, on the future of Nordic-Scottish cultural exchange.

Writing about the visit, Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir said:

“Historically, there have always been close ties between the Nordic countries, Scotland and the rest of Britain. The Nordic Council will do everything in its power to ensure that this close co-operation continues. Despite Brexit, we want Scotland to know that she will always have friends in the Nordic countries”.

“The Scandinavian Studies department in Edinburgh can play a prominent role in the development of Scottish-Nordic relations, and we are grateful for the excellent presentations we received”, Gunnarsdóttir continued.

Are you interested in Scandinavian Studies at LLC?

Edinburgh is the only university in Scotland, and one of only two in the UK, to offer undergraduate honours programmes in Scandinavian Studies, enabling you to learn modern Danish, Swedish or Norwegian in the context of Scandinavian culture, past and present. Postgraduate students can take an MSc by Research or PhD in aspects of Nordic languages, literatures, history, culture or society.

Find out more about Scandinavian Studies

Related links

Visit the Nordic Council website